I've been waiting for this movie since I finished seeing The Dark Knight. The hype was big, the trailers were awesome and knowing that this will be the movie that will end Dark Knight story, no one can blame you for expecting something better than Avengers and The Dark Knight combined. So, did we get that? Not quite. I will not compare it to Avengers, since those are two completely different movies. However I will compare it to Batman Begins and TDK. Of course, I will try to not spoil too much.
So, let's just get out of the way the bad stuff. It is to damn long. And no, this is really not a problem when you watch it for the first time. In fact, you don't want it to end. But I can already imagine seeing it for the second or third time and being bored by some parts of the movie, especially the first half an hour. The story takes way too long to pick up, but once it does, oh boy, you are in for some intense shit.
Catwoman is the best Catwoman you will see on the big screen. You will not see Anne Hathway playing Catwoman, you will see an actual Catwoman. Yeah, she is that good. On the other hand, Bane. He is really good, and Tom Hardy looks like a menace. Dare I say, he is scarier then the Joker. But there is this plot twist I won't spoil, somewhere near the end, where I don't see Bane as a calculating mastermind anymore. Don't get me wrong, he has brains and brawn, but at the end he fells expandable, really. You will know what I mean when you see it.
I feel Gary Oldman was underused, Michael Cain is in the movie for like 15 minutes (although he has a good reason), Lucius Fox... I don't even remember what he did in the movie, and there are some minor characters that movie is trying to make important, to make us feel something about them, but they are either not explored at all or you just don't care about them. It is a character crowded movie, and it really don't have a reason for it.
However the character of John Blake is pretty interesting and you are really invested in his story. Some would say that he is more interesting than the Batman himself in this movie.
And that is another thing, there is not enough Batman in it. I am nitpicking now, but for a movie about Batman, there is not much Batman. But we do get a lot of Bruce Wayne, and in the end that is the most important part since this whole trilogy was telling us the story of Bruce Wayne first and then Batman later, and I'm game for that, but the geek inside me wants more Batman. Moving on...
Now the thing that some people will nitpick the hell out of, and for a good reason, is that there is not a single mention of the Joker. He killed Rachel, he indirectly turned Harvey Dent into Two-Face, he broke Bruce Wayne's spirit and he made tons of crazy stuff in Gotham... and not even a single mention. Really? I understand Nolan didn't want to mess with Heath Ledger's legacy since he died, but not even a mention doesn't really make the second movie that important in the trilogy. All you need to know from TDK is that Harvey is dead, Rachel is dead and Batman took the blame for Harvey's murders. Lame. If the actor is dead, why "kill" the character. However there is a mention of the Joker in the novel spinoff, but that is not enough. Google it up.
And I've read that there are many plotholes in the movie. Why I didn't notice that many plotholes or just didn't care and went with it, there is one HUGE plothole, and skip this part because there will be MILD SPOILERS. Bane is threatening Gotham that he will activate the bomb that will destroy the city if somebody tries to get out of the city or get in it. Bruce Wayne is in the prison at that time in some Indian country, I think, and he escapes it. Couple of scenes later he is in Gotham. Now I didn't really notice why is that weird until a friend of mine said "How did he get in Gotham?" And really, how? How the hell did he get in unnoticed? The bridges were destroyed, he couldn't jump from the plane, villains would see that, and even if he did jump out of the plane, at least show us that. But no, it is never explained, he is just there, ready to kick Bane's ass. Stuff like this really pulls you out of the movie. SPOILER END.
But, as much bad and nonsensical stuff there is, there is even more good stuff.
The action is just amazing, and you got to see it in IMAX. Seeing The Bat, the new Batman plane like vehicle, is jaw dropping. And the greatest improvement over the other two movies is fighting. Fights between Bane and Batman are brutal, and a bit on the short side, but while it lasts, wow. Batman really has met his match, although I think Bane is easily beaten by Batman the second time around. What? Come on, that is not a spoiler, you knew he will beat him... the second time... barely.
The acting is top notch. While I don't see anyone getting an Oscar for their performance, every actor did a really, really, good job. Michael Cain's performance almost made me cry like a little bitch.
And I got to say, the last 20 minutes of the movie... HOLY SHIT! It is so emotional, it will get you on the edge of your seat, it will make your heart beat faster and faster, it will make you puke rainbows. Saying anything more would be a spoiler, and there is no way I will spoil the ending for you.
I know this review is more bashing the movie than praising it, but with such a good movie, bad stuff is easy to notice. Nevertheless, I did not regret seeing it and I will see it plenty more times. It is a satisfying conclusion of the franchise but don't be surprised if Warner Brothers decides to continue the series without Nolan, and not in a way you expect. I give this movie 4/5 stars.