The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

dark knight rises poster 2012 movie
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great ending

Slow to get going, some uninteresting storylines

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Dark Knight Rises

Studio:  Legendary Pictures

Genre(s):  Comic Book/Action-Adventure/Drama

Release Date(s):  July 16, 2012 (World Premiere)/July 20, 2012 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


I’m back suckas!

The end is here!  It has been eight years since the death of Harvey Dent, and for eight years both Bruce Wayne and Batman (Christian Bales) have not been seen.  When a new threat arises in Gotham City in the form of Bane (Tom Hardy), Batman is once again needed.  Bruce Wayne has let himself go, ignoring his company’s investors like Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard), the calls for actions in the company by Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), and the request of his faithful Alfred (Michael Caine).  When a mysterious jewel thief named Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) enters Bruce’s life and an officer named John Blake (Joseph Gordo-Levitt) reveals he is needed, Bruce decides he has to leave Wayne Manor and reclaim the city, but the legacy of Ra’s al Ghul (Liam Neeson/Josh Pence) might be greater than he thought and Gotham and Batman may be doomed.


Batman…you’re criticizing me for talking funny?

Directed by Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises finishes out the trilogy of movies he planned beginning with Batman Begins (2005) and followed by The Dark Knight (2008).  The movie was met with mostly positive reviews though some early negative reviews garnered death threats from fans.  The opening was further marred by tragedy when a gunman calling himself the Joker attacked a midnight showing in Aurora, Colorado, killing and injuring a total of seventy viewers.  This set out a shockwave of negative publicity and renewed questions about movie violence, all tied to the film.

Trying to ignore the outside context while viewing The Dark Knight Rises is hard to do which is unfortunate.  I found myself constant questioning if it was ok to enjoy a movie that a tragedy is tied to…can you dislike or say “meh” about a movie that people lost their lives trying to see?  I have to say some of the beginning of the movie was quite dull.  Besides the initial attack from Bane on a plane, there isn’t much going on for the first thirty or forty minutes of the movie until Bruce Wayne decides to get his butt moving and do something.  This led to a weird pacing for the movie that did hinder it a bit.  While The Dark Knight kept moving with lots of action scenes, this was more of an acting movie until the last thirty to forty minutes which were quite a ride.


They’ve gone into the fourth level of dreaming!!! Oh I mean the hospital

The acting was strong.  Bales was good, not great as the broken Bruce Wayne who has become almost reclusive (then immediately bounces back from multiple problems to be a nearly flawless Batman again).  Michael Caine shined with strong acting especially considering he had some rather flowery dialogue to deliver, but he delivered it with class and didn’t over play it.  I felt no chemistry between Catwoman and Batman, though I did like how Catwoman’s costume design was more functional than simple ears and a mask.  Both Joseph Gordon Levitt and Cotillard continue to show why they are up-and-comers, but a subplot involving Gary Oldman and Matthew Modine as Deputy Commissioner Peter Foley kind of falls flat.  Tom Hardy as Bane really didn’t get to do much and just wasn’t as interesting as the Joker or Ra’s al Ghul.


I just thought my costume was a clever homage to the classic “cat-burglar” name…Don’t you like it “Batman”

*****Spoiler Alert***** The last part of the movie was quite good after a really, really slow start.  It was great to see Cillian Murphy return as Jonathan Crane even as a small cameo, but I did think they would reference the Joker or at least pay homage to him in some way.  Bane goes out like a chump and Cotillard’s big reveal as Talia al Ghul wasn’t that big of a shock since I had heard really, really early reports that Talia was in the film.  Levitt’s plot pans out well with a kind of lame tip of the hat to a possible Robin future and the movie ended as I expected with Alfred in Paris seeing Bruce with Selina (which I didn’t necessarily expect since I felt no chemistry, but they do share a background of wanting to escape).  The series feels pretty complete, though an obvious opening is there for more if they decide to ever come back.

The Dark Knight Rises is a strange movie.  It looks fantastic and really gets Batman’s darkness in a place that it isn’t too dark, but still realistically dark enough.  I enjoyed watching it but did find myself questioning how much longer it was going to go on at points.  The Dark Knight is a better movie, but I admire that this movie tried to end the Batman mythos in kind of a Dark Knight Returns way…let’s just hope that the movie is allowed to be complete as it is and they don’t pull a Dark Knight Strikes Back type of sequel that would ruin a good trilogy.

Related Links:

Batman (1989)

Batman Returns (1991)

Batman Begins (2005)

The Dark Knight (2008)

Batman:  The Dark Knight Returns—Part 1 (2012)

Batman:  The Dark Knight Returns—Part 2 (2013)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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