The Dark Knight Rises:
A little late on the bandwagon, but given all that has been going on here in Colorado, it didn't feel appropriate to watch until some time had passed.
Two and a half hours have passed and my eyes are still glazed over
By this point, I doubt anyone will say TDKR was superior to TDK; however, it did outdo TDK in one key aspect, character balance. If there was anything holding TDK back (aside from a hiccup in the pacing following the Joker's arrest) was how much Heath Ledger, and to a lesser extent Aaron Eckhart overshadowed everyone to the point that it felt more like a movie staring The Joker with Batman/Alfred/Fox doing detective work between set pieces. Though that is going to be an issue whenever The Joker is involved. However, given a less legendary villain, everyone is capable of proving why they are worth screen time with the Caped Crusader, especially Bruce Wayne. While the role of Bruce Wayne has been to serve as the mask for Batman, but here he is given a character arc that extends to him as a person and not just the decoy for a lunatic vigilante. I've heard that his arc follows suit a tad closely from Batman Begins, but having never seen Batman Begins, this did not bother me. Everyone has said pretty much everything about the rest of the cast, so I'll keep it short. Every scene with Michael Caine was equal parts heartfelt and heartbreaking; Anne Hathaway managed to make "Catwoman" so to speak NOT completely ridiculous, though was conspicuously absent from the second act; oh, and Gary Oldman was nothing short of amazing, even from a hospital bed. As for Joseph Gordon-Levitt, by halfway through the movie, I wanted him to have his own spin-off.
Though ultimately this movie is a rung below its predecessor. Though it is not for being an inferior film in terms of presentation and construction, but rather due to a greater quantity of flaws, few as they may have been. The least of which was the overuse of Batman's aircraft compared to good old fashioned brawling, granted the guy was running on multiple previous injuries and being broken enough to be the worlds most exploitable video game. The fact that Bane would be
One thing I did like about the movie was the redemption of the city's police force, given the events of the last film; however, this could have been the time for the redemption for the people of Gotham as well. I suppose that was supposed to be the purpose of Selina Kyle, but her lack of presence in the middle portion, such a chance felt missed. Also, and this is the biggest of them all,
. And this is more of a systemic TDK issue than a TDKR specific one, but Batman sure packs a lot of ammunition for a guy who refuses to carry a firearm.
Everything unmentioned was up there for me with TDK, and the only reason this may not be the best super hero/comic book movie of the year is because The Avengers rivals it for the slot. Though what TDKR had over The Avengers, and most movies for that matter, is that I was able to forget that the heroes were going to win it out in the end. This was one of those times I actually teared up during a movie. Granted seeing
did sour it somewhat, I wouldn't go as far as Shinmaru and say it sucked. It was a bit of a cheat for the audience. But for Alfred, it was understandable, and hey, he deserves it.