Bane of Kings reviews the novelization of Christopher Nolan’s final Batman movie: The Dark Knight Rises, adapted by Greg Cox and published by Titan Books.
“An epic story, some amazing set-pieces and moves at a spectacularly fast pace, the novel may not be as good as the film but it’s something that shouldn’t be overlooked.” ~The Founding Fields
The novelization of The Dark Knight Rises is the first movie tie-in that I brought since the novelization for the third Pirates of the Caribbean Movie, and to be honest, I don’t even know why I brought that. I didn’t even like the film, and the version that I picked up didn’t have the name of the author on the front cover or on the side (always a negative sign), and it stopped just before the final battle, and that annoyed me for several reasons. It was like the author had run out of word count, time, and couldn’t be arsed to write the final conclusion, which sucked. I hadn’t picked up a movie novelization since then.
However, when Christopher Nolan’s new Batman film came along, and after sitting through what was almost three hours of awesome, I decided that I’d give a movie novelization of what has recently become my favourite film (despite a couple of flaws) a try. And, was I disappointed? Well, not really. It wasn’t as bad as the At World’s End novelization, for starters, which is a good thing. In fact, it was nowhere near as bad as that. But it wasn’t as good as the movie it was adapting, neither.
Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman return in the thrilling and hotly anticipated conclusion to Christopher Nolan’sDark Knight Trilogy.
The blockbuster movie will introduce new faces to the franchise as well, including Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), Bane (Tom Hardy), John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), and Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard).
From the team that brought you Inception, The Dark Knight Rises is guaranteed to be the blockbuster hit of 2012. This enthralling official novelization will transport fans into a Gotham City once again under threat.
So, The Dark Knight Rises Novelization. Although it may be not as good as the film (which I loved), there are several reasons why, if you’re a Christopher Nolan fan and have enjoyed the Trilogy on the big screen, you should give this novel a go. Although nothing new from the movie is added apart from a hint at the Joker’s fate, the characters, Batman, Selina, Bane and John Blake are all well visualized and as memorable as their film counterparts. The novel itself is also very fast paced, and I read it over the course of a couple of days. Sticking true to the movie, you won’t see stuff happening in different ways and you won’t see Cox taking any major diversions from the main plotline, which is what you’re looking for really in a Novelization.
The story is compelling, the action is well-written and despite the fact that having read the novelization, I am now picking up a few flaws in the novel that I also caught in the movie, and unfortunately I can’t go into the plot flaws in this review due to waging into spoiler territory. However, you still get that sense of epicness that you got whilst watching The Dark Knight Rises, for those that have already seen it (for those that haven’t yet, go and see it. Now.), and this will help you breeze through the novelization. It’s a page-turner, that is assured, and although I don’t think Bane can match The Joker as a villain, Cox has done a brilliant job of adapting the characters onto the page, and allows us to get a third-person perspective from several major characters, and although Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle dominate most of the page-time, you also get a lot of activity from characters such as Commissioner Gordon, still keeping the secret of the true outcome of the fate of Harvey Dent, John Blake, the young, rookie cop, and Bane, the dominant leader behind the terrorist threat to Gotham.
Although Batman as a character doesn’t feature a lot in this, The Dark Knight Rises Novelization spends, like the film, more time focusing on Bruce Wayne and his comrades. This didn’t really disappoint me as I enjoyed the novelization and the film anyway, although I can see for some people it could potentially be an issue.
The novelization kicks off with a spectacular aerial heist, where we learn straight off the bat (no pun intended), what Bane is capable of and the threat that he poses to Gotham. The aerial heist sets the tone for the novelization – big, gritty, bombastic and enthralling. I enjoyed watching Christopher Nolan’s film more than I did Joss Whedon’s Avengers Assemble, mainly due to the darker tone portrayed in the film, which Cox captures brilliantly for this novel. The writing can feel at some times simplistic, but I didn’t struggle with it too much. For those who found Bane’s voice difficult to understand (and I admit, there were parts that I couldn’t quite catch), you can check what parts you missed in this novelization, making sure that you don’t miss anything that comes out of the main villain’s voice.
Having read Knightfall Vol 1. prior to this, I can see where the ideas for The Dark Knight Rises come from, and I’ve been informed that Greg Rucka’s No Man’s Land is also a tale that has been used to inspire events in the film, and something that I will have to check out as soon as I can. I’m a newcomer to the Batman graphic novel world, but it’s a world that I want to find out more about. Greg Cox’s novelization, although – of course, is not going to be as good as the film (as when have you seen a novelization that is?) but it can certainly hold its weight as a standalone novel. I’d recommend it, and I think you should be able to read it without prior knowledge of the film, as long as you’ve seen the first two movies (or seen the first, and know the fate of Harvey Dent).
Christopher Nolan’s The Batman Trilogy: Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises
Note that Batman Begins and The Dark Knight have also been adapted into novelizations by Dennis O’Neil.