To give you a background on my Batman knowledge, I've never been a fan of comic books in general, but have been a fan of the Batman series on TV/Film. He's probably my favorite comic book hero because of the dark qualities he inhibits. Give me a dark hero any day of the week. I loved the Michael Keaton Batman's and the first two from the Nolan series. That's pretty much my background.
Maybe I'm in the minority, but I thought Dark Knight Rises was good, yet kind of disappointing. I don't know if I was expecting too much or maybe following the awesome spectacle of Dark Knight was too much to ask for, but there were just some things that really disappointed me. Sure, it will probably go down as the greatest trilogy in movie history, but truth be told, trilogies usually suck and the competition is kind of lacking for superiority.
I just felt rushed in some elements and to call this a masterpiece or to compare it to Dark Knight is quite a stretch. I know, there are hardcore fans of the series who would have still marveled at Nolan's filmmaking prowess if Bane took his mask off to reveal he was Arnold Schwarzenegger or that Batman's suit had nipples on it, but it just could have been better.
Few good things first...
*I thought Bane was awesome. Yes, I know the legend of the comic book and what not, but this incarnation was pretty fricken awesome. He was sinister, had great dialog and pretty much kicked ass. He was sweet and I wouldn't want to be in a arm wrestling contest with him.
*Action was great as usual. Nolan knows how to do action scenes that are built on anticipation. Anyone can blow up things and make a punch here and there, but you have to really build the anticipation through music scoring and just emotional moments leading up to the climaxes.
*The Bane/Batman fight scenes were well done. Violent and painful. Seriously, it felt like an old school fight you'd see in action movies without guys pulling punches. Probably the best 1-on-1 confrontations for the series in terms of fights.
Now what disappointed...
*I've always been a super fan of the dynamic between Catwoman/Batman. I think it is probably one of my favorite story lines in comic book movie folklore. It's crazy love mixed in with violence. It consists of Catwoman always being a cold-hearted bitch with a mix of passive/aggressiveness towards Batman, while he tries to win her heart. I thought Anne Hathaway was hot and kicked ass in the violence department, but it felt like they just threw her in the movie. I didn't feel that crazy love dynamic with her and Batman. Sure, she betrayed him, but I just didn't feel anything towards her and him. There was no Batman trying to help her turn away from her demons while she rebuffed his affections, instead, she just turned good and had sympathy towards him for no reason really. I don't know. Did they even have a fight scene against each other? How can Batman and Catwoman not fight against each other? It felt like someone from Warner Bros. just told Nolan to put Catwomen in the movie because Bane has never really been regarded as a big time villain of Batman unless you read the comics. It just felt lame. I guess if you were counting on their story to be a huge focal point -which I was- you were probably disappointed with them.
*Who the hell was the girl Bruce Wayne slept with you? Yeah, I know. She was Ra Al Ghul's daughter and she betrayed him at the end, but they made no effort in explaining why Bruce liked her to begin with. She just showed up and it was like "Hey, I haven't gotten laid in 7 years because I've been in the attic, so you wanna hook up?" It was just stupid. Too many chicks and love interests at this point. If Catwoman is in a Batman movie, there is no need to have another girl in it. Period.
*Has Alfred stopped crying yet? Gees. That's all he did in this movie.
*The Robin reveal would have probably been a little more cooler for me, except I saw it coming from a mile away at about the first 30 seconds he came on the screen and explained to Bruce how his parents were killed.
How I would have changed it (And please, spare with "This is an instant classic! Leave it alone," I'm just having fun)....
*I would have killed off Ra Al Ghul's daughter. As I said, too many girls in this movie. Maybe Catwoman could have played it or just kept with Bane being his son, but once she appeared on my screen, I pretty much didn't give two sh#ts about her. My solution: What if Rachel Doss was Ra's Al Ghul's daughter? How awesome of a twist would that have been to see her stab Batman in the back with a knife. It would have been their plan all along. Rachel seduces Bruce. They plan for him to become bankrupt. He gives her the company because she'd be his girlfriend, thus the company would fall into Ghul's hands. BOOM! Oh, right..she's dead already. Well, what if Joker had killed Alfred in the Dark Knight to make Batman go into hibernation? Oh, but then Two Face wouldn't have been born. I guess, really, Ghul's daughter just sucked.
*Did jail really make Batman that much stronger to pretty much have Bane beat at the end of the movie before Ghul's daughter came into play? I don't know, but Batman got his ass pummeled before and all of a sudden, he was able to take it to Bane? Eh. I know they say jail can change a man, but that was a bit over the top. I don't know, I needed more of a reason for this. What I would have done was honestly have Robin play a bigger role in the movie at this point. I know it would be asking for too much, but why not have Robin become Robin a tad bit earlier and have him take on Bane with Batman? No? OK, I'm probably trying too hard here.
Final word: Look, maybe I have to see it again, but I thought X-Men: 1st class, which I saw for the first time last week, was better than this. I just think my expectations were too big and Catwoman really disappointed me. I think I mainly liked it because of how great the first two films were and how it has become such a cult classic series. I, like a number of fans, wanted it to be good and probably were hell bent on wanting it to be a masterpiece. It wasn't. If it was any other comic book with the same dialog and action scenes, I probably would have thought it was average to good. The reputation of the series is what made this movie be applauded by critics/fans in my opinion. So, yeah, Good...but not great.
(Note: My thoughts and prayers goto the victims in Colorado.)