It’s bad. The first hour is great: character motivation makes sense, and everything tracks. But the rest of it feels like the worst of Nolan’s later filmography: stilted and forced, as though Nolan is trying to impress us with a number of technically challenging shots, but forces round-ish characters into square-ish holes to make it happen. Everything happens because the plot dictates it should, but nothing feels in character. And you can tell everybody on set knows it.

It’s not that it’s all bad. The first hour is truly terrific, even if the pacing isn’t quiet perfect. The characters all make sense. I’d watch a whole movie about getting Bruce Wayne to go to fancy parties. 

But the rest of it, from the back-breaking twist through the end, just doesn’t work. The final few minutes are great, but it feels like everything in between was engineered to get us there without thoughts for the remainder. 

It also indulges all of Nolan’s other worst tendencies: dialogue is often nearly inaudible. The plot is needlessly contrived. Dialogue is unbelievable and hokey to the point of distraction. I laughed out loud at I came back to stop you.” So dumb! If the characters spoke less, the film would be better and mercifully shorter. 

When this came out, it was clearly the worst of the 3 movies. I saw it opening night as part of a trilogy screening, and it was clear as day. It had nothing to do with whether or not the film was less grounded than its predecessor, as some folks claimed, and everything to do with the fact that this is a very long, very bad Bond movie. And we already have a lot of those. 

Ten years later, it’s somehow worse. Watching hundreds of cops fight hundreds of terrorists is the weirdest thing ever in 2023. Nolan’s political thinking with these films (particularly this and Begins) has aged like milk. 

At least when Michael Bay makes something like this, he tries to make sure it’s fun. It’s bug, dumb action cinema. This film is thoughtless, but Nolan and Co hyped it up like it was Godfather II. It’s more like Ambulance, but drearier. 

It’s a huge budget spent poorly.

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