Coffee Break Review: Dark Knight Rises

It’s been a long time coming, and a hell of a wait, but at long last, The Dark Knight Rises has ascended into advanced screenings and will be launching officially on July 20. The time for anticipation is over – let’s get down to business and find out if the grand finale can top the brilliant sequel.

The answer, in short, is yes. It’s a yes because everything just works and falls into place like a well-crafted puzzle. In fact, The Dark Knight Rises, like Nolan’s previous two Batman films, isn’t just a good super hero film. It’s a damn good film period. The acting is superb – and the numerous homages to Batman icons are found throughout, ranging from the Red Hood to even Killer Croc, is a nice touch – executed very well with the cast of Inception.

Because that’s what this movie is in short. It’s Inception – only replace The Great Gatsby with Patrick Bateman as the lead. Not that this is a bad thing; Nolan knows his people. But when the film finally concludes, don’t be surprised if you find yourself reminded of Inception’s ending. In fact, all you’d need is a spinning top.

The action sequences work well and Batman’s first encounter with Bane is quite memorable. Fans of the Knightfall series won’t be disappointed by any stretch. I found it easy to compare Batman’s first fight with Bane to that of Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader from Empire Strikes Back with their second bout being comparable to the rematch from Return of the Jedi. The fights are well choreographed and have their moments. Although nothing will have you out of your seat like in another recent film I watched, The Raid.

I’d strongly recommend watching the first film in the series, Batman Begins, rather than just The Dark Knight before the finale. The reason for this is because there are a lot more ties to Begins rather than the sequel. Although the sequel’s significance is established, near the middle and end of the film, the story revolves more around the events of the first film. This works well in a sense because it makes the inevitable trilogy blu-ray set a complete package similar to that of The Lord of the Rings.

If you’re a fan of dominant women, then look no further than Catwoman. By far, the character is one of the highlights of the film and is very likable. There are certain parts that will, however, cause you to groan. Some of the fight sequences in particular are annoying because of how easily this woman – who probably weighs 100 pounds soaking wet with a whole bucket of KFC in her – could take down large groups of males. I’m not sexist, but when you consider how this film series is trying to be, at least in some regard, “realistic”, it does take some of the seriousness away. Nonetheless, you might get a little excited watching some of her moves… ooh lala.

The only major issue I have with the film stems from the fact there are a few dozen or so cliches in the film to the point where they’re more than just predictable. It’s a sad truth, because when looking back at The Dark Knight, there was never really anything that had been done to death. The film was original. But I guess as the old adage goes: you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.

The film in general is one worth watching and one I’ll watch again. It concludes Nolan’s Batman saga nicely and packs quite the punch. If you were planning on seeing the movie, I doubt any review positive or negative would convince you otherwise. Just thought I’d give you an advanced opinion – and once again, it’s a hit.

And hey, at least I’m not going to get death threats for giving it a bad score.

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