: Dark Knight Rises
I am a huge fan of The Dark Knight and I really hoped this one would live up to the previous one (though that seemed a big ask). Well, it’s not a bad film. It doesn’t have quite the philosophical impact of the previous one, though it is dark and brooding and wants to be intellectual. There are some profound moments. The production and acting are terrific. But — and this is a big but — the film isn’t much fun.
The Dark Knight was an amazingly perfect blend of action and thoughtfulness. It was intellectually stimulating while still a huge amount of fun. I’d watch it again in a minute. But Rises is somber from the opening screen until the final fade out. Except for a handful of semi-comical moments in Batman’s exchanges with Catwoman, there is nothing to even crack a smile about. That got old really fast for me. It meant I enjoyed very little of the ride. Everything was so grim and serious, with no contrast, that I found the experience tedious.
Don’t get me wrong: there’s a lot of great stuff. Some of the action is excellent. I loved Catwoman. The plot was outrageous with a predictable twist, but still somewhat compelling. The performances of everyone was excellent. But we begin with Batman depressed and isolated because of all the bad stuff The Dark Knight ended with, and everything just gets much, much worse from there. (I won’t give any specifics as I don’t want to spoil anything. But let’s just say Batman, and pretty much everyone in Gotham City, are having a very bad month.) Watching a depressed man sulk just isn’t any fun, regardless of how true that might be to situation and character.
I did like the very end of the film, which finally presents a little hope and optimism, but the middle two-thirds was just depressing. It’s definitely worth seeing; just note this isn’t at all a feel-good film.