Posted on 7/28/12 06:33 PM
My most anticipated film of the year has finally arrived! Christopher Nolan has unleashed the final chapter in his influential Batman trilogy. The Dark Knight Rises was worth the wait. In my opinion, this didn't surpass The Dark Knight, which I think is the best in the trilogy. However, The Dark Knight Rises is a thrilling conclusion to this series. Christopher Nolan has once again proved that he's one of the best directors and storytellers in Hollywood now.
The film picks up eight years after The Dark Knight. Batman has taken the blame for Harvey Dent's crimes as well as his death. Bruce Wayne has gave up and Batman and has locked himself in his mansion ever since. Gotham City is now peaceful thanks to Commissioner James Gordon. Bruce returns to the public eye thanks to Selina Kyle, his maid who is also a burglar known as Catwoman, and Miranda Tate, a Wayne Enterprises businesswoman and his love interest. Evil begins to emerge in Gotham thanks to a muscular terrorist known as Bane. Bruce Wayne must put the Batman cape and cowl back on and save Gotham before it's nothing but rubble. Batman must get help from Catwoman and Police Officer John Blake.
I saw the film split into three acts. The first act shows us who life has been for our favorite characters for the past eight years. The second act introduces us to Bane and he introduces his evil scheme and the third act is the action-packed climax. Believe me when I say it is one heck of a climax! Christopher Nolan is a good storyteller and this film did have a pretty good story. The film starts off a little slow but it keeps you interested. In my opinion, the second act got a little boring. I was tempted to go to sleep but I did not want to miss how Nolan was going to wrap up his trilogy. The third act delivers amazing action and there are plot twists that I did not see coming. For some reason, I didn't care much for Bane's evil scheme but Nolan was able to make it seem intense during the climax. I still prefer The Joker's evil scheme. The film told a good but not great story. The film focused a lot on Bruce Wayne's issues but we already went through that in Batman Begins. As a matter of fact, there isn't a whole lot of Batman but when he's on screen, he kicks butt. The Dark Knight Rises bore me in a few parts but it was overall an exciting flick.
I can tell Christopher Nolan gave it his all in this movie. He had to make a worthy follow-up to The Dark Knight, one of the best movies ever made. My anticipation for this film was very high. I did not want to be let down. While this film wasn't as phenomenal as the last, I still give Christopher Nolan a lot of props. His sharp writing and stylish direction are all in this film. The film's script is sharp and has intelligence and emotion. Plus, the actors deliver their lines very well. Michael Caine sure knows how to deliver a monologue. The film does have a nihilistic tone and Nolan knows how to get it right. Although Bane's scheme wasn't the best villainous plan, Nolan makes the situation intense due to the tone. The climax kept me at the edge of my seat. I loved Wally Pfister's cinematography. It just takes the scope of the film to a higher level. The action sequences are intended to be seen in IMAX but I couldn't get to see the movie that way. I'd like to see it again in that format. The film is a nice one to look at. The cinematography is grand and the dialogue in this film is well written.
Christopher Nolan knows how to direct actors. If you can't act, then you can't be in a Nolan film. That's probably how he rolls. Christian Bale delivers another strong performance as the best Bruce Wayne ever put on film. I must say that the Batman voice has improved over the last one. It's still graspy but not as over the top. I really liked Bale in this film but I thought he looked silly when he was walking with a cane and had a long beard in the beginning. He looked like he was in his eighties or his nineties. I know you're trying to hide yourself from the world, Bruce Wayne, but don't make yourself look like a hobo. Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, and Morgan Freeman kill it again in their roles. I found myself very interested in Matthew Modine's character. I didn't hate his character and I didn't completely fall in love with his character. His views on Batman were interesting. I don't remember if he played a big part in the climax. Matthew Modine was very good in this movie. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Police Officer John Blake. Batman doesn't show up a whole lot in this movie but this guy does. I thought Gordon-Levitt did terrific. I could see this guy as a real-life cop. He was heroic, serious, and put the lives of others before him. I loved seeing John Blake when he was on screen. Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been in a lot of stuff lately and I must say that this guy can act. Tom Hardy did very well as Bane. He's nowhere as good as Heath Ledger's Joker and will probably not get an Oscar nomination. Hardy didn't try to be like Ledger. Although both of them played villains, they are different. Bane is a terrorist and while The Joker did have some terrorist aspects in him, he was more of a psycho madman. Although he can be hard to understand due to his mask, muzzle, or whatever you call it, Bane was intimidating. When he appeared on screen, you knew our characters were in peril. I liked Anne Hathaway's spin on Catwoman. It's different from past incarnations of the character. This Catwoman was a mix of a spy and a burglar. They never addressed her as Catwoman throughout the entire movie. She was technically Catwoman because her alias was Selina Kyle and she was quick like a cat. Thank goodness she only said one cat pun in this movie. It's hard to compare her to Michelle Pfeiffer because the two were very different. I thought the Catwoman character wouldn't fit Nolan's reality-grounded Batman universe but they pulled it off well. Anne looked smokin' in that Catwoman outfit. Me-ow! Marion Coltiard did a good job as Miranda Tate and there are two very cool cameos that I enjoyed.
I know, finally! That last paragraph is finally over. I think it's appropriate to say that the acting was my favorite aspect of the film. For crying out loud, the longest paragraph in this review is all about the acting. This entire trilogy was free from bad performances. Since this series is very reality-grounded, the film isn't crammed with a whole lot of CGI. The only CGI in this film is when Batman is riding around in the Bat-Pod or Batwing. I know it's called The Bat in the film but it will always be called the Batwing to me. The Batwing, or The Bat, looked completely awesome and the special effects used on it were awesome. Another thing that is amazing in this film is the score done by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard. It's a pitch perfect score and one of the greatest. I think all the Batman themes are awesome. The Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard theme, the Danny Elfman theme, and even the one from the 60s TV show. The score fits perfectly with the action scene. It just takes the awesomeness to a higher level. The score during the dramatic scenes is also very good. Every time the themes came on, I found myself humming it or pretending to play it on the piano.
The Dark Knight Rises is a very good film maybe even great. From the moment The Dark Knight faded to black, my expectations for this film began to grow and they were very high. My expectations grew higher and higher as every scrap of news and trailer was released. I feel the second film is the best in the trilogy. Try to put your expectations aside as you watch this film because not all of them may be fulfilled. The film isn't perfect but it is still a satisfying conclusion to a great trilogy. I know Warner Bros. is planning to reboot this series again but I hope we don't see it for a long time. If it comes out too soon, I feel it would kill the impact that this series had. Every entry in this series took the superhero genre to new heights. Thanks to this, The Amazing Spider-Man, and The Avengers, I can see the genre going in a new direction. Despite some problems and issues I had with the film, it was still a darn good flick. I went to see this at an AMC theater and I got to see the first two films on the big screen before the midnight premiere of this film. I was just amazing to see the entire trilogy back-to-back on the big screen and see how Batman evolves over the course of the three films. I plan to see this movie again while it's still in the theatre. Christopher Nolan wrapped up The Dark Knight Trilogy fantastically and I can't wait to see what he and Zack Snyder do with the Superman franchise next year with Man of Steel. Thank you, Christopher Nolan and company for this amazing series.
R.I.P. Victims of the Colorado tragedy. James Holmes must burn in Hell for his despicable act of senseless violence.
"You don't fear death. You welcome it."