I came out with slight disappointment after watching DKR for I had huge expectations from Nolan after an exceptional TDK.
I am huge fan of first two installment of Batman Trilogy and I liked DKR. It's a good movie but it could have been much better.
So rather than discussing its merit, which are many, I am pointing out its shortcomings.
It's the weaker than other movies of trilogy and simple reason being it lacks strong characters. DKR is all about storytelling – just like Nolan's Inception but not as efficient. And in doing so it fails where Batman Begins and The Dark Knight had succeeded.
Batman Begins was all about fear, doubt, self-realization and redemption where Bruce Wayne discovers his destiny as Batman. BB had a story arc which set background for main characters – Batman/ Wayne, Ra's al Ghul, Gordon (to some extent) and most importantly Gothom City and hence set stage for a fitting climax.
The Dark Knight explores the theme of chaos, morality and belief effortlessly and establishes characters of Joker, Harvey Dent/Two Face, Rachel etc. so effortlessly that people choose to ignore even some major plot holes. Heath Ledger's interpretation of Joker was so mesmerizing that it single handily carried TDK to path of greatness/ critical acclaim.
But Dark Knight Rises is all about story telling – efficient but not exceptional. Bane, Miranda Tate, John Blake, Peter Folly (Deputy Commissioner), Selina Kyle – characters are introduced but never explored/ expanded - they just start working on their part - just like cogs in the wheel. They are not so much part of the story itself but just the agents which move the story forward.
Bane's character is dull and single dimensional and do not evoke any fear or awe. He's meticulous, intelligent and strong and this is established quickly in movie but after that he slumps into a just another movie villain. Taila / Miranda character is never fully explored. Even Wayne/Batman is devoid of any emotions in this one and he feels so sure of himself that I start wondering if it's the same Batman that I saw in first two installments. Only new character which had some shades was that of Selina Kyle and Anne Hathaway did justice to it. Add to that helplessness of Alfred portrayed superbly by Caine. Other actors are good but there's not much for them to do.
There's no dilemma,doubt, love, choices, moral battles, hope, even no chaos/fear- things which make characters and plot interesting ( at least for me) and which made Batman Begins and The Dark Knight really good movies. Even the theme of "Occupy Wallstreet" is very weak and at best it's closer to London riots with its loot and arsoning. There's even perfect order in Bane's revolution. Movie moves effortlessly from one plot to another and to climax that it become at times predictable.
But maybe Dark Knight Rises was supposed to be like that only and Nolan had too much to deal with in 2.5 hours. And maybe that's the main problem with DKR – too much is going on in the story that it seems crammed at times. And when there are too many characters and so many story arcs and it's tough to do justice to characters and story telling at the same time. And this is when you start looking for plot holes, slackness, predictability et al.
Such as Bane's plan –cement/explosive, Wayne- Miranda's romance, Blake guessing Wayne's personality, Miranda-Talia twist, Batman doing Angels & Demons stunt,Batman's escape from death, Blake as Robin (LOL) and Alfred in last scene.
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All movies have a style which depends on story and its story teller. And there' no point of comparing different styles, say that of Starwars, Godfather, Transformers or story tellers say Tarantino, Cameron etc. Whatever maybe the style, good movies play to its strengths – story/screenplay, characters, style, pace or all. Try to recall some good movies and think what you like the most.
Dark Knight Rises have a good story but lacks strong characters and relies Inception's style which incidentally differs from style of first two installments of Batman Trilogy.
And for me, soul of Nolan's Batman Series is its strong characters, their underlying emotions and a theme which is much deeper and meaningful than all fight, gadgetry and style. And this is where DKR fails.
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