Monday, August 13, 2012

A Reel Opinion: THE DARK KNIGHT RISES Followup

Christopher Nolan’s finale to his Batman trilogy, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, continued to bring in major moolah over the weekend. Its latest weekend box office haul brought its domestic take up to $390 million, good for 15th best all-time. Its worldwide total sits at an impressive $835 million.
Despite the impressive numbers, RISES has become a very divisive film amongst film buffs and superhero fans. Its total number of positive reviews come in under its vastly superior predecessor, THE DARK KNIGHT, with most complaints ranging from a complicated and clunky plot and many leaps in real-world logic. Comic-book purists (nerds) are upset over the villain, Bane, ultimately being diminished as a mere henchman. This Blogger’s Old Man expressed his dislike for the film by saying, “the movie was so bad even his butler walked out”.

The largest complaint, which is very legitimate, is that RISES is a much lesser film than its predecessor. Where THE DARK KNIGHT was very much a character study and crime drama, RISES forgoes any in-depth looks at the characters and instead piles on many layers of plot.
This Blogger sees many similarities between Nolan’s Batman trilogy of films and the original STAR WARS trilogy; First Movie: set the stage. Second Movie: all about character. Third Movie: big recap. The big recap for STAR WARS, RETURN OF THE JEDI, is often looked at as a letdown when compared to its two predecessors. But much like RISES, JEDI doesn’t need to delve into character and emotion because it’s already been done in the previous chapter. While RISES should be judged upon its own merits, it is only fair to also consider its place in the larger picture. RISES doesn’t match up to THE DARK KNIGHT because its purpose is to provide an ending; it is a film full of resolution. And as far as the comic-book purists (nerds) complaint over Bane goes; well, even Vader had a boss.

The other issues with THE DARK KNIGHT RISES involving too much plot, not enough Batman, and lack of real-world logic are legit, but certainly not enough to derail the entire movie. Nolan has always been the thinking-man’s director; never afraid to layer lots of story. There has always been a difference between real-world logic and movie-logic, and for the lack of screen time for the caped crusader; there are always two prior chapters to fall back on.
Trilogies are a tricky business. Again, the individual films should be able to stand on their own two feet, but the larger picture needs respect too.

What say you?

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