Friday, July 27, 2012

Review: The Dark Knight Rises

Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Language: English
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 164 minutes

This was my movie of the year, the film I was looking forward to this year, and also the movie I was the most nervous about. My expectations were all over the place since The Dark Knight became one of my favorite movies. Everyone enjoyed the sequel
so following it up and closing such an epic triology would be a challenge.

Eight years later after the events of Harvey Dents's death, the city of Gotham feels at ease since passing the Dent Act that stops criminal and violent organizations. The blame of Harvey's death remains on Batman's reputation and Comissioner Gordon's conscience. The man behind the mask has become recluse for all this time until an unexpected terrorist appears in Gotham by the name of Bane.

First of all, I'm a casual Batman fan. I've never read the comics, but I've seen bits and pieces of the 1960's TV show starring Adam West and the cheesiest version of the "Justice League". I've seen all the live action movies that have hit the theater, even the incredibly awful Batman & Robin. I've watched a few reviews from Pretty Much It, James the Nintendo Nerd, JesuOtaku, and Doug Walker. They all seemed to enjoy it, except for Doug, and had different takes on it. The person I agreed with the most was the guy on the right of PMI's review. Unlike The Amazing Spider-Man, I will be avoiding spoilers.

As mentioned before, I was more than excited about seeing this movie. I also was worried it wouldn't be as spectacular as The Dark Knight and also a casting choice. I love Anne Hathaway, but trying to picture her as the alluring and clever Catwoman was hard to imagine. I also worried that Bane would get overshadowed by The Joker's anarchist ways. Were my barely existing expectations met? were way beyond anything I expected!

The story was intriguing and those near three hours of film felt like a standard hour and a half of pure art. Yes, it is dialogue heavy, but Christopher Nolan is a fantastic storyteller. Every character mattered and were fleshed out enough to know them and understand them. The acting was convincing and I can understand the choices they made without question. As for my worries about Hathaway and Bane, they went away as the movie progressed. Hathaway's portrayal of Catwoman exceed my expectations and broke that awkward but loveable girl I remember her as in The Princess Diaries and The Devil Wears Prada. She was smart, sassy, and sexy. Then there's Bane. I believed he lived up to the Joker's intimidation and power, but in a different way. I can't admire him as much because honestly his appearance scares me inside. Joker's intimidation was his mind, something I'm used to as a fan of psychological horror.

The production was rich and smoothly transitioned from the previous movie. The cinematography and editing were smart. I don't pay attention to music often in movies, but the soundtrack was phenomenal and cleverly placed. The moments that lacked music heightened the tone effectively and you constantly felt invested. Lastly, I like how it tied in Batman Begins into the story to complete the circle.

I bet you're wondering if I have any complaints. The cons are rather small to me. Without any spoilers, Batman is mentally and emotionally tested at some point and there's a story attached to it. It can be a little confusing and may take a second viewing to fully understand. There's also a scene where Batman and Bane fight and there seems to be a small continuity error. I could be wrong, but it cuts away quite quickly afterwards. There were a couple cheesy moments too, but it doesn't ruin the movie. Lastly, there were a few moments where I couldn't understand Bane and had to pick up clues in the scene to understand what was going on. Maybe a second viewing might clear things up as well.

Overall, I thought the movie was just as good as the previous. I was a bit overwhelmed by how stunning it was afterwards and also a little saddened that Nolan's tale of Gotham's Dark Knight has come to a close. I truly felt inspired by this trilogy! I'm curious how the next reboot will pan out leading to a potential Justice League as well as Nolan's next hero, the Man of Steel. I highly recommend seeing this masterpiece.

Lastly, I want to close with a quote from my Facebook concerning the events that occurred in Colorado: "The Dark Knight Rises" was a possible life changing experience to me. It's a shame that it changed so many lives by a shooting that same night in Colorado. My thoughts and prayers go out to those who were affected that evening.

Rating: 4.5/5

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