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The Dark Knight Rises (**)
directed by Christopher Nolan
written by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan. David S. Goyer worked on the story.
Based on a comic book character created by Bob Kane (credited) and many other uncredited artists and writers.
The Dark Knight Rises
Principal Cast
Christian Bale -- Bruce Wayne
Gary Oldman -- Commissioner Gordon
Tom Hardy -- Bane
Joseph Gordon-Levitt -- Blake
Anne Hathaway -- Selina
Marion Cotillard -- Miranda
Morgan Freeman -- Fox
Michael Caine -- Alfred
Matthew Modine -- Foley
Ratings are based on Rick's four star system.
One star - the commercials are more entertaining than the viewing.
Two stars - watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars - good solid entertainment.
Four stars - you never dreamed viewing could be this good.
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rick Norwood


spoiler alert

The Dark Knight Rises is a long, silly, disappointing costume hero film. I'll mention just a few of its more memorable flaws.

Batman and Bane fight by punching each other in the face. We saw infinitely more exciting movie fights in the previews. I thought Batman was supposed to know some martial arts. The Karate Kid could beat both these guys with one hand tied behind his back. All they've got is brute muscle power, and it is hard to believe Batman, as played by Christian Bale, has all that much muscle power.

Alfred, Bruce Wayne's butler, played by the excellent actor Michael Caine, comes across like a nagging wife.

Would you really stop for a kiss, and then deliver a lecture, when a ticking atomic time bomb is only minutes away from exploding?

Nothing any of the characters does makes any logical or, worse, any emotional sense.

I didn't like Christopher Nolan's first Batman film, for the same reasons I didn't like this one. It didn't even try to make sense. But the second film was good, and I loved Inception, so I went into this movie expecting something special. I was bored.

If you've got a stopwatch, time how long it takes for the A-bomb to count down from 11 minutes to 10 minutes. Compressed or expanded countdowns are a movie staple, but there are limits. This was ridiculous. Also, there is no way Batman got the bomb six miles away from the city in the time he had left, and the bomb in the air would do a lot more damage than it would inside a truck.

Several reviewers have quoted Nolan as saying he was inspired by Charles Dickens. The ones I've read don't get any more specific than that. The film, inspired by Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, plays out some scenes from the novel, and quotes from the novel. But the Gotham City dweller is not the same as the Paris bourgeoisie at the time of the French Revolution, and the parallels drawn between the corruption of the court of Louis XVI and the corruption of modern society don't make a lot of sense. But, then, nothing in this movie does.

No credit cookie.

Copyright © 2012 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon. Visit his web site at

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