The Dark Knight Rises Blu-ray Review
When the world was introduced to Heath Ledger’s Joker in THE DARK KNIGHT, it was hard to imagine that Batman would ever have to face a villain as sinister and dedicated to his cause. Then this past year audiences became familiar with Bane (Tom Hardy), a truly bone-chilling bad guy that gave Batman the physical challenge that was lacking with The Joker. With such a character on screen it’s hard to imagine that THE DARK KNIGHT RISES isn’t the strongest film in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy, but as good as it is, there are enough problems that it just doesn’t live up to the high standard Nolan set with his previous two films.
It has been eight years since Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has donned the Batsuit and protected the streets of Gotham. After Rachel’s death in THE DARK KNIGHT and the physical toll being Batman has taken on him, he just didn’t feel up to the task of protecting Gotham. Unfortunately, a new villain has come to town to make not only Batman pay for his past sins, but will take the entire city of Gotham down in his wake.
Even though THE DARK KNIGHT RISES was a very good film, there were some problems that have not gone unnoticed. Let’s not get into the small plot holes like why Bruce Wayne was practically unable to walk in the first thirty minutes of the film and then made a miraculous recovery and was able to fight crime again, that’s just one of those things you have to believe when you watch a film like this. The biggest problem is with the pacing. At points during the film it felt like we were dragging our feet waiting for the next scene. Considering the plot wasn’t overly complicated, it seemed like Christopher Nolan really took his sweet time unraveling this final part of the story. By this time, the characters have been established and we understand what drives Bruce Wayne, Alfred, Commissioner Gordon and Lucius who they are.
Due to the story surrounding the vengeance that Bane was wanting to inflict on Batman and Gotham, the audience was left with only a small amount of character development. That wouldn’t be a big deal in most films, but THE DARK KNIGHT RISES had some fantastic characters that most audiences would have welcomed deeper back stories on. Aside from a more detailed origin story for Bane, what about Selina Kyle/Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) or John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt)? Though these characters were fantastic additions to the film, they were almost unnecessary to the plot. Catwoman did help Batman in a jam or two, but she could have easily been written out and the story wouldn’t have changed much. Same with John Blake, if we didn’t have a big reveal at the end, would you have missed another Gotham City cop?
Even though there were some flaws with THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, I still think it was one of the better films of 2012 and definitely superior to other superhero films out there. Part of the problem with THE DARK KNGHT RISES was that it received too much hype which may have put a damper on the film in general. In a few years when the details of this past summer dies down and I sit back to have a Batman marathon, I’ll probably appreciate Christopher Nolan’s final installment more. Until then, I’m left with a slightly less than satisfied taste in my mouth.
Video: A fantastic video transfer that makes you feel like you’re back in the theater. Warner Bros. really does a nice job with the transfer of the Batman films and I can’t help but think Christopher Nolan has a hand in that.
Audio: The audio sounds just as good in a home theater as it did in IMAX.
Production (68:02): A collection of featurettes where Christopher Nolan, cast and crew delve into various scenes from the film and discuss the process behind putting them on screen. This is a must watch for fans of the franchise.
Characters (27:59): This contains three more mini-featurettes that discuss the characters of Bruce Wayne, Bane and Selina Kyle. A nice addition and another must see for fans.
Reflections (14:58): Two more mini-featurettes that focus on the cinematography and lighting as well as the production team and filmmakers giving their fond farewell to the franchise.
The Batmobile (58:01): An extremely interesting feature about the history and evolution of the Batmobile throughout the years. Every Batman fan should watch this.
Trailer Archive: All four theatrical trailers