Why ‘Rises’ IS as good as The Dark Knight. (Spoilers)


The question pondered by every fan since the announcement of the third Dark Knight film was, how is Mr. Nolan going to equal TDK? It was sooooo good that the only hopeful expectation was that somehow he could; for me I think Nolan has equalled it, and in many aspects, bettered it.

Here’s why:

  • It would have been unbelievable for Nolan to have given us a villain as absorbing as The Joker, but Bane is more essential in providing the catalyst for Batman’s rise, perhaps not as good (bad) a villain as Ledger’s but he’s a different animal altogether. The biggest criticism made of Bane is the voice, but on second viewing it’s much easier to tune to and his physicality gives us brilliant street brawls and action that The Joker can’t and a later seen humanity that is a true surprise.
  • Setting Gotham back to ‘Year One’ was an exceptional way of putting the city at the heart of the story and come full circle to fulfilling The League of Shadow’s mission. It’s desperately deep stuff and another catalyst for Batman’s rise as the only saviour of the city, again putting him in a pivotal position where everything depended on his return. The explosive bridge destruction and city wide devastation in the bomb sequence is as good as any episode in all three movies.
  • There is a lot to take in on one viewing alone and the many subplots and turns really create an immense undercurrent of a functioning city with many significant secondary characters all involved. How Nolan continues on from TDK by threading these plots beneath what is going on in front is a true marvel, it may seem irrelevant and confusing, but it creates a real world, making Gotham the brilliant stage.
  • Nolan not only manages to tie up the loose ends of plot launched in TDKR but goes full circle to complete the threads left loosened right back in Begins, that is exceptional story telling.
  • The cat (woman) is an outstanding villain and not just a secondary baddie, a perfect foil for Bane and Hatthaway plays it to purrfection, equally deadly as she is mysterious.
  • TDKR is even bigger and epic than TDK, bigger themes, greater peril and even bigger action. The story is also taken further afield, telling even more back story of old and new characters. Every second of its 2 hours 45 minutes is taken up.
  • The end is perfect and it’s very hard to envisage a better end. It’s emotional and fitting, with superb twists and genuine peril. For a minute there it has you believing that it is truly the end and the Inception ending is satisfying and emotional; and even with much revealed and given to the audience, you can still very much decide for yourself what it all truly means.
  • TDKR is far more emotional; Alfred’s tears, Bruce’s tears, Alfred’s wish for Bruce’s future. Batman’s first fight with Bane is uncomfortable to watch and very foreboding, knowing it is not going to end well is chilling and the ripped cowl is very symbolic.
  • Greater peril, The Bat broken; as soon as that gate comes down in Bane’s lair you know it’s not going to end well, Gotham’s reckoning, knowing that the bomb IS going to go off, no matter what with no sweating, standard last second reprieve.
  • Ever since the promise of Tim Burton’s dark vision for Batman we have been waiting for it but never quite got, this is dark in tone, theme and direction and feels like the Batman movie we have always been waiting for.
  • The consuming duality of Batman and Bruce Wayne is told for real. Bruce cannot seemingly ever live a life beyond Batman and the human weaknesses of Wayne, limiting what Batman can achieve. Bruce commented in TDK, that he could never afford to know Batman’s limitations, here he finds out.
  • TDK was shockingly good and took heroes movies to a level never seen before, it’s difficult for TDKR to have that same impact, but watch twice, watch three times and it could be argued that TDKR is richer, bigger and more epic.

I have watched TDKR twice now and I genuinely think it’s as good as TDK, Ledger’s Joker made it even better and is the most memorable aspect, and TDKR does lack the dark humour he provided, but TDKR is often better in most comparable areas and its story is more complex and convoluted, but Nolan in the end ties it up superbly to complete a perfect Dark Knight trilogy.

That’s all I ever wanted, thank you Mr. Nolan!

What do you think?

6 responses to “Why ‘Rises’ IS as good as The Dark Knight. (Spoilers)

  1. I agree with every word you wrote. Wow! And about Bane – I felt like the first two villains were pushing insane, what with how creepy the Scarecrow was (loved his cameo:) and then how obviously psychopathic the Joker was. Bane was a perfect villain in that his motives were understandable, and he wasn’t completely evil, because he was willing to protect a child’s life. It was the world that made him into a villain, versus the first two films, where the villains were just that way from the start. Bane was more tragic, and therefore more interesting.

    • Thanks Livi, i really think TDKR has left an impression on me long after seeing it, twice now, so much so i want to see it again. how many near 3 hour movies can do that. Bane is completely tragic and perhaps deeper given that The Joker is more than content to be evil, Bane doesnt want to be evil. it is better than TDK in many ways which is a remarkable achievement, and definitely more emotional.

  2. I know, I want to go see it again and I’ve seen it twice too. It doesn’t feel like 3 hours at all – every second is meaningful, and that’s even more than LOTR could do for me! And I went into the theater with kind of shaky expectations, maybe because the marketing for this film has been terrible, but looking back, that might be a good thing, because then my mind was even more blown by DKR:) Everything about it is perfect, from the AWESOME soundtrack to the script to the casting – I think it’s going in my top five, and it’s pushing #1! I noticed you didn’t have any of the Batmans in your top 10…is that going to change (maybe;) ?

  3. I agree with almost everything you wrote, but I still like TDK better. Ledger’s performance might be the best portrayal of a supervillain in history. Tom Hardy is a fantastic Bane, and I love his character. But he can’t top The Joker. And while TDKR has more action and epicness (which I love), TDK has more subtle understated drama driven home less by its sights and more by its foreboding score (which I sometimes love more). Both are not only perfect superhero movies but great cinematic achievements overall, but I can’t let doen The Dark Knight on this one. Great points though!

    • Thanks again Logan, it’s been a while since I wrote this and I have slightly reduced my liking for TDKR, only a little though. TDKR is far more perilous but TDK makes its statement like no other hero movie, it still stands as the best, unquestionably. Great movies, full stop! always nice to hear from a fellow fan 😉

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