Hans Zimmer and ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

I know that the consensus is that out of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises is the worst out of the lot. Hell, I’m guilty of thinking that too after I watched it in 2012. At the time it felt kind of portly in story and scenery, and there was talk of some “overreaching” in Tom Hardy’s case when it came to his Bane. And of course the action was completely over the top; the airplane sequence at the beginning, the football field imploding, and just the general Escape From New York vibe with Gotham as a whole.

But let me ask you this: Have you watched The Dark Knight Rises lately?

I have, and I have to say that I was completely wrong about it. Yes, this is completely subjective. But after 8 years I’m here to say that The Dark Knight Rises is madcap insanity and gloriously overfilled and gluttonously jammed with some of the best action any superhero movie has seen. Sure, there’s those Avengers movies. But Nolan makes a highly realistic action film while still giving us the fantasy of a comic book film. I love everything about this film. Hardy is brilliant, the action blows my mind, Bale gives us one more great run as The Dark Knight, and Anne Hathaway gives us a Selina Kyle that is both a fierce villain and a street smart survivor with a decent soul underneath the leather. Of course Gary Oldman does a great Commissioner Gordon. The action sequences floor me, and there’s a genuine feeling of tension and suspense as they try to free the cops trapped underground, while the city falls into an almost Nero’s Roman Empire of hedonistic chaos and a false sense of anarchic freedom.

You either love Nolan’s realism or you find it tedious. I happen to love it. I love all of his films(haven’t seen Tenet yet), and love his real world aesthetic that he puts into his fantastical storytelling. I feel that with The Dark Knight Rises he just completely goes for it, maybe knowing this is the last time out. I appreciate the details and the urban landscape he creates in this film.

One of the things that really stood out for me re-watching The Dark Knight Rises over the summer was Hans Zimmer’s amazing score. What he does here is nothing short of brilliant. For a long time I couldn’t really get into Zimmer’s work. It was too bombastic and sounded like a thousand timpanis set ablaze. But his Batman Vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice score won me over. It was like one part John Williams, one part Howard Shore, and one part Greek tragedy all thrown together beautifully.

On TDKR he makes great use of percussion and strings, giving us moments of bombast and moments of beautiful melancholy. The film has a melancholy quality to it overall, giving us both heroes and villains with tragic backstories. Hans Zimmer captures what’s at stake perfectly in his magnificent score.

I’m sure I’m not swaying any opinions here. This is really just me telling you how amazing Hans Zimmer’s score is. But if you haven’t watched The Dark Knight Rises lately, I think you should sit down and give it another watch. Can’t hurt anything. You might just have an epiphany, just like I did. Or, you might still thinks its garbage. Either way, give Hans Zimmer’s score a listen.

Editor’s Note: I generally love overbloated action films and excess, so I’m not surprised I’ve turned a corner with this movie. Hell, I was one of three people that I know that loved ‘Dawn Of Justice'(yes it was one hot mess, but aren’t we all on some level?), the other two being my son and the guy that runs the local comic book store. I appreciate the time and insanity put into big displays of money being wasted on things that don’t really matter.

Well, except for Michael Bay films.

Point being I get and understand the consensus regarding ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, I just don’t agree with it. That’s all. Thanks for reading. 

3 thoughts on “Hans Zimmer and ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

  1. I love Hans Zimmer’s score because it fits the overall atmosphere of the film best. I wouldn’t call it a decisive theme like with the other Batman films out there (I always felt Eliot Goldenthal’s “Batman Forever” was unfairly overlooked with it’s spirit, and of course Elfman’s for the original can’t be topped). But it weaves through the film instead of just highlighting certain bits of action. I love that. It’s so pervasive the films would feel naked without it.

    I’ll have to watch the whole trilogy again, but definitely TDKR a couple of times. I saw it in the theater and knew I liked it, but something just felt off about it. I don’t know what. Maybe it was because some things seemed super realistic while others seemed too farfetched (the cops stuck underground thing felt like deus ex machina and a half to facilitate the rest of the story) but toward the end it all really got going and felt like it came together. Of course, I love Michael Caine and was disappointed he had such a small amount of time, too.

    But it’s worth a re-watch, certainly. After Halloween, my trilogies are being tackled. Gotta enjoy the universal classic monsters collection first. Besides, it’ll set the mood for the election brouhaha to come…as if we could take more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s been so long since I’ve watched ‘Batman Forever’ that I can’t remember the score unfortunately. I remember the soundtrack more than the score; Seal, Flaming Lips, Smashing Pumpkins,…it was a pretty great soundtrack. I’ll have the revisit the Eliot Goldenthal score for reference.

      TDKR was far from perfect for sure, and I could probably right a sequel post based on all the inconsistencies and improbabilities in the script. But this past summer watching it I just sat and watched it to enjoy it and I had a blast with it. And yes, everything needs more Michael Caine.

      This weekend will be horror films, then the horror show that is the US election next Tuesday. Stay safe, wherever you’re at.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I thought the titles were pretty good. Had the vibes of a march to it almost in the end. But it was a slow build up with those bright horns Goldenthal seems to do. The soundtrack definitely took precedence, but there were moments of the score that worked. Not as thoroughly as Zimmer’s because of style and whatnot, but it was pretty good. Hard to get Goldenthal’s stuff and I hoped to find a copy of the titles online somewhere. Been a while since I looked, maybe it got easier. I’m a film-score nut and a half and got into playing music again because I’d love to compose my own stuff some day. Zimmer’s score definitely made me want to learn (and his Masterclass is great to watch so far).


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