|Warner Bros. / DC|
Writer/director Christopher Nolan finally closed out his The Dark Knight trilogy in a manner that was reminiscent of Star Wars Episode 6: Return of the Jedi. Solid entertainment but with small issues preventing the film from being better than the previous two.
If you haven't seen the movie yet, come back and read this review afterwards since there are some spoilers about to be detailed.
Taking place approximately eight years after The Dark Knight, we see Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has hung up his cape and cowl for retirement and a cane since his body is so beaten up from his time as being Batman. Bale's performance is on par and his voice as Batman is much better than in the last flick.
However, a new threat arrives in Gotham in the form of Bane (Tom Hardy). Sadly, the moment you hear Bane's voice you struggle to understand every word he says for the remainder of the movie and this leads to cringing whenever Bane appears in a scene.
Bane can be best described as a Disney cartoon villain because of the over-acting in the tones of his voice and one of our own fans told us he sounds like a bad impersonation of Sean Connery. Haha. Seriously though, it was the worst part of the film and whatever accent was trying to be achieved just seemed too vague. Then there was the moment when he makes a comment on how the singing voice of a young boy is quite nice during the national anthem. C'mon now...Bane is a bad ass and shouldn't be saying things like this he should be brutal and kicking some major butt, which he does but the camera angles don't make him seem as powerful or intimidating as he should have been seen as.
Side note, what did the original voice of Bane sound like? It was said to have been re-dubbed after an early screening of the film several months ago and we'd love to hear that version as well. But we digress about Bane.
Selina Kyle (Anna Hathaway) was fantastic and when the end credits role you wish there was more focus on her since she pretty much steals every scene she is in. Kyle is cute and friendly at first but then when she gets caught stealing by Wayne she turns sassy, sexy and alluring. Especially with the way Hathaway changes the inflection in her voice. She did it the right way with her voice, Bane the wrong way.
Newcomer to this trilogy is police office/detective John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Right off the bat there is a major flaw with some dialogue exchanged between Blake and Wayne where Blake already knows Wayne is Batman—without Wayne ever telling Blake this. Something about how Wayne looked and Blake said he recognized that same look and put two-and-two together. Very weak though Gordon-Levitt's twist does come at the very end when Nolan leaves the door open for another installment by a director not named Chris Nolan. (If Warner Bros. and DC chooses to go that route or just reboot it altogether.)
Quick cameos by Dr. Jonathan Crane (Cillian Murphy) and Ra's al Ghul (Liam Nesson) were nice touches. While Alfred (Michael Cane), Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) and Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) each played strong supporting roles as well. Another newcomer to this trilogy, Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard), seriously seemed like she was still stuck in her past role as Mal in Nolan's last movie, Inception.
The story is what drives this film and Nolan is able to create closure using references to both of his previous Batman films. It could have been cut shorter by about 15-20 minutes since there are a few useless scenes. Most notable the entire football stadium scene which could have been done without and it literally slowed down the film to a near complete stop. Bane's speech during this scene—if you could understand anything he said—could have been a voice-over speech done while showing the explosions across Gotham instead.
The twist at the end is typical Nolan-like but outside of that, this movie didn't really feel like a Nolan film compared to his past filmography. (And this is coming from a big Nolanite fan boy too.)
Overall, this is still a fantastically written movie with some solid action but this movie will never be considered great since it has its fair share of flaws which prevent it from being better than Batman Begins and/or The Dark Knight.
8 out of 10.
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