MOVIE REVIEW: 'Dark Knight Rises'

If you're looking for an enthusiastic recommendation for the latest installment in the "Dark Knight" trilogy, keep looking.

By Jonathan Arévalo

There is a tenet in the online journalism world that an article exceeding 500 words will not be read by the common audience, either in full, or at all. With that in mind, this review of The Dark Knight Rises also to a full critique which more thoroughly delves into what a disaster the film was. The full review contains spoilers, so be warned now. 

OK, disclaimer aside, Rises is by far the weakest of the three Christopher Nolan Batman movies, and maybe even the worst superhero movie of the year.

The film is already at a disadvantage before it even begins, in that it must follow the unprecedented Dark Knight of 2008. Unfortunately, it fails in so many ways that long before its generic, lacklustre ending, there is hardly any reason to stay invested in the disaster. But to understand what went so horribly wrong, one must first understand what makes Batman good in the first place.

  • The Dark Knight Rises plays at the at 11:40 a.m., 3:20 p.m., 7 p.m. and 10:40 p.m.

It has been said that in everything he is in, Batman is the least interesting character. This is why Batman has such memorable villains. What makes them so intriguing is not their depravity, but the effect they have on Bruce Wayne. Rises lacks any intrigue as the main bad guy goes from mysterious to confusing to uninteresting to nonexistent. Also, Batman's character arc is nonexistent; he learns nothing, gains nothing and sacrifices nothing to overcome the talking slab-of-meat which is his newest nemesis.

Rises introduces some new characters from the Batman mythology, though they are so shockingly one-dimensional that besides being shoe-horned in for a quick buck, there is no discernable reason to include them ... except to hint at one or more spinoffs. It seems odd to include these new personas into the final instalment of Nolan's Batman trilogy, as Christian Bale has already said this is his last time playing the Dark Knight.

Beyond the movie's terrible characters, the plot is a jumbled, unintelligible wreck that will leave you in the dark for most of the slightly over 2-hour, 40-minute run time. In what I can only assume is a muddled attempt to make the big and ambiguous story more complicated and higher-minded, the finished product can be summed up by my own cheesy tagline, "Watch Batman Tackle White Collar Crime."

That is, until that entirely incomprehensible narrative ends up as a metaphorical criticism of the Occupy movement and a very on-the-nose glorification of police officers, no doubt in reaction to the negative attention cops have received as a direct result of Occupy Wall Street and the viral tendencies of the internet.

I am sure my voice will be drowned out by the mountains of praise this cash-cow movie is destined to receive from more easily satisfied viewers and critics alike. But be forewarned: the newest Batman is a disaster, and you may leave the theater as I did - disappointed and hurt. 

Jonathan Arévalo is a recent graduate of San Juan Hills High, soon to be studying history at Humboldt State. And yes, the name – and word-smithing – is not a coincidence.


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