I’ll be seeing ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ tomorrow, but late last night (3AM here on the East Coast, though it was midnight over in Hollywood when the embargo came down) the first critical response to Christopher Nolan’s conclusion to the Batman trilogy came in, and they’re about as enthusiastic as you’d expect. There are some mentions of small flaws, but for the most part just about everyone is raving about this flick. I wasn’t sure the anticipation level could rise (no pun intended) any higher than it’s already been at for what feels like months now, but this first batch of reviews has seemingly done that. I’ll be chiming in on Wednesday with my take on the film, as will Clayton, but for now you can see what some of my fellow critics are saying after the jump, and yes, I’ve made sure not to include any spoilers, so fear not. Behold the initial reactions below and let the countdown continue…
The Hollywood Reporter starts things off with an absolute rave here that calls it “A truly grand finale raises Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy to the peak of big-screen comic book adaptations”, and then goes on to say:
The real world threats of terrorism, political anarchy and economic instability make deep incursions into the cinematic comic book domain in The Dark Knight Rises. Big-time Hollywood filmmaking at its most massively accomplished, this last installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy makes everything in the rival Marvel universe look thoroughly silly and childish. Entirely enveloping and at times unnerving in a relevant way one would never have imagined, as a cohesive whole this ranks as the best of Nolan’s trio, even if it lacks — how could it not? — an element as unique as Heath Ledger’s immortal turn in The Dark Knight. It’s a blockbuster by any standard.
Next up here is The Playlist, which breathlessly calls TDKR: “A Cinematic, Cultural & Personal Triumph”, and further states:
In a season filled with big movies that somehow ask even bigger questions, “The Dark Knight Rises” feels like the superego to its competition’s id. An action opus that manages at to be both viscerally and intellectually engaging, Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated third Batman film comes full circle, examining both the Dark Knight and the society that produced him without sacrificing any of the sweeping thrills for which the series is known. A literate, thoughtful and invigorating finale, “The Dark Knight Rises” delivers everything audiences ask for and then some, albeit in fewer of the ways that they might expect.
Here’s what Variety had to say here in their very positive review:
Few blockbusters have borne so heavy a burden of audience expectation as Christopher Nolan’s final Batman caper, and the filmmaker steps up to the occasion with a cataclysmic vision of Gotham City under siege in “The Dark Knight Rises.” Running an exhilarating, exhausting 164 minutes, Nolan’s trilogy-capping epic sends Batman to a literal pit of despair, restoring him to the core of a legend that questions, and powerfully affirms, the need for heroism in a fallen world. If it never quite matches the brilliance of 2008′s “The Dark Knight,” this hugely ambitious action-drama nonetheless retains the moral urgency and serious-minded pulp instincts that have made the Warners franchise a beacon of integrity in an increasingly comicbook-driven Hollywood universe. Global B.O. domination awaits.
Finally, IndieWire finishes things up here with a more muted take:
Director Christopher Nolan’s dramatic re-envisioning of the Batman franchise comes to a thundering end with “The Dark Knight Rises,” a spectacular noir epic that’s equal parts murky, bloated, flashy and triumphantly cinematic. Four years after Nolan’s “Batman Begins” sequel “The Dark Knight” rattled audiences with a similar audiovisual overload, the new movie falls into the same rhythm and remains viscerally satisfying even when the story falters. Once again, Nolan’s monolithic take on Batman is a jarring, fractured experience fraught with tension right through its daringly open-ended conclusion.
-Thoughts? Discuss in the comments!
Tags: Anne Hathaway, Christian Bale, Christopher Nolan, early word, franchise, Oscar hopeful, sequel, the dark knight rises, Tom Hardy, trilogy