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Saturday, July 21, 2012

MOVIE REVIEW: THE DARK KNIGHT RISES [Spoiler Free]

IN THEATERS

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES




Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy concludes with this Warner Brothers release that finds The Dark Knight pitted against Bane, an unstoppable foe possessed of tremendous physical and intellectual strength. Nearly a decade after taking the fall for Harvey Dent's death and disappearing into the darkness, a fugitive Batman (Christian Bale) watches from the shadows as the Dent Act keeps the streets of Gotham City free of crime. Meanwhile, an elusive cat burglar seizes the chance to strike, and a masked anarchist plots a devastating series of attacks designed to lure Bruce Wayne out of the shadows. Determined not to abandon the people who he once risked his life to protect, The Dark Knight emerges from his self-imposed exile ready to fight. But Bane (Tom Hardy) is ready, too, and once Batman is within his grasp, he will do everything in his power to break Gotham City's shadowy savior. Oscar-winner Michael Caine and Gary Oldman return in a sequel also starring Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Director: Christopher Nolan

Cast: Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-
Levitt, Michael Caine , Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman

Release Date: Jul 20, 2012

Rated PG-13 Intense Sequences of Violence, Intense Sequences of Action, Language and some Sensuality

Runtime: 2 hr. 45 min.

Genres: Action/Adventure, Suspense/Thriller

Review:

In a summer of movies where one anticipated film is followed by another, there was only one that truly and deeply had me waiting desperately and impatiently. After having digested The Dark Knight Rises twice now, I can say that Christopher Nolan has created one of the best trilogies of all time for one of the seminal character in pop culture. With TDKR Nolan has made the Avengers look quaint in comparison. Incredibly satisfying and emotionally impactful, this finale ends the series with a real bang. Borrowing pieces from graphic novels like The Dark Knight Returns, No Man’s Land, a sampling of Batman Beyond and even a bad Batman The Animated Series episode, TDKR is a cornucopia of delights for Batfans like me. Little winks and nods of fan service are peppered into the film making me about gleeful as an unsupervised child in a candy store. The story meshes incredibly well with the overall arch of the first 2 films especially Batman Begins. Bale is given the spotlight here, rightfully so, and he’s incredible. Bale portrays Wayne, Batman himself is actually only in about a third of the overall film, as a man dealing with the after effects of the 2nd film’s finale. He displays Bruce’s struggle to find meaning and direction in his life with textured nuance. Tom Hardy, who looks like Brian Urlacher dressed for an S&M party, is quiet impressive as the primary villain here. Sounding like a cross between Darth Vader and Sean Connery, his Bane is a shark to Heath Ledger’s wild dog Joker. Bane is menacing and intimating, brimming with confidence in every scene which is impressive considering Hardy only has his hands and eyes to act with because of the face mask. Equally impressive and perhaps more surprising is Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman. Hathaway just nails the character’s essence and persona right from the start. This is a more traditional Catwoman than the S&M Burton version. As such it feels more in keeping with her character from the comic and animated sources, a real delight. Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Marion Cotillard both do solid work in roles that are vital to the story arch. With all the new faces in this entry some of the series standby take a bit of a back seat but still leave their mark such as Oldman perfect pitch Gordon which is always a joy, as is Morgan Freeman’s Lucius Fox. Michael Caine though deserves special recognition as Alfred even though he’s in this film a lot less than previous entries. Caine has a few scenes that deliver potent emotional punches in his roles as Bruce’s paternal figure. Together this cast creates a lush and vivid Gotham that’s alive and earned through the other film’s set up. The film rolls towards it’s final act which itself is an impressive piece of directing by Nolan since it’s pretty much a very well orchestrated version of the 1966 Batman finale where Adam West was running around with a bomb over his head. Of course that’s an exaggeration but it’s a testament to the strength of the film that it works so well as a thrilling finale giving me many a goose bumps throughout. If there are a few nitpicks they are very minor. Some of the dialogue feels clunkier that the previous entries and some character’s like Matthew Modine’s Assistant Chief serve little to no purpose. Minor issues but apparent. Regardless, you’ll leave the theater wondering how that nearly 3 hour run time passed by so fast and when you can see it again.

A

16 comments:

  1. Great review!

    I agree with you about this being an fitting end to the trilogy. Chris Bale was at his best and Anne was great as Selina as well.

    Nice reference to the Adam West movie :)

    Check out my review .

    Cheers!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you brother, following your blog, thanks for reading! West thing just popped in my head the whole last part of the movie.

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  2. Brilliant review - I am so glad you loved it as much as I did.

    The entire cast was fantastic (even Hathaway who I had doubts over) but Michael Caine stood out.

    I had a few issues with Hardy's voice but other than that I have no real complaints.

    Can't wait until I see it again!

    K :-)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you K, even watching it twice there are a few bits of dialogue I couldn't make out from Bane but didn't bother me too much.

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  3. Awesome review! I am really looking forward to seeing this.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for reading! It's a great ending to an excellent trilogy.

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  4. i agree, this is a truly epic piece with so many layers. and, you're right, it does go by very fast

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    1. Epic and well thought out, never really feels overly long which is impressive.

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  5. I totally agree with you about Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Marion Cotillard and that Bane is a shark to Heath Ledger’s wild dog Joker. I don’t think I ever saw Anne Hathaway more mature and elegant.

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    1. Hathaway really surprised me, didn't think she'd do as well as she did.

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  6. Wow, sounds like a great movie...I'll get around to watching the series one of these days :) Great review

    --DJ

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  7. With a couple of surprising plot twists, and several crowd-pleasing nods to his previous Batman films, Nolan delivers a near-perfect farewell that tops off one of the best trilogies in some recent time, especially for the superhero genre. Great review Daniel.

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    1. Really delivered on so many levels, I was totally satisfied with how they wrapped up the Nolan series. Thank you so much for reading!

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  8. “Some days, you just can't get rid of a bomb” That's what the end of The Dark Knight Rises was. Wonder if Nolan intended that in anyway, or even noticed the similarities with the old Adam West movie.
    Despite what I said earlier, I love The Dark Knight Rises. As for a pure movie going experience, it was fantastic. It wasn't until 10 minutes after leaving the theater that I thought about the plot, but I still find it very entertaining. Even though it might not have as tight a plot as The Dark Knight, I probably like it more than The Dark Knight in terms of entertain. Hathaway as Catwoman was the highlight of the movie for me. She really killed it in the role.
    Darth Vader mixed with Sean Connery was exactly what I thought when I heard Bane's voice too. Great review!
    Also thank you for replying to all my comments, I always come back to read them.

    -James

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    Replies
    1. I agree James, I can't tell you how blown away and excited I was about it while and after watching it especially on the first viewing. I know there are issues but that hasn't stopped me from watching it multiple times since it hit video.

      No problem James, thanks for reading!

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