Monday, July 23, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises: Why So Serious?

Christopher Nolan's Batman franchise ends with a good film, not a great film, the weakest of the trilogy.

Nolan's films in general are not known for their humour, and it works both for and against them.

He made Batman great again by banishing the camp frolics of Joel Schumacher's films. Restoring straight faces and a sense of darkness.

But The Dark Knight Rises lurches to the opposite extreme. It is relentlessly, exhaustingly portentous. There is barely any respite from the constant aural and visual reminders that THIS IS AN IMPORTANT AND SERIOUS FILM. 

Over two hours and forty minutes, the weight is a little much. 

The Dark Knight struck a much better balance, mainly because of Heath Ledger's Joker, who provided laughs and charisma.

In The Dark Knight Rises, we have Bane, a formidable foe for the Batman no doubt, but not a particularly interesting or charismatic character in comparison to the previous film's villain.

It remains a very good film, a worthy end to a fantastic trilogy. But I get the feeling that Christopher Nolan would be an even better director if he could practice a little restraint. His recent films are unashamedly BIG and that is part of the attraction, but in The Dark Knight Rises, the bigness crosses the line into bloat.

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