The Dark Knight Rises has no chance of living up to your expectations

As American audiences prepare to catch a midnight showing of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (read our review by clicking the link) tonight, or sometime over the weekend, I feel compelled to remind people that the film has no chance of living up to the crazy expectations most fans have.  In truth, from the moment the credits rolled on THE DARK KNIGHT, expectations were so high for the third Batman film that it was already fighting an uphill battle and they hadn’t even come up with an idea for the script yet.  If you go into your screening with the expectation that it will be better than THE DARK KNIGHT, you’re going to be disappointed.

The Dark Knight Rises, starring Tom Hardy and Christian Bale

With critics’ reviews popping up around the internet this week and the insane reactions some of the more negative reviews have received, I think the world needs to take a step back and take a deep breath.  Don’t go into THE DARK KNIGHT RISES thinking it’s going to be the greatest film ever made, or even the greatest superhero film ever made.  It’s unfair to Christopher Nolan and it’s unfair to yourself.  While we’re talking about fan reactions to critics, I feel compelled to remind everyone that THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is just a movie and nothing more.  It’s the vision of a particular character from a team of filmmakers.  Threatening the lives of critics that don’t agree with you is so far beyond asinine that it’s hard for me to comprehend the very notion.  And to add in the fact that the crazed fans haven’t even seen the movie makes it all the more unbelievable.

Christian Bale in The Dark Knight Rises

Judge the film for what it is; it’s the end of the story.  By their very nature, the third film in a true trilogy is usually the worst.  Using the original Star Wars trilogy and Godfather trilogy as examples, the films couldn’t live up to the promise of the second films in the series because there’s no longer any hope.  By the third film, the heroes have either won or lost and their stories have come to a close.  The problem is that not everyone is going to agree on how their favorite characters should end and without the promise of another sequel, the hope for a different outcome is gone.  THE GODFATHER PART 2, EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and THE DARK KNIGHT are so spectacular because their characters have already been developed and they end with many questions still left to be answered.  The third films don’t have that luxury.  There’s something definitive about ending a story and comparing the end film to the middle film isn’t always a fair comparison.  Remember that Christopher Nolan and his team were faced with the daunting task of ending the story of a very beloved character.  Like it or hate it, this is the ending they chose, so just appreciate what you’ve been given.

Christopher Nolan on set of The Dark Knight Rises

That doesn’t mean the film is a disappointment, it just means it’s the end.  So when you go out to see THE DARK KNIGHT RISES this weekend, keep that in mind and enjoy the film for what it is; the ending to what will probably go down as the greatest superhero trilogy of all time.

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