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THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

It’s been a full week since we went to TDKR and I’m still in awe.  I was so sure it would fade a little, and didn’t want to write the review before I had some perspective, but – wow. Just wow.

In the context of this trilogy, it does everything right. Everything. The characterizations, the pacing, the special effects, the mood – and then there’s the pitch-perfect plot.  I was dazzled by BATMAN BEGINS but it faded; the same thing happened with THE DARK KNIGHT, partly because it was just too long and the pacing of the second half didn’t work perfectly for me.

Still, three great movies, an outstanding trilogy, and the best “third move in a trilogy” ever made.

Even at its darkest, this installment gave us something different – more humanity, I guess. More importantly, we finally got some decent female characters. I truly disliked the wimpy Rachel from the first one, and equally disliked Maggie G’s portrayal but for different reasons (patronizing, pretentious and judgmental).  

But the two women in TDKR own their roles, fill their cinematic space, and interact with Bruce Wayne on their own terms. I didn’t think Nolan had it in him, frankly, so yay on that.

As superheroes go, I never appreciated Batman until Nolan re-introduced me to him. Even so, he never resonated with me until this installment. Until this one, I could appreciate, understand, even empathize with his tortured existence, but ultimately I didn’t care. Apparently Nolan set me up, so that I would care even more – feel even more – when it suited his purposes.

Wow.

In other words, I liked it a lot. And I hold Nolan in great esteem for making a rich story richer, and a great trilogy even greater. Have we really ever seen that in a "third" before? If we have, I don’t remember it.

P.S. We re-watched the first two videos the weekend before we saw TDKR.  I don’t think that was necessary to thoroughly enjoy the third film, but I believe it fed my appreciation for the genius behind this one, because there were so many subtle differences in tone and pacing that really made a difference and highlighted our position in the story. So well done… [sigh, I should have waited another week I guess…]

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