Erik's Review of The Dark Knight Rises
The Dark Knight Rises(2012)
Christopher Nolan has concluded his beloved and realistic Batman series after a four year wait. I remember the first day it was announced that Nolan began writing the script. The excitement began. I also remember all of the villain rumors, which included the Riddler and Dr. Hugo Strange. All of those rumors were put to rest when Bane and Catwoman were announced as the villains. After this occurred, I knew it was time to not think about comparing these villains to the previous film, âThe Dark Knight,â? because these villains are very different from Joker and Two-Face. The Joker and Two-Face are mentally challenging villains, while Bane and Catwoman are both mentally and physically challenging baddies. I was lucky to avoid these comparisons, while everyone on IMDb Discussion Boards couldnâ(TM)t help themselves. They began comparing the film to the Avengers. Which is better? Foremost, The Dark Knight Rises is completely different film than the Avengers. The Avengers was a great film, but Nolanâ(TM)s films are a darker take on one superhero, not a group.
After I saw the Dark Knight Rises trailer, Iâ(TM)ve never felt anymore anticipation for a film in my life. I knew there would be more in the film than a two and a half minute preview, especially after I found out its runtime is 2 hours and 45 minutes. I wanted to go into the film spoiler-free and it worked.
After seeing an advanced screening in IMAX, I can say that The Dark Knight Rises is a truly fantastic film. Not only is this one of the best superhero films ever made, itâ(TM)s also one of the best films of the year.
Christopher Nolan continues to outdo his previous films with this spectacular finale to his wonderful trilogy. Similar to the Lord of the Rings and Toy Story trilogies, this film can be included on the list of worthy conclusions to already-successful trilogies, where the Godfather and Matrix failed. Nolan created his dark atmosphere with pure perfection and crafted his best script to date with his brother Jonathan. This is the darkest film of the three, but I will not explain why (to avoid spoilers). I will say that even though it is a long film, I did not want it to end. Nolan always manages to keep his films moving along despite the overlong running times.
Acting-wise, Christian Bale does a phenomenal job as Bruce Wayne/Batman. This is his best performance as Bruce Wayne AND Batman in the entire trilogy. In my opinion, since Heath Ledger completely stole the Dark Knight, I wasnâ(TM)t too happy with Bruce Wayne and Batman in that film. Ledgerâ(TM)s performance in the previous film stole the spotlight away from Bale, and Nolan made a big mistake increasing the audio on his gravelly voice (which made his voice more annoying as the film progressed). In the Dark Knight Rises, Bale is given material where I can cheer for Batman again. He is given similar material to Batman Begins where Batman is awesome and makes a more than welcome return to take down his new foe, Bane. Tom Hardy is terrifying and menacing as Bane. This is a compliment of course. Since he is wearing a mask, he wasnâ(TM)t given much of an opportunity to make any facial expressions. His voice was really important for the part and he managed to pull it off effectively. Hardy finally does the character justice after everyone had to witness Joel Schumacherâ(TM)s failure to interpret the character as a mindless henchman in the awful Batman and Robin. Bane is a genius and strategist. Hardy completely brings the character to life with his voice and his physicality. Do not compare Hardyâ(TM)s Bane to Ledgerâ(TM)s Joker. They are two completely different villains and performances. Hardy did a wonderful job at creating the characterâ(TM)s obsession with carnage.
I know a lot of people who donâ(TM)t like Anne Hathaway and the last thing these haters wanted was to see her play Selina Kyle/Catwoman. I remember everyone bickering about Heath Ledger being announced as the Joker. May he rest in peace, but look what happened! I gained a lot of trust for Nolan and his choice for actors (except Maggie Gyllenhaal). In my opinion, I think Hathaway is a scene stealer. Hathaway has a different interpretation than Michelle Pfeiffer did, so I didnâ(TM)t bother comparing them. Hathaway turns into the famous femme fatale with her seductiveness, cleverness and professionalism and left behind her cuteness from her Disney films. Not only did she perform the role well, Hathaway looked really attractive in the suit. I canâ(TM)t blame Batman for not wanting to fight her. Nolan always had an issue writing female characters, but he finally succeeded with Selina Kyle. I admired Hathawayâ(TM)s performance as Catwoman and I hope she continues to be a part of movies like this in the future. Gary Oldman is still my favorite actor and he continues to impress as Police Commissioner Jim Gordon. From the start, I was the most happy about his casting in these films after years of playing villains. This character, George Smiley and Sirius Black are examples that Gary Oldman can also perform as sympathetic characters. Morgan Freeman is great as he is always as Lucius Fox. Since the first film, I was amazed that Nolan was able to cast him in these films after having an already all-star cast in each film. Morgan Freeman completes the puzzle with his voice and veteran acting skills. The film reunited Inception stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard. Gordon-Levitt has become a huge star and Iâ(TM)m happy he continues to perform wonderfully as he has in the last few years. He was almost the Riddler, but Iâ(TM)m glad Nolan chose not to use a villain that would have been so much similar to the Joker. Nolan gives him a great character to play and Gordon-Levitt succeeded admirably. Before I saw the film, I considered Marion Cotillardâ(TM)s character Miranda Tate as a replacement for Rachel Dawes, because I thought Dawes was a really stupid character. Cotillardâ(TM)s character wasnâ(TM)t the best either, but she is such a likable and beautiful person that she can make any character look good. Her French accent is just beautiful music to my ears.
In my opinion, if there is an actor in the film that deserves an Oscar nomination, it should be Michael Caine. I believe that he stole every scene he was in with his stern attitude and deep emotion. This film gave every actor their chance to shine, but Caine shined the most with his emotional scenes of fatherly advice with Christian Bale. Caineâ(TM)s Alfred was always a fatherly figure to Bruce Wayne. He expressed that in the first film with his argument with Bruce before he saves his life in the burning Wayne Manor. Now, he is given new ground and material. Nolan gives him scenes where Caine can express his veteran acting talents. Another amazing casting choice from the start, Caine gives his most affective and Oscar worthy performance of his career and I hope he is given some award consideration for it.
When the action begins, it never stops. Nolanâ(TM)s action and fight sequences continue to impress. The visual effects are the best of the series by far. The action sequences are unblinking accounts of the filmâ(TM)s theme: Pain. For Batman Begins, the theme was fear. For The Dark Knight, the theme was chaos. For the conclusion, the theme is pain. For a PG-13 film, some scenes were hard to watch because they were so brutal, but it didnâ(TM)t stop Nolan from succeeding in what he aimed for the entire time. For a film that is nearly three hours long, Nolanâ(TM)s action sequences keep the film moving and are not distracting and overdone like Transformers. Nolan knows how to construct meaningful action sequences.
Even though the film is fantastic, there are always flaws. Similar to most of Nolanâ(TM)s films, the score is too loud at times. Sometimes, the score is playing too loud while characters are having conversations and the dialogue is hard to decipher. Itâ(TM)s become a trademark flaw, but I think Nolan should take a break from big budget action films. I think if he wrote and directed a British independent film, Nolan would be able to showcase his writing talents because Iâ(TM)ll actually hear what the actors are saying. I think Nolan would notice that Hans Zimmer wonâ(TM)t be able to write a score that is louder than the dialogue in an independent film. In the final Batman film, the score worked during the action sequences and made each sequence more epic. I still think his original score with James Newton Howard was the best though.
Without spoilers, the film ended with an ending the series deserves. Only Nolan could have thought of it and I am happy he chose it and long-time fans of the series will be impressed. A thrilling action spectacle and character study that leads to the worthwhile finale. I learned to watch the film for what it is and not look back to the other Batman films. Tim Burtonâ(TM)s Batman Returns (1989 Batman was good, mainly thanks to Jack Nicholson) and Schumacherâ(TM)s films were beyond cheesy and it made the films look like unfunny spoofs. I thought it would be the end of Batman, but British visionary Christopher Nolan saved the day in 2005 with Batman Begins. After Batman flipped over the Joker card at the end of the 2005 film, the hype for the sequel began. After the 2008 Dark Knight, people were already begging for part three. Now the third and final film is in theaters, Nolanâ(TM)s trilogy is over. The Dark Knight Rises lives up to its hype. In all, Nolanâ(TM)s trilogy is a very intelligent and original take on Batmanâ(TM)s world that long time Batman fans can sit back and enjoy. I really want to thank Christopher Nolan for saving the Batman franchise and giving the comic books the justice by turning them into unforgettable films.