FFlashback: The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Batman hits the pits in the grand finale to the Dark Knight trilogy – and our Batman retrospective…

 

Synopsis: Eight years after the events of The Dark KnightBatman has retired and Bruce Wayne is now a recluse. But when the League of Shadows returns to Gotham, under the charge of the formidable Bane, the Dark Knight will have to rise once more…

Best Bits: Firstly, what a cast! Not many comic book films have a credits list as star-studded as this one. Tom Hardy probably steals the show, though – even if his Bane is more of an acquired taste than Heath Ledger’s the Joker, he certainly holds your attention. Apart from its actors, the film is at its most impressive when focussing on the very human story of Bruce recovering from Bane’s assault and overcoming all the obstacles to stop him.

Weak Links: Despite working together in the brilliant Inception, Christopher Nolan definitely does not get the best out of the talented Marion Cotillard here. She is both underused and superfluous as the duplicitous Miranda Tate and she ends up bringing Bane down with her, weakening him with an out-of-the-blue love story. She also has a hilariously bad death scene.

Verdict: What really makes The Dark Knight Rises easily the weakest of the trilogy is something that many other superhero threequels before and since have suffered from. With versions of weighty Bat-mythos characters like Bane, Talia Al Ghul, Catwoman and Robin introduced, it’s just too bloated for its own good. I’m also not a fan of the attempt at a happy ending, which not only doesn’t make logical sense but also feels disingenuous with the tone of the series and the nature of Batman himself. It’s still occasionally great, I should add, but not to the extent of previous films.

Holy fascinating trivia, Batman! At one point, Nolan toyed with the idea of recreating Heath Ledger with CGI and deleted scenes to have the Joker appear for a brief cameo. It was later decided that this would be disrespectful to the actor’s memory.

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