Seriously, I can't even find someone who will admit it was shit but they liked it anyway, everyone I meet genuinely considers this film to be brilliant. I just don't get it. They act completely mortified when I confess my sheer bemusement at the success of this movie. How could you have liked it? It was a Batman film without Batman in it.
Okay, he was in it, but not if you were blinking at the wrong time. Even though this is the third instalment of a Batman trilogy, the film still started with a huge build up and reveal of Batman, who you’ll all remember from the first two films! When Batman does finally show up he does nothing but ride around on a bike then escape in the new Batplane, for absolutely no reason whatsoever, other than distracting the cops from catching Bane, and I have no idea why he would want to do that. Then he disappears again, briefly poping his head in to get his arse kicked AGAIN, then he’s gone until the end of the movie. There were no really good Batman fights in this film, it should have been called Bruce Wayne: Retired Billionaire Rises. And before I go any further, I can't not talk about Bane.
I found the villain of the film was utterly unimpressive, and that’s without comparing him to previous bad guys of the series. When not totally inaudible, Bane sounds like Patrick Stewart doing an Elephant Man impression in an adjacent room. Not very threatening, just physically imposing, but then so was the Bane from Batman Forever. What's most frustrating about Bane is his motives. He saunters around the city boring his victims with sanctimonious speeches (or at least they were bored by the parts they could hear), with an ends to hold the city itself hostage, that'll show them... wait, that'll show who? It turns out he’s just a massive misdirect to draw attention from the real super scary bad guy… some lady.
And what are her motives? Same as the bad guy from the first film. Great. But it's these motives that make the fans of this film continually use the word "intelligent" when describing it. The previous films in the series, Begins and Dark Knight, had Batman fighting organised crime, corrupt cops and crazy people wanting to kill everyone. These are good ethics to have in a superhero movie, simple and relevant. You don’t have to smack audience over the head with it, or patronize them. Dark Knight Rises, by contrast, pushes a politically motivated slagging off of rich people, and isn't very subtle about it. Jumping firmly on the “fuck bankers, fuck Wall Street” band wagon, this film has secured its identity as an intelligent, thought provoking film. Yeah, just like saying “Fuck George Bush” made you intelligent and thought provoking a few years ago. I’m not saying I disagree with these messages, I’m just saying they don’t make you smart, and that they have no relevance in a Batman film. If you still think it was clever, here's a brake down of the film's political message: Unregulated Capitalism = Bad. Complete Anarchy = Also Bad. Conclusion = No Shit.
Continuity was another problem. It’s been a while, but I seem to remember Alfred welcoming Bruce Wayne back with open arms in Batman Begins, helping him create the whole Batman thing. Now he’s all like, “ I never wanted you to come back to Gothem, and the Batman thing is stupid. Why don’t just fuck off?” Personal conflict is good, but not at the expense of continuity. There were also too many, "well DUH!" moments in this movie. Bane’s weakness is his mask? Who’d have thunk it!? No wonder he’s so successful at being a badass mercenary, I mean, what are the odds that someone will punch him in the face? I mean, it’s a good thing Bruce Wayne isn’t a gadgets expert or anything. Seriously though, Batman actually had to be told this, he didn’t even figure it out himself. Also, when you keep saying there is no auto-pilot it becomes kind of obvious that there is one.
But I’ve kept the best for last. This is by far the most glaring problem with this movie, the thing that prevents me from overlooking all the other problems mentioned. The plot. It just didn't make sense. And before people say that I just didn’t understand the plot, believe me the plot isn’t very complicated, you’re not part of a special club just because you followed it. Here’s why it didn’t make sense:
It may seem like I'm nit picking here, but remember this is meant to be a realistic installment of Batman, a superhero in the real world, and this film was a complete farce. To conclude I have to quote a friend of mine who put it better then I could, "Batman: Dark Knight Rises is not a better sequel, it's back to the future part 3. It's return of the Jedi. It's the matrix revolutions."
p.s. It also ripped off the end of The Avengers.