.The Dark Knight Rises if I'd seen it before that madman used it as the backdrop for his shooting spree. I'm only human and it was inevitable, less than 48 hours after that happened, that I'd have that on my mind as I sat watching the film, and view it colored by those real life horrors... all of which did the film no favors. Nolan tries to signal great thoughts with the relentless blaring of the soundtrack and the portentousness of every single grimaced face, but he really doesn't back it up with, you know, much in the way of thoughts. There's a lot of posturing about being Serious, Oh So Serious, but it's about as brainy as a bowl of Count Chocula in the end.
I realize that it's unfair to hold the film against the madness in Colorado, nothing could withstand that pressure. But then I read this review in The New Yorker and I don't think I'm being too hard on the movie after all - I just wanna point and yell 'What he said!" Choice bit (and really I think the entire review is choice from start to finish and extremely jealous that I didn't write it):
"The film may have been made in part on location in New York, but nobody is in danger of getting dog poop on their shoes. Neither on the grand nor the intimate scale does the movie allow for accidents or coincidences. Gotham is the city without serendipity.
Nolan doesn’t hang dollar signs on his screen; he’s not looking to impress viewers with the colossal scale of his project, but, rather, with his own grim and relentless labors. “The Dark Knight Rises” is not a movie of conspicuous consumption but of conspicuous production, with Nolan himself playing the unfortunate Atlas who bears a cinematic world of dour doings on his lonely shoulders, all the while needing viewers to know how hard he’s working for them. The problem with the movie isn’t any lack of warmth or humanity (qualities that don’t need to be displayed because they’re often effectively evoked through cold and inhuman means) but a lack of wonder. Nolan never seems to surprise himself, and his own inventions have little inspiration but, rather, a sense of a problem solved."
The exception is Tom Hardy, who was wonderful as Bane; theatrical and over-sized while entirely backing it up with body and voice work that made him terrifying and very very funny at the same time - the only time I smiled was when he on-screen, and he even wrung genuine emotion out of nowhere from a late twist that had no right generating any real emotion at all.
I'm sure other people watching the film this weekend sat down with Colorado on their mind and were swept up just fine - my theater broke into applause when it was over, and everybody seemed fairly happy walking out - and so in the end I feel fine prescribing my problems with the film to the film itself and not these outside concerns. It's just an empty batsuit for me.