Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises (Christopher Nolan, 2012) Review

Here it is. The finale of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy that I'm going to try an contain in a special, extra long review. In a word, The Dark Knight Rises I couldn't walk after it had finished. The world can end right now, I wouldn't care because I have now seen The Dark Knight Rises and is the perfect send-off for the blockbuster franchise. The series separates itself from the previous films (from Batman to Batman & Robin) and, frankly, that's a good thing. It's a trilogy in it's own right that comes together well. Well, it's finally time to take a look at the cinema event of the year: The Dark Knight Rises.

Eight years after the death of Harvey Dent, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has gone into hiding. His interest in the outside world is brought back after the mysterious cat burglar Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) breaks into his house and steals his fingerprints. Bruce must now put the cowl and the cape back on in order to learn who needs his prints and why. Business rival John Daggart (Ben Mendelsohn) has Bruce's prints and has hired the mercenary Bane (Tom Hardy) to use them and destroy Bruce Wayne in everyway (no, not anyway...this is Bane we're talking about) he can. Meanwhile, Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) is working on a new power source for Gotham City with the help of a new Wayne Enterprise executive Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard) and also, with Batman taking the fall for Dent's crimes, the only cops that still believe in Batman are Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) and John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who are trying to get Gotham to realise that they need Batman. So now Batman has to win Gotham back, defeat Bane, reason with Selina and save Gotham City once and for all.

My god. This film REALLY lived up to the hype. "Film event of the year" adverts boast and, yes, it is. I was worried that all the effort went into The Dark Knight but I was pleasantly surprised at how amazingly well done this film was done. The acting is incredible. Much better than the previous films. One of the problems I found with The Dark Knight was that Batman's voice had gotten worse from Batman Begins but now it's back to the way it was. It sounds much better. Christian Bale himself was great. I feared that, because of the much darker tone of the film, that we wouldn't get to see the playboy Bruce Wayne but we still did and he is still as great as ever. Tom Hardy had a lot to do for this film. Heath Ledger had set the bar for Batman villains but Tom Hardy is up there. He really is. Bane is a fantastic villain and a much better improved over what happened in Batman & Robin. Bane is now not only a muscle-bound mercenary but he is also a clever and elite strategist. I foresee an Oscar nomination for you, Tom. I had my doubts about Anne Hathaway as Selina and thought she would have made a better Harley Quinn but when I saw her in this, I was glad I was wrong. She is one of the best Catwoman ever seen on a screen (kicks Michelle Pfeiffer ass). I foresee an Oscar nomination for you, well.

With the main three out of the way, let's continue with the secondary characters. A new character that I really like is John Blake. I like Joseph Gordon-Levitt and I was excited when I heard he was going to be in this film and, I wouldn't be praising him if he didn't, he does VERY well in this film. Blake is clearly a Batman fan (yes, the character...and maybe the actor) and his history leads to him becoming a very well developed character. Good writing triumphs all. Marion Cotillard surprised me. Miranda Tate was an exceedingly amazing character. I honestly didn't expect her to be so memorable. Her relationship with Bruce is well written and is easily the most well developed character in the film. I foresee an get the drift. All the regulars of the franchise are as good as ever. Their roles are slightly smaller than before (especially Alfred) but even with this in mind, they are still great. Gordon (who is probably the only regular role that's bigger than last time) is fantastic and better than before, Alfred goes through some excellent character development and the seriousness of the film is reflected on Lucius as he does less wisecracking (but there's still a bit).

The writing is genius. I wasn't expecting any humour at all but I was surprising funny. The humour this time is mostly through the dialogue but that isn't a problem since I doubt they could do that in this film. Humour includes out of character moment (such as Bane listening to the child singing the American national anthem) or reactions (mostly from Lucius). There is more than the humour though. I'm not going into to much depth but, like the other films, there are plenty of twists and turns in the plot and actually work (unlike some films where twists don't work...right, Prometheus?). Let's not forget the Nolanisation (that isn't a word? It should be) of existing characters. This is the best Bane you will ever see. I always thought the Mexican wrestler look was bit out of place but Bane in this film looks great and sounds perfect (his voice isn't an issue, no matter what you say). I already mentioned that this film has one of the best Catwomen. The writing is full of tricks and red herrings. When I heard the name Daggart, I thought that Clayface would be an enemy as Daggart was responsible for his origin in the animated series. The writers should be very proud of themselves. I foresee...never mind.

The Dark Knight Rises is an excellent way to finish off the Dark Knight trilogy. Christopher Nolan has done the impossible. He's created a trilogy with no black sheep. They are three solid films and any of them can be someone's favourite without starting a flame war. EVERYTHING in the series is tied together well by the end of this one and no stone is left unturned. You HAVE to watch Batman Begins and The Dark Knight before watching this though. I would recommend that you watch them right before you go so you can remember them better and get the references. It's a long film (I was really numb afterwards) that answers all the enigma codes of the first two films (except what happened to the Joker due to respect for Heath Ledger's death).

The Dark Knight Rises is one of the best films i have ever seen and concludes one of the best trilogies (if not the best) I have ever seen. It's an emotional film. The amount of emotions this film can make someone feel is phenomenal. I laughed, was scared and even almost cried (which is rare for me with films...manly, I know). It brings the best of the franchise to the point I even forgot this was a comic book film at times. Three for three, Nolan. Good job. Thanks for joining me (if you did) for a whole week of Batman films and, if you haven't seen this one, watch it ASAP because it is unmissable. I doubt we'll ever get a movie experience like this in our life time again.

A phenomenal film that concludes a phenomenal franchise. A must-see that is top priority for EVERYONE.

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