To begin, my review will remain spoiler free. I’m no film critic, I’m no film student, I’m just a very big, and well-read, Batman fan who finally got the Batman story he always wanted.
If you’ve never seen another Batman film, this is the one to see. By now, if you’ve never seen a Batman film before but you’re a fan I assume you’re probably old enough to read but not old enough to have been allowed to see The Dark Knight yet. You probably know the basics of his origin and can’t afford, or know someone who can afford, a DVD player and the last film, or six. If you are this hypothetical person I’ve just invented, this movie is all you need (Until some later time as when you choose to consume more Batman films). From the beginning you are given enough information on the current status of Batman and Gotham City. Interestingly enough, though this is his final film, much of the first hour is devoted to literally EVERYONE else and yet, his absence is hardly felt because underneath you are patently aware that it’s still all, somehow, about him. The new characters are superbly acted, Anne Hathaway and Joseph Gordon-Levitt especially, and when Batman makes his triumphant reappearance, everyone, even the characters in the film, are excited about it!
All the requisite toys were present, and satisfying. We got to see much more of the cooler features of the Bat-Pod (the double-axis wheels that so profoundly confused me on the TV trailers for the previous film for a very long time, that is) and the newest toy was a very welcome, nd awesome, addition. Back before I even saw the last film, I had hoped that before it was over we would see a flying vehicle in the same basic vein as the Tumbler and while I was hoping for a jet, I was definitely not disappointed. Nolan definitely knew what he was doing.
Regarding Nolan, though I’m not sure it was deliberate, he did an excellent job of tying together seemingly random moments from the previous two films to give us an over-arcing story that gave me, as I mentioned earlier, the Batman story I’ve waited for for a long time which was: one with a satisfying end. The character has been around for over 80 years, he’s been rebooted and redone countless times. Yet in that time, we’ve never seen how it all turns out in the end. Sure, no story truly ends, there’s always more to know, more to tell, but at least for me I got the resolution I’ve wanted since the first time I saw these characters. In addition, as a fairly serious comic book fan, the way it brought together elements of several stories from the comics, not just Knightfall but also Catwoman’s early and later years, No Man’s Land and even more, was amazing. For years, superhero movies have followed the model of new movie, more villains; most poorly in “Batman & Robin”, most recently in “Spider-Man 3”. Yet while this movie had more than I care to count (no spoilers, remember), it never felt like any character was robbed of appropriate time nor did the movie seem crowded like the aforementioned web-head’s movie did. Nor did it ever make me think it wasn’t moving fast enough. I did feel as though perhaps certain twists were telegraphed but I’m willing to accept that perhaps that was merely because of speculation on my part and the typical viewer who isn’t an obsessive fanboy won’t guess the answer quite so easily. The pacing was excellent and when the screen went dark I certainly didn’t feel as though 164 minutes had passed (although my bladder did).
Surely someone will find reasons to be upset, disappointed or angry, but not me. Friends who were disappointed, I feel, didn’t see the bits of genius behind the elements or the nods to comic fans such as myself. In the end, while I’m sure another film could be done in the same universe, and I would be happy for it, I’d be just as happy if these films stayed untouched for it was better than I hoped and so good I can’t wait to see it again.