First of all - I'm not damning this film to be 'cool'. I'm damning it because I thought it was awful. I'd love to hear what others think, I'm up for a good debate! :)
Quite honestly, I thought The Dark Knight Rises was dreadful. And I'm going to say it - Christopher Nolan was given far too much money to make this film and did not know what to do with it all. Where are the engaging and visually compelling action set pieces that contributed greatly to The Dark Knight's success(the lorry flip to name just one)? Well, they've gone, replaced with dull, poorly-edited sequences that lack real power and punch. After all the billing, where was the "epic conclusion" (epic being a word I've grown to hate) that was promised on the posters, the trailers and from all the hype that that had surrounded the film from the initial announcement of the project? I was waiting for the film to crank up a notch into the next gear. But it never did. What's left is an overblown and needlessly over-complicated mess - some people consider this to be intellectual. Shoving bucketloads of new minor characters into the film is not intellectual. Working out who is who, who is who in relation to who and who is who in relation to what is not intellectual endeavor. It is the result of trying to make sense of a poor script, a needlessly over-complicated mess as I've said before. What would have been intellectual was a way of explaining how Bruce Wayne got from the mysterious ancient civilization back to Gotham. The 'twist' involving Marion Cotillard's character towards the end of the picture is not unexpected because of clever writing but unexpected because it was almost unthinkable that such an underdeveloped character, with so little screentime, is suddenly revealed to be the real villain. In hindsight, this is almost laughable if it wasn't so painfully bad. On the plus side, Tom Hardy is magnificent as Bane. Playing a character whose face is covered for the entire duration of the film is no mean feat as his performance to an audience has to rely almost solely on the expression in his eyes. This is the difference between acting as a performance and acting as an art form. Outstanding. Anne Hathaway is very good as Catwoman but, quite frankly, not as sexy as previous incarnations.
Finally, I really thought Nolan had the balls to kill off Batman. Sadly I was wrong and Batman somehow manages to avoid the radius of a nuclear explosion and we get a sickly-sweet happy ending when perhaps it would have been more rousing for him to really have given everything he had to the people of Gotham.
And 'John Robin Blake'? Dear me.