Friday, August 17, 2012
REVIEW: The Dark Knight Rises
The Dark Knight Rises
Christian Bale, Tom Hardy
July 20, 2012
Warner Bros. Pictures,
Legendary, DC Comics
2 hours 44 minutes
It's not every day where people hail a film as "the greatest superhero movie of all time." Four years ago, Christopher Nolan came out with 'The Dark Knight,' which many people might hail as the perfect comic book movie. To be honest, I saw many flaws in that movie, yet enjoyed it very much. That could be the reason why I wasn't anticipating 'The Dark Knight Rises' as much as many other Batman fans out there. This is the final film in the Nolan trilogy about The Caped Crusader, and it's the most anticipated movie of the year for many people. The problem with people when they see this movie is that they may be expecting something that's even better then 'The Dark Knight,' thus over-hyping themselves and increasing the chances of coming out of it disappointing. However if someone, like me, found 'The Dark Knight' to be overrated, then chances are they will enjoy the hell out of this movie. I, for one, enjoyed the hell out of this movie. 'The Dark Knight Rises' is emotional, action-packed, moving, and the best 'Batman' movie to date.
It's been eight years since Batman framed himself for the murder of Harvey Dent and was escaping the cops at the end of 'The Dark Knight.' "Harvey Dent Day" is now an annual holiday celebrated by Gotham's citizens, though Commissioner Gordon knows the truth about that fatal night. Bruce Wayne hasn't left his house in several years, with Howard Hughes-esque rumors emerging from the local residents. However Bruce must come back as the Batman when a new threat, who goes by the name Bane, threatens to destroy Gotham once and for all. At the same time, skilled jewel thief Selena Kyle prowls around Gotham both accompanying and betraying both the protagonists and antagonists of the film.
Christian Bale gives one hell of a performance as Bruce Wayne/Batman in this film. I found it to be a smart choice to not include Batman so much in this film, because that is the full reason why the film is called "The Dark Knight Rises." Batman hasn't been seen for years, and when he comes back, Bane "breaks both him and Bruce Wayne, so he must rise again in order to defeat the villain. It was great to see Bale portray this character that is much deeper than we've seen him be in the previous two Batman movies. As great as Bale was in this film, and deserves some recognition for his role in this movie, the lead supporting actors outshines him in many parts.
Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, and Morgan Freeman all return for this final movie, playing Alfred Pennyworth, Commissioner Gordon, and Lucius Fox respectively. They all give their best work in the series in this movie. Marion Colltiard plays a new character named Miranda, who is actually one of the more interesting supporting characters to come from the 'Batman' movies recently. I liked her a lot in this film, and she did give a great performance. Even Joseph Gordon-Levitt gave a great performance as Gotham police officer John Blake, whose character actually knows who Batman really is. However as great as those supporting players were, the actors that stole the show were Tom Hardy and Anne Hathaway as Bane and Selina Kyle. (She isn't referred to as "Catwoman" at all in this film.)
Bane is such a different villain than Scarecrow or The Joker, mainly because he can physically destroy Batman and kill anyone who comes in his way. As a matter of fact, in the middle of this film Bane actually takes full control over Gotham, and the criminals that were locked up thanks to a law inspired by the late District Attorney Harvey Dent rule the streets. Hardy is given a metallic mask to have on throughout the movie, and his voice is muffled to sound a bit robotic and kind of hard to understand. The voice thing, plus the fact that Hardy can only show his emotions through his eyes with the mask on, makes Bane a fantastically menacing villain. He isn't as good as Heath Ledger was as The Joker, but Bane is one hell of a scary and devious villain. Despite Bane being such a great villain, it was Anne Hathaway's Selina Kyle who had my full attention and curiosity in the end.
The last portrayal of Catwoman in a Batman movie was in the 1992 Tim Burton flick 'Batman Returns.' Michelle Pfeiffer possessed the role in that film, and in my opinion was a bit too trampy for my taste. In this film, Anne Hathaway takes the Catwoman we knew from 'Returns' and makes her more sly, mysterious, and downright sexy. Sure, her character had a few plot holes here and there, but Hathaway owns her role in this, and to me she was the most enjoyable part of it. I wish they had more of her in the movie, but that's what fan fiction is for, isn't it? Plus, it's been said that there are a bunch of deleted scenes for this film, so maybe her plot holes were filled in those. For the time she was in the movie, Anne Hathaway was fantastic as Selina Kyle. These two villains worked perfectly in this movie, despite not being as incredible as Ledger's Joker, even being combined together.
'The Dark Knight Rises' is Christopher Nolan's masterpiece, plain and simple. The movie has some great lines of dialogue, incredible action sequences, and superb performances from everyone. Despite the movie having severe plot holes involving some of the key characters in the film, nothing is taken away from what this movie truly is: a 164 minute superhero spectacle. I have seen this movie three times by the time this is posted, and I loved it just as much each time I saw it, despite having not been given the chance to see it in IMAX yet. I bet that it's incredible on the big big screen, because the cinematography is nothing short of amazing. 'The Dark Knight Rises' is, without a doubt, the best DC comic movie to date, and one of the year's most spectacular movies so far.
PREVIEWS YOU MAY SEE:
Man of Steel