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Quick Review: The Dark Knight Rises

I have literally just gotten out of the midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises  and I feel compelled to write a quick review of the film. Here’s my take: it sucks. Sounds kind of harsh, I know, and my reception is definitely a victim of expectation, but it isn’t just a bad Batman movie, it’s a bad movie in a cinematic way.  It lacks narrative cohesion, an intelligent, terrifying central villain with any depth, back-story or goal, and lacks a good Batman story.  The only good thing about the film was the character of Det. John Blake, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who acts as a sort of idealistic, younger amalgam of Batman and Commissioner Gordon.  The dichotomy of the Batman-rage and the patience and intelligence of Gordon was the shining star amongst the dying lights of the previous characters.

I refuse to go into details, but suffice to say there is a structure that consists solely of plot points that pop up as a mere convenience or as “ooohhhh” moments, but rarely as cohesive developments.  I mean, coming off of The Dark Knight, how do you screw it up this bad?  It just has no soul, no feel, and no direction.  This could be considered a snap-judgment, but me and the party I viewed this film with were completely disappointed with the result.  It doesn’t use the heart and soul of the previous films, that of Commissioner Gordon, Alfred, and Lucious, save for sparing moments and brief interludes in a 2 hour 44 minute epic that could have included a few musical numbers and some “Family Guy” cut-aways and STILL felt as empty and soulless as the film I just watched.  I didn’t have one single “Holy shit!!” or even a “Ohhh I see what they’re doing there” moment, because everything they did was spur-of-the-moment and without any real set-up.  This film felt like a series of cut-aways, additions and non-sequitors that simply didn’t add up.

The Dark Knight Rises is bar none the worst of the series, and I’d go as far to say it’s not a good film by any standards.  Total let-down from a series, character, and director that had so much promise.  Dammit, this feeling sucks.

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