The Dark Knight Rises: Excruciatingly Boring

I don’t sit well with Batman fans, I know.  Specifically, the Batman according to Nolan.  So glad, this trilogy is finally over.  Sandwiched between Cynthia and TK in the cinema, I had to stay entertained.  The girl sitting beside Cynthia was playing with her wireless phone throughout the 165 minutes show.  I can totally relate.

This show is boring.  My brain bled in utter boredom.  It is hard to stay spoiler free for a not so positive write-up.  Hence, if you are planning to watch The Dark Knight Rises, read no further.  Chances are you will thoroughly enjoy the movie.  Many do, especially when you love the previous Nolan installments.  The aggregated score for this movie is very high, which I struggle to understand why.  But that is just me.

This movie is called The Dark Knight Rises.  I want to see Batman in action.  Majority of the film has nothing to do with Batman.  If it was up to me, I would rename this film to Bane: Power to the People.  For most part of the movie, I see the villain Bane way more than I see anyone else on screen.  The fear and destruction Bane has laid upon Gotham City.  The long and emotional speech Bane gave, which I wish Batman could have had a similar opportunity.  Screamed in my head I did: “Shut up! I want to see Batman!”  I get it. Batman franchise is always about the villains.  Like Joker and Two-Face.  Bane gives me nothing.  He is a fat and buffed man that seems to punch hard (reminds me of Butcher in Diablo 3).  He has a strange mask over his face that synthesizes his voice in a hollow and an unrealistic way.  He commands a terrorist network.  Gotham City has to be destroyed, once again.  With a mask covering his mouth (how does he eat or drink anyway?) and that computerized voice, I find it hard to connect to the character.  His weakness?  The mask over his teeth.  It takes Batman 165 minutes to figure that out.  Oh God.

The chemistry between Bruce Wayne or Batman and his potential love interests is terrible.  For no reason or whatsoever, Bruce is in bed with Miranda played by the beautiful French actress Marion Cotillard.  Since when Bruce Wayne is into one night stand?  No courtship, no relationship development thereafter.  It is the finding of solace, and then business.  Heroes wearing masks to protect those they love.  Who is Bruce Wayne trying to protect?  I was in joy when I heard that Anne Hathaway plays the Catwoman (actually not officially mentioned as one even though the costume has suggested so) or rather Selina Kyle the cat burglar.  There is no transformation on Selina Kyle.  No background story on her becoming a cat burglar, except she is doing it for the people or to erase her past or a bit of both.  The drama between Batman and Catwoman is a tease.  The relationship could have been so much more.  What about Catwoman is the reason for Batman’s comeback and it follows through?  In the end, it is reduced to two big kisses (I think), from Catwoman to Batman.  What a huge disappointment.  Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman still holds a special place in my heart.  Sadly, Anne Hathaway is likely to be one of the two reasons why I can tolerate The Dark Knight Rises.

There is something tragic about The Dark Knight Rises.  The background story of Bane’s younger day, Miranda’s childhood, and even the story of Ra’s al Ghul has a much better potential than this Batman story.  It touches my emotional core so much so that I could weep on that.  I wish there will be a spinoff like the Scorpion King story from the Mummy.  Too much of this movie is focused on the plan to destroy Gotham City.  Too little has been told about such a potential powerful story of Ra’s al Ghul and his heir.

To say that Batman is missing in action most of the film is also not entirely correct.  First part of the story, we see a crippled Batman in retirement.  Doctor has already told him that his body can no longer take all the physical punishment.  His joints are giving way due to years of beating.  Bruce could hardly walk!  Yet, donning the Batman suit with an artificial kneel assist device, Batman is out to take on Bane.  And he failed.  For a good part of the movie, Bruce was stuck inside a prison cell.  Sure, fans would want to see the comeback of Batman.  The so-called transformation through training and willpower can be motivating.  But have we not seen this sort of plot time and time again?  Miraculously, Bruce’s body is totally healed inside a prison cell where he should have died of malnutrition.  He is even strong enough to punch Bane to his face, this time with better precision and power.  Yet, what kills Bane is something else.

There is this one scene when the truck carrying an atomic bomb fell down a bridge.  Maybe a four stories fall.  The young one seated at the front of the truck trained by the legendary Ra’s al Ghul could not survive the fall while an old man inside the cargo area at the back next to the bomb could.  Mind you, this old man was supposed to recuperate in a hospital.  He got out the back of the truck OK.  No bruise no shock, it was a miracle.  I was like: Huh?!

TK reminded me that this is a fantasy story and I should not read too much into it.  Perhaps I should have switched my brain off for this 165 minutes movie.  Logic glitches aside, I find that the ending sequence very exciting and satisfying.  I wish the filmmakers show more civilians in the last part of the movie rather than a school bus full of children.  Batman has saved a lot of people.  It doesn’t appear so.  To sum up, I love the ending; I love the Bat-bike and the Bat-plane.  The bike is so hot.  Having Catwoman on it makes it even hotter.  The rest is a yawn.

Will I watch another Batman movie?  Why not, since TK and Cynthia are such huge fans.  There is always hope for a better reboot.  The Amazing Batman perhaps?


  1. 3 hours of senseless violence. Trying to recount the clichés: the villain is actually a hero, the little boy was actually a little girl with short hair, the bomb with a timer, the token black man, a montage, a schoolbus full of children who need to be saved, and my favorite: which one of these three barely secured trucks holds the real atomic bomb that will kill everyone within 6 miles? Oh not that one you silly goose!

    I liked the first two films okay but this one was just too ambitious – too many characters… I thought “oh – are we still going on about this character?” way too many times. I wasn’t moved at all by the end. I almost wanted to laugh at Michael Caine while he was crying; I just had zero emotional investment in this movie because it has no heart, just loads of (bloodless) violence and uh, doominess.

  2. Thanks for the reviews… I just want to tell that your comments really made me happy… Than the movie… Movie with no action and I lost my patience after 100 th min… But all reviews saying that this is the best movie.. Quality is there… At the end…. At the end one bike and plane….

    1. Vjdj – And likewise, thanks for your comment. You too have made my day!

      I had no idea that quite a few of you could relate to what I write here.

  3. Thanks for having the guts to post a proper, honest review. I went to the cinema with some good friends and had medium expectations to the film as I enjoyed the last film but hated the first one (of this particular trilogy)
    I can´t even remember the last time I´ve been so bored at the cinema. All around me I saw people playing on their cellphones and checking their watches and some people I noticed were missing after about 90 minutes (in retrospect, I whish I had also walked out)
    Best I can say about this movie is that the special effects are at least kind of OK.

    I´ll enjoy sending some of my friends a link to your review as proof that I am not the only one who didn´t enjoy that film


    1. Dadilius – And thank you for sharing my post with your friends!

      Yes, I hesitated for quite a bit to whether or not write something rather negative here because I often share good stuffs here. But I suppose I have to keep it real so here we are.

  4. Glad I found this – everybody was raving about this movie, finally got round to seeing it. While 2 wasn’t perfect, it was infinitely better than this load: The Dark Knight actually had him running around kicking butt, y’know, LIKE BATMAN DOES. You’re absolutely right –
    this may as well had not been a Batman movie.

    1. Huw – Good to hear that you are not hating this entry! I know some do. Cuz they really love this show.

      I suppose for every art form, there is always a diverse in opinions. Glad to hear that we are in agreement 🙂

  5. This article pretty much summed up my feelings on the latest Batman movie trilogy. It could have been much better but maybe Nolan did all he could to satisfy the expectations of moviegoers, comic book fans, while trying to stay true to the creator’s vision of the series. I really wanted Alfred to stop QQing throughout the whole movie nagging Bruce Wayne (Batman) to take it easy. Gosh Alfred just pack it in already. Seemed like a mid-afternoon soap opera on CBS and not a blockbuster movie it was supposed to be.

  6. oh my goodness this movie dragged on forever. I;ve never seen so much lazy expository monologues or unnecessary call-backs OR random thematic bridges before in one movie before. SOOOO many unnecessary “remember this from the other movie?!” enducing moments to the point where it’s cheap

    1. and please forgive the grammatical errors and typos…apparently I should have proof read this before submitting it

  7. Man, this movie was such a snorefest ! What was the director thinking ? I sometimes compare Inception with TDKR and realise that both movies are so poles apart ! Such a huge disappointment and with the craze people have been displaying on social networking sites, I was like ‘Are you freaking kiddding me ?’ The movie isn’t that awesome. To be honest it is not at all awesome. And frankly speaking worse that the Sam Raimi’s Spiderman 3.

    1. Rupesh – I am glad to hear that! Unfortunately, we are the minority because through the social media network, everyone seems to adore this franchise. I really don’t get this director at all. It is a snorefest. Not even entertaining.

  8. I am glad that you said it. I thought this was easily the worst of the Nolan movies and I generally like Nolan’s previous works. This was overwrought, full of logical impossibilities that insulted the viewers’ intelligence and much much more.

    The dialogue was pretty poor too.

    1. Shyue Chou, glad that we are on the same page! The reviewers seem to love this one though. I guess it is one of those movies that you either love it or hate it.

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