On 'The Dark Knight Rises'

I just returned home from watching The Dark Knight Rises, the completion to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. I had hoped, even though time and again I’m shown that the third act of a trilogy never lives up to expectations, that this time would be different.

Oops.

Christopher Nolan disappointed us in his usual manner, with a series of non-sequiturs and instances of disregard for the linear nature of time which, when glossed over for the sake of enjoying the action, provide an otherwise thrilling experience. He certainly did not fail to live up to his reputation. However, I’m more than a little disappointed by the script’s disrespect for the art of storytelling.

After the first two films, and knowing that you’re seeing a movie about a man dressed as a bat, any audience member would be comfortable with a healthy amount of camp, cliché, and cheese. The dialogue tawdrily tip-toed around the issues of these realities with such awkwardness that not even the superb acting of Nolan’s Band of Merry Men could make sound anything but self-aware.

Not only was the dialogued spoiled by maladroit exchanges between the characters, but the script (and film’s editing) left almost nothing to the imagination. Batman Begins used subtlety and innuendo to deftly narrate a fantastic origin story. Contrast that with The Dark Knight Rises, which refuses to take the chance that any member of the audience might miss out on even the slightest of allusions.

In short, I think I would enjoy seeing this film again, but I would have to suspend all belief that this story could plausibly be possible; it is a far cry from the compelling story-telling we saw in Acts I and II.


Posted on August 7, 2012