Friday, July 20, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises (2012) - First Impressions

Hey everybody.  I just got back from seeing The Dark Knight Rises in IMAX.  I'm still recovering from surgery, so I need to lay down after the length of the film, but I thought I'd just get some initial thoughts up.  I'll get a more detailed up review once I'm feeling better.

First off, see it in IMAX if you can.  The sound was amazing!  There was a moment where an explosion went off in the background and the ground shook a bit, well, it also shook in the theater.  It made for a nice effect.  A good portion of the film was actually shot in IMAX format, so many of the best action sequences take full advantage of it.  I think I might have to enjoy this in D-BOX once I'm feeling up to it.

The performances are all great.  I was especially impressed with Michael Caine and Anne Hathaway.  For those of you worried about how Hathaway would do with Catwoman, you can stop worrying.  She's sexy as hell, but they gave her character some depth and more to do than just vamp and look hot in the catsuit.  I also really enjoyed Joseph Gordon-Levitt and liked what they did with his character.

I did think Tom Hardy was good as Bane, but you will hardly recognize him.  Even with them re-dubbing the voice from the trailer (it didn't even sound like Hardy's voice), I still thought there were a few parts of this dialog that were hard to understand.  Also, while I thought Christian Bale was good, I wish he would have toned down his Batman-voice.  You can see how he manipulates his mouth to do the voice and it's still a little off-putting.

As much as I was looking forward to Bane, I didn't think he was that memorable.  Heath Ledger's Joker is just too hard of an act to follow.  He's not one dimensional, but between not being able to see his face and the voice, it was hard to really get into his character.  Bane does have some really great moments to show you how brutal and driven he is.

It is a little long and I felt there were a few things that could have been trimmed, but the movie had a good pace to it.  When you consider the pain I'm in when sitting down, that I never felt bored or had the need to check my watch should tell you something.

There really aren't any surprises here as far as the story.  It's pretty straightforward.  However, I did feel like they skipped over things, and there were encounters that happened that were too convenient.  You might find yourself going, 'Hey, where did you come from?' or , 'How'd you get there so fast?'  Characters seem to be in multiple places at once, and I have to think this was due to poor editing.

Hans Zimmer's score felt a little repetitive and like it was beating you over the head a bit.  I didn't hate the score, but it was a little much at times.  Sometimes you don't have to have music punctuating every single scene.

Overall, I still thought The Dark Knight Rises is a very good and entertaining movie.  It's not perfect, but it's a fitting conclusion to the Nolan trilogy and did good job of tying the previous two movies together.  I watched both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight again leading up to this, so they were fresh in my mind and I think it helped with keeping everything straight when watching TDKR.  I would say The Dark Knight is a better movie, but could anything really live up to the expectations set by that?

4 (out of 5) Death Stars for now...


  1. Great review Erik. This is as epic as it gets when it comes to final movies in trilogies and I can't say that I would have it any different. Yeah, the story hits a hurdle here and there, but my attention never left the screen and I honestly think I could have gone on for a 3-hour movie, believe it or not.

    1. I actually wouldn't have minded if they had split this up into two parts and stretched it out to four hours or so. They are doing it for everything it seems.

  2. Nice review. Only quibble I'd have is on Bale and Caine. I thought it was Bale's strongest work in the trilogy. I also thought all of the fun from Caine's previous performances was sadly absent.

    Welcome to the LAMB! Hope to see you on the forums over there.

    1. Thanks! I'm really excited to be a part of the LAMB and look forward to interacting with you all.