This review is certified spoiler-free by the Anti-Spoiler Certification Society of America. It is also completely free of political subtext. For a discussion of the politics of The Dark Knight Rises please visit our sister site, Camp Campaign.
The Dark Knight Rises is a nearly perfect comic book movie. It stays true to the source material in all the ways that matter but manages to surprise you just when you think you’ve seen it all before. Comic book fans will love this conclusion to Christopher Nolan‘s epic Batman trilogy. Even if you’ve never picked up a Batman comic, there is still a whole lot to love for fans of action films.
The Dark Knight Rises has a tremendous sense of its own history. The film went a long way to blend in elements of the first two films to form one comprehensive story. The continuity never felt forced or tacked on. It just flowed smoothly from the opening of Batman Begins through the downer ending of The Dark Knight right into the logical and satisfying conclusion of The Dark Knight Rises.
There’s a lot happening in this film. There are a number of new and returning characters to keep track of. There are even a couple of pleasant surprises in that department, but I’ll say no more on the subject.
Clocking in at a hearty 165 minutes, the movie is paced exactly right. When that moment came and it was clear that the climax was fast approaching, I actually felt a twinge of regret that the end would arrive all too soon. The characterization, the plot, the action – everything about this movie works.
And for those of you interested in such things – there is no tag scene after the credits. You can safely get up and head for the bathroom as soon as the movie is over.
If you are saddened that Christopher Nolan is leaving the Batman films, a trailer running before the film should give you some solace. His next project is a little something called The Man of Steel, due out in Summer 2013. The man who fixed Batman will try to erase the bad taste left from Superman Returns.