Will The Real Dark Knight Please Stand Up?

I had the strange privilege of abusing my mediaish-ness to watch the press screening of The Dark Knight Rises yesterday morning. It’s been a year of constantly praising the lords for landing the FHM gig, and yesterday’s viewing most probably would’ve been the cherry on what’s already been a great celluloid-friendly year.

With the exception of The Avengers, but that’s another story.

The main thing on my mind after walking out was that it felt awfully convenient. Not unsatisfactory, but convenient. It tied up a lot of loose ends, gave us an epic-like sheen to the proceedings and ended on a iffy high note.

Look, to be frank, it’s simply not as good as The Dark Knight. I think a fair comparison for this would probably be Robert Rodriguez’s Mexico trilogy, and TDKR would be the spiritual cousin to Once Upon A Time In Mexico — where everything just culminates into a pot of celluloid stew, and it feels like the protagonist suddenly becomes a secondary player.

Yes, we expected it to be bigger. But I felt that it was a bit too much — as though there was too much fat to filter out from. It also felt a bit erratic, and there’s a good portion of the third act that just totally seemed unnecessary, and, to Nolan’s discredit, hokey.

What I liked? It’s got to be Gary Oldman, who’s still a bad-ass, even if he is substantially aged and mustachioed. And, uh, Anne Hathaway. She made an interesting Selina Kyle, but  to be fair, didn’t have that much to do.

But with all this said, it’s not a bad movie. It’s just that with the ghost of the second movie still freshly haunting us, TDKR feels a bit too rough around the edges. Here’s hoping that we get a super-duper Director’s Cut to look forward to.

All in all, Nolan’s closed his shift on his take on Batman in a great way, and it’ll leave you feeling good — but, shit, it could’ve been even better. The whole world is going to praise this movie, and I’ll probably be crucified amongst everyone I know for saying this, but…really, it could’ve been better.

(Why hasn’t he directed a Bond movie yet?)