Written by / 7/22/2012 / No comments / , , , , , , , , ,

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

year: 2012 cast: Christian Bale, Joseph Gordon-Levitt rating: **1/2
As we begin our story, the final of the Christopher Nolan Batman Trilogy, Alfred the Butler could kick Bruce Wayne’s ass. The reclusive millionaire has a bad leg and the energy of road kill – it’s been seven years like this.

Meanwhile, a new villain has emerged. A muscular Bane, resembling a masked professional wrestler and sounding like Sean Connery speaking through a Darth Vader voice box, isn’t very happy. Gotham, after all, has a lot of rich people… including those stock market wheeler-dealers… and he wants to set things straight.

While Nolan’s BATMAN BEGINS had a murky Film Noir vibe, and his blockbuster THE DARK KNIGHT threw just about everything into a high octane stew, RISES, during the first half, is much more subtle, reminiscent of those cerebral disaster films such as BLACK SUNDAY wherein terrorists hold a city hostage; or perhaps even a James Bond movie.

As Bane makes surly demands on the rich and powerful wielding a nuclear threat, the only thing missing is a purring lap cat. Not to be confused with Anne Hathaway’s cunningly agile Cat Woman, making a much worthier antagonist for Wayne, who finally, after much brooding, kicks into gear. But after a pivotal CGI disaster scene at a football game, Wayne’s imprisoned during a long and plodding final act.

Even the eventual fistfight between Bane and Batman is quick and underwhelming. Then again, so is the Dark Knight – he’s hardly in the film at all, having little to do with the action once the stakes are raised.

It’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Blake, a good cop practically alone in his struggle to save Gotham, who really shines. For the most part this seems more like Batman’s decline and Blake’s… or rather, Robin’s… rise.
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