What? You might be saying to yourself right now, How could someone as big a Batman fan as Chris be disappointed by that movie? Everyone else is talking about how great it is. Come forth, reader, as I explain my mixed feelings on the matter.
In the midst of all the horrible news surrounding Aurora and the shooting (my prayers go out to all the friends and families of the people involved), I decided to go see The Dark Knight Rises, the conclusion to the Batman trilogy that I have loved so much. Now, before I got into why I was disappointed, let me explain myself a bit. This movie was epic. It was a fitting piece to the Nolan trilogy, tying itself back into the other two movies so seamlessly that it makes me wonder if Christopher Nolan had planned this all along. From a movie goer perspective, I loved this movie. It is the Batman fan in me that is conflicted.
For three hours, I sat and watched, both curious and anxious as to how Christopher Nolan was going to end his tale on Batman. Afterwards, when it was all said and done, I felt....conflicted. It was a very weird feeling, as I could not completely explain why I felt the way that I did. To put it into perspective, when I saw Batman Begins for the first time, I was so completely amazed and excited. I couldn't stop talking about it for weeks.
For The Dark Knight, I was still amazed/excited about the movie, but for different reasons. Mainly, I was very much impressed with Heath Ledger's Joker. In fact, I think part of my disappointment with The Dark Knight Rises stems from the fact that we will never get the conclusion that was supposed to happen: the conclusion where Batman and the Joker face each other for the final time. The Joker storyline in The Dark Knight was left open, but because of the death of Heath Ledger we will never know what the 3rd Batman movie would had been like if he had been in it.
To me, my biggest letdown was the ending. I am not going to spoil anything, but I enjoyed the way that the movie set up Batman with obsticles that he had to rise above - I just didn't like the fact that these obsticles led to the conclusion that we got. Honestly, I spent a long time trying to think of what I would have done in Nolan's place. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that the end of the movie should be chopped off and we needed a fourth Batman movie.
It was at this point I realized why I was disappointed by The Dark Knight Rises: a series that I had come to love was over. The conflicting feelings that I had were the same as when my favorite TV shows come to a finale - you may enjoy the ending, but you hate the fact that its over. Now that I have figured this out, I want to go see the movie again and just enjoy it for what it is. Actually, what I really want to do now is watch all three movies back to back and take in the movies as a trilogy and see how I feel then.
Bottom Line: Go see the movie. It is a very good movie; and I want to know what you think. Am I off base here? Did you feel any differently? Let me know.