The third film in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy isn’t perfect. That, apparently (sadly), is a controversial statement. It’s an excellent film that clips along at a ridiculously brisk pace. It’s aggressive. It’s efficient. It’s referential. But it’s not perfect.
There are moments in the film where you may, as I did, sit back in horror at the awkward dialogue used for exposition. There are only three or four of these moments, but they’re the weakest and heaviest-handed writing I’ve ever seen out of Nolan, and all of them occur in the first third of the film. I was worried that these verbal transgressions would pervade throughout the rest of the film.
They did not.
What followed was another two hours of incredibly well paced action. The film refuses to pull punches, and I was very impressed with the reverence with which each character was treated. There will be complaints about the motivations of certain characters, but that stems from the idea that the characters in this series have to adhere to a structure that is inherited with the lore. Harry Knowles of Ain’t It Cool went on at length about how Batman IS this and Batman DOES that, and how he couldn’t believe that character X did Y. His problem is that he brings 70 years of Batman baggage with him, instead of the canon of two films that comprise this arc.
The film is filled with excellent performances. None of them are as visceral as Ledger’s Joker, but all of them rise to the needs of the film. For those who saw early cuts where Tom Hardy’s muffled voice suffered behind the Bane mask, fear not, you can hear him clearly through 99% of his dialogue. I lost a few words to his melodious delivery once or twice, but nothing I couldn’t piece together from the rest of the scene.
My only complaint, again, is that Nolan wrote the exposition to cater to the lowest common denominator. If not for the stupid people of the world, we would have a slightly smarter film on our hands. A 10/10 instead of the 9/10 that we got.
Should you go see it? Yes, you should. Now.
Well, maybe stop to watch Batman Begins on Blu-ray again. Trust me, it’s worth having it fresh in your mind.
Here’s hoping Future Shop scores a nice Steelbook for this - or one for the Trilogy. I want this on my shelf, like yesterday.
Thanks to Rock 101FM, the Fox, and CKNW in Vancouver for hosting the early screening on Wednesday. It made me feel super cool.
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