Was ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ really an anti-climax?

Five Batman fans let it all out about ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

***Warning: Contains spoilers***

Batman is no more. Or at least that's how Christopher Nolan feels.

Last week the Dark Knight director ruled out ever returning to the franchise, leaving fans everywhere with a bat- shaped hole to fill.

[Related story: Health Ledger was approached to play Batman]
[Related story: Joseph Gordon-Levitt for Batman in Justice League film?]

Misunderstood? ...Fans failed to warm to Bane (Credit: Wenn)

Nolan’s vision of Batman was an epic one. We saw the quiet roots of Bruce Wayne’s one man war on crime with ‘Batman Begins, his very human struggle in ‘The Dark Knight’, right through to near breaking point and the genuinely explosive ending to ‘The Dark Knight Rises’.

It was one man’s critically acclaimed, £1.7 billion grossing journey to save a city… and now it’s come to an end. But the questions haven’t.

Was it as good as it could have been? Would Batman really just give it all up for girl?
Did Nolan give us the conclusive version? Or, after years of waiting, was it all just a bit of an anti-climax?

Four months on, five Bat-fans get it all off their chest about ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, Nolan’s legacy and what’s next for the Caped Crusader…

“There’s more to it than plot-holes” by Ryan Leston

Was 'The Dark Knight Rises' really an anti-climax?
As much as I loved Nolan's take on the Batman universe, I have to admit that ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ just didn't do it for me. There were several moments in the film that just didn't make any sense. How on earth did Anne Hathaway manage to take down several burly, hulking henchmen? How did Bane know where Applied Science was? And why was his plan so ridiculously over-complicated? There’s more to it than plot-holes. What we're left with is a storyline that plods along from one scene to the next with only the occasional set-piece to liven things up. And don't get me started on Bane's voice.

What next for Batman?
If the final scene in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is anything to go by, I'd say Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a fairly good bet to carry it on. But after his phenomenal performance in 'Dredd', I'd love to see Karl Urban don the mask. He's probably better known as Dr McCoy in the 'Star Trek' reboot, but he portrays the grunting, gritty Dredd to perfection - perfect for Batman.

“Satisfying, despite its flaws”
by Jeff Galasso

Was 'The Dark Knight Rises' really an anti-climax?

Nolan brought the story full-circle, playing off themes raised in his Batman debut. Expectations were exceedingly high, and for the most part ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ delivers. It was ambitious in run-time, aspect ratio and locales - Nolan went all out for the grand finale. It was satisfying, despite its flaws. The final few minutes gave chills to fans across the world, just like the closing of ‘Batman Begins’ when Jim Gordon reveals The Joker’s playing card. TDKR is arguably the weakest of the trilogy, but that just says more about how strong the Bale-anchored Batman series is.

What next for Batman?
Nolan and Bale both leave a considerable legacy to overcome, as Warner Bros look to keep the franchise alive. But with a Justice League movie slowly moving closer to becoming a reality, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s performance as TDKR's idealistic, rookie cop John Blake means he could be next in line for the cowl. He would also be Warner Bros’ smartest choice, as it may prove difficult for Bat-fans to move on from Nolan's classics without such a natural connection being forged. It would come as no surprise if Warner Bros winds up hesitant to stray far from a highly successful formula and decides to place their chips on the hot ‘Looper’ star. Whatever the outcome, it can’t get any worse than Joel Schumacher's ‘Batman And Robin’, which is a comforting thought if nothing else.

“The definition of epic filmmaking” by Daniel Sarath

Was The Dark Knight Rises really an anti-climax?

‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is everything Batman fans could have hoped for. Not only does it bring Bruce Wayne's story full circle, but it does so on a scale unlike any we have seen in cinema before. With gigantic set pieces and a novelistic sweep to the narrative it's the definition of epic filmmaking, making every other blockbuster this year look microscopic. Sure, even Nolan's most dedicated followers will notice some gaping plot holes: like would Commissioner Gordon, whose motto is "you're not allowed to believe in coincidences,” really not connect Bruce Wayne's recluse and Batman's disappearance? But despite the shortcomings, it dazzles from the opening plane hijack to the must-not-reveal final twist.

What next for Batman?

The casting of the next Batman really depends on what the filmmaker who follows Nolan wants to do with the franchise. If they continue with the introspective, brooding portrait of the caped crusader we've seen in this trilogy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt would be an ideal choice - especially following the events of TDKR. He has the capacity to play complex characters (like in 'Mysterious Skin'), and can carry the weight of a major blockbuster (as with 'Looper').

“A fantastic, if lengthy, conclusion”
by Mike P Williams

Was 'The Dark Knight Rises' really an anti-climax?
There's a lot of division as to whether the film was an anti-climax, but more general comparisons to the superb predecessor ‘The Dark Knight’. But, it still concludes the trilogy on a high. Some plotting elements might be a tad messy, but the final thirty minutes are sensational in every single way. It’s a fantastic, if lengthy, conclusion to the Nolan-era reboot, and has pretty much everything you need for a billion dollar earning blockbuster. It builds and builds to a truly gripping climax with all the components culminating in something hugely epic and rather poignant.

What next for Batman?
Should there even be another Batman? Well, inevitably there will be, but I think it should be left for some time before anyone dares attempt to supersede Nolan's work. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a name banded around a lot, but aside from him taking over the role of Gotham's protector, I can’t imagine anyone else actually pulling it off.

“Fans need another film to feel properly satisfied” by James Tawton

Was 'The Dark Knight Rises' really an anti-climax?

Doing a trilogy means that you've got three films to do it, all with a flourish. Nolan set the bar high early on, so there was a lot riding on getting this right. But it didn't do it for lots of reasons. We got a lot of the same stuff. A city under siege from a maniac, Batman needing to rediscover himself, minor characters showing backbone that inspire Bruce to sort himself out. It relied on a villain who, for all of Tom Hardy's efforts, just wasn't scary enough. Bane's voice is difficult to follow, and his intentions even harder. In the end TKDR was too long, too complicated and too dull to succeed. A good film for sure, but not even as good as ‘Batman Begins’, which is a failure for a third part of a trilogy. Bale's Batman is, by this time, lacking in strength and resolve and it seems unlikely that he would really have won out in the end at all. Some nice touches, but fans need another film to feel properly satisfied. From somebody else next time though please?

What next for Batman?

What next? It would be good to see if Joseph Gordon Levitt fulfils the 'semi-cliffhanger' at the end of TKDR, but I think he's too boyish and too small. You could try to stir things up and get Jamie Foxx or Any Lau on board. Both would be awesome and really change perceptions of Bruce Wayne. How about Clive Owen or James Purefoy, softly spoken, not-too-young-or-too-handsome men that would give more acting chops and less brooding next time?

'The Dark Knight Rises' is available now on Blu-Ray, DVD and digital download. Get your copy here.