The Dark Knight Rises
First and foremost, I cannot decide at the moment if The Dark Knight Rises (trailer) is a 'better film' than Spider-Man 3, Batman Forever, and/or X-Men: The Last Stand. The fact that I have to outright state as much should tell you what a comparative disappointment this film is. Overall, its many storytelling flaws bring the picture down, offering only engaging acting, entertaining character interaction, and the kind of empty-headed (but oft impressive) action spectacle associated with more conventional blockbusters.
It is a hodgepodge of several classic Batman stories squished into one chaotic narrative that ends up resembling a mash-up of Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Rocky III. There are moments of emotional engagement in the first third and the final moments pack an appropriate wallop. But the film frankly drags for much of its middle 90 minutes on its way to a surprisingly unremarkable climax. Save for mostly fine performances, including a terrific supporting turn by Anne Hathaway, and some wonderful character beats scattered throughout, this is sadly the very definition of an unnecessary sequel. Read More...