Michael's Review of The Dark Knight Rises
The Dark Knight Rises(2012)
Many people insisted that Dark Knight Rises couldn't surpass the Dark Knight in quality. And yes, The Dark Knight is still the superior film; but what Nolan has done here is not attempt to make a film that's designed to "beat" a previous entry, but instead to add a satisfying, breathtaking, and mesmerizing third act to what is over three films a singular story. As a third film, Rises is awesome. But with the three films tied together as one director's visionary tale of a flawed man aspiring to leave an image of greatness among his people, Nolan's Batman trilogy is a masterpiece. What's great about it? First of all the direction is epic in every sense of the word. Huge shots (with help from IMAX), huge performances, a story with serious things to say, and a surprising conclusion make it a spectacle with an actual logic to it at its center (take notice Michael Bay). And the bravura acting should also be commended; this is a new level of depth Bale had to bring Batman in this film and he brought it in a big way. Even the infamous Batman voice is kept at just the right pitch. Tom Hardy also shines as the highly articulate but vicious beast of a man known as Bane. He doesn't best Ledgers Oscar winning Joker but he has nothing to be ashamed of in what was absolutely a strong performance. The revelation here is Anne Hathaway as Catwoman; not only does she nail the sexiness and the physicality but she's easily one of my favorite parts of the film. I was enthralled by all the comic nerd goodness in this, but I was also excited to once again see a superhero film that brought the fantastical elements down to reality as much as possible. Nolan's Batman is an actual human being and his pain and suffering, both emotional and physical, are ever glossed over but thoroughly explored onscreen. Not only did Nolan make the definitive superhero trilogy, he also revealed the Everyman at the core of the billionaire hero.