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For “Batman” devotees, if you have not seen it, you must. For the rest of the movie-going crowd be forewarned that it is bleak and massively “dark”; possibly because director Christopher Nolan was astute enough to throw in a heavy dose of reality; daily, we witness the fanatics, armed with nuclear might, threaten world security.

Christian Bale is “Bruce Wayne” (“Batman”) suffering from agoraphobia, who can fault him after the vicissitudes he experienced in “The Dark Night”. He is cared for by the ubiquitous, faithful “Alfred” (another seasoned performance by Michael Caine); is forced back to the battlefield, as protector, savior of Gotham from the menace of profound annihilation, perpetrated by a demon, an amoral psychopath “Bane” (Tom Hardy) whose face is disguised by a grid resembling a radiator; his voice imbued with the tenor of someone trapped in the bowels of a colossal cave; he was unsatisfying as the horrifying nemesis, the “bane” of Batman’s and Gotham’s survival.

The film serves gargantuan portions of death, destruction and mayhem; gore enhanced by digitization; viewers lampooned by one gruesome demise after another. Blackness alleviated by the electric levity of “Catwoman”; Anne Hathaway, with quirky panache, gracefully fells the vilest of deviates; with a ballerina’s finesse she leaps, flies, laughs as she defies gravity, crumbling buildings, searing pyrotechnics;  her immortal feats, a homage to a cat’s nine lives.

Minor roles are worthy of mentioning: Joseph Gordon-Levitt is “John Blake” (“Robin”) a young police officer, with incredible perspicacity comes to the aid of Batman; Marion Cotillard, “Miranda” Batman’s love interest, a philanthropist with an untoward agenda; Gary Oldman, soulful, diminished Police Commissioner “Jim Gordon”; Morgan Freeman with his iconic voice is “Lucius Fox”, the wizard behind disabling the fiendish. A teaser: Cillian Murphy has a cameo role; hint, not a trace of his Irish accent can be detected.

The last half hour shines; if you have paid the price, stay; compensates for the mental straying one does to shake the gravitas, suffocating gloom, relentlessly crushing hope. In hindsight “The Dark Knight Rises” should have been titled, “The Dark Night Rises”, and never brightens.

TWO & 1/2 STARS!!

For Now………….Peneflix


  1. Dear Penelope,

    Yes the last half hour was refreshing after the completely uninspired drudgery of the first 2 (or was it 5 hours). It felt like ground already too well covered, and you are absolutely right, the villan was disappointingly ordinary. The highlight of the film was the delightful Catwoman, as you point out. And (with due repect to the tragedy in Colorado) the best moment and line in the film was Catwoman’s dispatching of the lead bad guy with a motorcycle rocket, saying (paraphrasing) “I don’t quite buy into all your ‘no guns’ stuff…”
    The film’s internal logic failed to hold in the climatic battle scene where Batman dispatched the armored vehicle but allowed the bedraggled police to pit handguns against
    automatic weapons in a fight against atomic destruction. And for a formidable creature such as the Batman, the prison and its beckoning escape route was extraordinarily uninterstingly filmed. Gordon-Levitt and Cotillard were equally magnetic and interesting –
    leaving Wayne as the most forgettable actor. Strange, just having seen him in a RIVETING performance in the Machinist!
    I remain a huge fan of Nolan based on MEMENTO and large parts of INCEPTION, but not this. I will say the film did expose the fragility of our society and its infrastructure, but that has been explicated elsewhere. And my gods, the people of New York must be exhausted from seeing their city destroyed yet again….
    I would rule it NC 17, …. no one over 17 admitted.

  2. I went to see the film in an afternoon and in an uncrowded theatre. Some of the horrendous mayhem in the film was a reminder of what happened last week in Colorado. It was a very uncomfortable reminder of terrorism and the threat we all live under ……Did batman escape or was it a figment of the butler’s imagination. will Robin emerge….

    stay tuned!!!!!

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