It happened, I saw an advance screening of TDKR and I loved it. I’m going to get a few things out of the way right away because everyone is asking me the same questions. Once I get that out of the way I’m going to give you the juice. I will try to keep this as spoiler free as I can as well.

  • Is TDKR rises better than The Dark Knight? No.
  • Is TDKR better than Avengers? Yes.
  • Is Anne Hathaway the best Catwoman? On par with Michelle.
  • Is Bane better than the Joker? They are completely different.
  • Is this the best Batman movie? No.
  • Is this the best movie this summer? Yes.

So I got that out of the way, now I’m going to elaborate on this brilliant piece of cinema. First of all this is not The Dark Knight. It’s not even CLOSE to TDK, and if you go into this movie constantly comparing it to TDK you will not enjoy it I promise you that. Do you remember in Scream 3 when Randy gave the rules of the trilogy? Something from past is gonna come bite you in that ass, the body count is WAY bigger etc. etc., all of that applies to this trilogy perfectly.

It’s been 8 years since Batman took the wrap for the death of Harvey Dent (who we all knew was no hero), the streets of Gotham have been cleaned up thanks to The Dent Act (a law put into effect) and Batman was never seen again. In fact neither has Bruce Wayne. He has become a recluse. He now is walking with a cane, has no cartilage in his knees, and he’s all busted up. Fanboys will appreciate this it’s very Kingdom Come with the leg braces. It is actually Selena Kyle (who they NEVER call Catwoman, although they do call her the “Cat” in newspapers) who wakes Batman up after stealing Bruce’s mother’s pearl necklace in what is one of the most brilliant introductions of a character I have ever seen but I’ll break down each character later. We then get introduced to Bane who as we all know is calling himself “Gotham’s reckoning“, and this guy is scary. He is evil, he is brilliant, all of his plans are thought out meticulously and perfectly. This is where he differs from the Joker but again, I’ll touch on that later. His plan is to hold Gotham hostage by blowing out all the bridges and tunnels out of Gotham. Oh he’s also got a bomb that will detonate if anyone tries to leave that will blow it to rubble.

Comissioner Gordon is now considered a hero but he wants to LEAD the city into battle again. Hot on his heels is this selfish pussy of a cop who I CAN’T STAND who is so stupid and all he wants is fame. He actually stops chasing BANE in one scene to try and do something Gordon never could, catch Batman. Like what an idiot. (I don’t consider this a spoiler because it’s totally pointless)

We’ve also got John Blake the hot shot hot head cop played by Joseph Gordon Levitt who is amazing in this movie. Not Anne Hathaway amazing or Michael Caine amazing, but definitely amazing. Speaking of Michael Caine, his third and final turn as Alfred is definitely his best. We all have to remember that Alfred thinks of Bruce as his son, and the emotional from Caine in this movie is incredible. Morgan Freeman is back as Lucious Fox, and finally we have Marion Cotillard (who I ADORE) who plays Miranda Tate a very rich do gooder who helps Bruce Wayne in his time of need. I think that’s pretty much all I can tell you about the plot without getting into trouble. So let me break down the characters.

The star of this movie is definitely Anne Hathaway. DO NOT COMPARE HER TO MICHELLE PFEIFFER! This is a completely different Gotham, a completely different world. You are NOT getting the campy Catwoman of the 90’s, technically you don’t even get Catwoman. What you do get in my opinion is the most accurate portrayal of Selina Kyle/Catwoman ever. Selina Kyle is not a hero, she’s also not a villain. She’s completely ambiguous as far as her loyalties go, she looks out for herself and she’s VERY smart. She uses her being a woman as an advantage. Anne said that she read up on the Selina’s of the past and it shows. Is she better than Michelle? That’s like asking what I like more, sweet or salty? This fatty loves them both. They are totally different and it you are a true fanboy you will love her too.

Nolan uses her perfectly, not too much not too little JUUUUUST enough. The outfit is great, sorry but it is. The goggles are hot, the catsuit is HOT and the heels are everything. Her performance was a tour de force in my opinion. She went from damsel in distress to ass kicking chick and back again in a split second, all to save her own life. The scene where she and Bruce first interact is amazing, and every scene after just gets better and better. Whether or not they are going to spin her off I don’t know, but I know she absolutely DESERVES her own movie.

Michael Caine as Alfred should also be getting his credit in this movie. I feel like Alfred never gets what he deserves. This is a man that cares for Bruce as his own, and you feel his love so much in this movie. More so than any other movie, and you’re going to cry because of Alfred’s speeches. I know you will. Christian Bale also does a good job a Batman, but also a good job as Bruce Wayne. Theres a solid 50/50 split of screen for both his personas.

The real question though is “How was Bane in this movie“. While Nolan took some liberties with the character’s origin Bane was a really great villain. Again, you shouldn’t be comparing him to the Joker but I know everyone will so I’ll break it down. Where the Joker was CRAZY and unpredictable, Bane is thought out and menacing. His plan is not just to wreak havok on Gotham for fun, but to destroy it from the inside out using it’s own people. He is not only a mental match for Batman like the Joker was, but a physical one. Bane is big guys. Bane is huge, he’s strong and he’s evil. He is PURE evil and when you watch this movie you start to feel a bit uncomfortable. I personally didn’t really like his voice and I thought that was a flaw in this otherwise perfect plan.

Everyone is also wondering about John Blake? Why is he so important in this movie he’s just a hot head cop. It wasn’t so long ago that Gordon was the hot head cop right? John Blake in this movie is super important. He represents what Gordon and Batman represented in the first movies. He’s hopeful, he wants to save the city. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is truly becoming a master at his craft. I loved him in this film.

The film as a whole is definitely a masterpiece. The music is incredible I LOVED Bane’s character music and Nolan’s visuals are really beautiful. All the fight scenes are perfectly choreographed and they feel real. In movies like the avengers you get a HULK SMASH! and the guy goes flying across the city. In this one, Batman gets punched he gets hurt. These guys are normal people who fight and we seem to keep forgetting that. When you’re wearing big armor you’re not going to be able to do acrobatic stuff and I’m not sure if it was intentional or not, but you can tell it was harder to move in the batsuit.

The new gadgets are fun too, the “Bat” (which is the giant plane Batman flies in) is cool, but it’s the Bat Pod motorbike that is still one of the coolest toys especially when Selina is on it. Did I mention she’s the best part of the movie?

I’m sad to see Nolan’s run with Batman end, but after TDKR I feel like it’s time. With the hopes of a Justice League movie, this Batman is not going to work in it. Nolan took the comics and brought them to the real world. This stuff COULD happen today, it’s not supernatural at all and in fact there are direct references to today’s world in this movie. (HELLO 99%) but it’s definitely wrapped up. I don’t think he’s coming back, I don’t think he needs to. This movie is a DEFINITE ending for these characters…but it also leaves a lot of room for new franchises.

OVERALL RATING: I give this movie a SOLID 9.5/10 or 4.75/5, but that sounds stupid.

Follow me on twitter and tweeet me when you watch it. I NEED TO GEEK OUT ABOUT THIS!!! @TommyD