Re-View: The Dark Knight Rises | On Demand
We take a second look at Christopher Nolan’s trilogy-capping epic.
Our first look "After a wobbly start, The Dark Knight Rises ascends in grand fashion, offering a respite from the digital murk and rote name-checking of the season’s other comic-book movies."
Another view Once a promising purveyor of cerebral genre fare (Memento, The Prestige), Christopher Nolan has gradually allowed his talents as a storyteller to be consumed by his addiction to spectacle. The concluding chapter of his Batman trilogy is all crescendo with few grace notes—a noisy, busy, overlong, sporadically awe-inspiring but mostly just exhausting exercise in blockbuster excess. There are too many characters, too many speeches and far too many attempts to invest this comic-book comeback story with topical political import. Go in expecting fleet entertainment—or even the nihilistic thrills of the director’s vastly superior The Dark Knight—and you’ll leave feeling as pummeled as Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) after his first encounter with the baritone-voiced Bane (Tom Hardy).
It’s tempting, given the dearth of true visionaries working in Nolan’s budget bracket, to praise the film for its scope and ambition alone. Yet the most impressive sequences, including an early car chase and Bane’s destruction of a football field, lose much of their grandeur when shrunk down to home-viewing size. You’re left to dwell on what’s lacking—not just a rival as captivating as Heath Ledger’s Joker, but also an element of human personality to offset all this grim seriousness. (Anne Hathaway provides a few welcome doses of levity, but her Catwoman seems to have slunk in from a different, much more playful caped-crusader movie.) Perhaps Nolan should have taken a cue from his predecessors, Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher, and called it quits after two turns at Bat. Stay in Gotham City too long and you start behaving like a super-villain: blowing things up for the hell of it, just to watch the world you’ve built burn. (Available on VOD, DVD and Blu-ray Tue 4.)