The Dark Knight Rises

I’d like to take a moment and acknowledge the horrible events surrounding the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado. My heart and sympathies go out to the victims, their families, and everyone affected by the acts of that sick individual. He took a place I, and many other people call a second home and turned it into something people fear.

But we mustn’t let this terrorist win. The only way to do so is by continuing this wonderful pastime with our heads held high; without fear.

Release date: July 20, 2012 The Dark Knight Rises

It took me two weeks and two viewings of Christopher Nolan’s final chapter in HIS Batman series, The Dark Knight Rises, to finally have the right words for this cinematic masterpiece.

I’ll start this off by saying I absolutely loved the previous two installments of this story. Batman Begins, as an origin story is rivalled only by Iron Man in awesomeness, but head and shoulders above the rest in emotion. Nolan’s second chapter, The Dark Knight included what many people believe is the best incarnation of The Joker. Heath Ledger’s performance actually gave me goosebumps.

With all this hype, buildup and anticipation, (redundant but true) could The Dark Knight Rises really live up to the world’s expectations!?

Answer: HELL TO THE YES!

TDKR brings back all your favorite surviving characters from the past flicks like Christian Bale as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, Sir Michael Caine as Alfred alongside Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon and introduces a few new faces. Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate, a rich person with ties to Wayne Enterprises, Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle/kinda Catwoman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a young “hot head” cop, John Blake with ideals similar to those of Bruce Wayne/Batman. The main villain of this flick is Tom Hardy as BANE. I think it’s pretty safe to say he didn’t let anyone down.

The events of The Dark Knight Rises take place some 8 years after the end of The Dark Knight. Batman has disappeared from Gotham City. Bruce Wayne has become a recluse and the city is “free from organized crime.” However when known fugitive Bane appears in Gotham, and Commissioner Gordon is shot, Bruce puts on the cowl again to prevent the demise of his city.

This film was shot with a lot of IMAX. This is pretty evident within the first eight minutes with a beautiful & terrifying scene involving Bane abducting someone from a plane in midair. Following that opening sequence we’re treated to a very emotion ride that ends in what I can say is a more than satisfactory ending for Batman and us.

 What worked:

– The score. Hot damn. Much like all of Nolan’s flicks, this piece is accompanied by music that does its job at drawing you in. You have the familiar sounds from the past two flicks mixed in with some new sounds to accent characters that were very multi-layered like Selina Kyle.

– Sir Michael Caine. If he weren’t already knighted, I would have wanted to punch the queen. Although his role was taken back slightly in this one, he just commands his scenes with poise and emotion. You really get the fact that Bruce is more than someone he serves. He loves him, in a totally platonic way. (I’m not making jokes here guys. Too much respect for Batman)

– Bane. This is a big mix of acting and writing. Both Nolan and Hardy did a phenomenal job. There was a lot of talk coming into this film about if anyone or any character could be in the same league as Heath Ledger/The Joker. Well instead of being in the same league, Nolan and Hardy decided to play a whole other game. Where The Joker is about random chaos that Batman could never understand; Bane is all about organized anarchy. I really liked the concept of his mask. However, I do have a gripe with it.  They never explained how exactly this thing is powered. But then again I am but a nerd nitpicking!

– The whole cast. I could have easily gone and directed each actor one by one. But let’s face it, everyone hit a home-run in this one. Can we say it was the script? Yeah, but these cats would have probably made the best of a shallower script too.

 What didn’t work:

– There’s a small sub-plot involving Deputy Commissioner Peter Foley. (Matthew Modine) His motivation and needs aren’t fully developed and explored and he seems to have a revelation in the third act that isn’t really well showcased and just kind of thrown into a heap with a montage. I can only assume this was done in the editing room for time issues, because this flick is pretty long. (Not something that didn’t work, but I see why they would shorten/cut something)

– Banes voice modification. This is not a knock at the way he spoke. I found that amazing. Hardy took a big brooding guy who you’d expect to be like his past incarnations: strong as an ox, but dumb as a cannoli, and made him well spoken. What I didn’t like was how much louder his voice was compared to everyone else in the film. But I did feel like his volume was more well adjusted as the film wore on. I guess Nolan did this so people could get used to the masks impediments.

The Lowdown:

The Dark Knight Rises isn’t a perfect film. But it’s clearly at the top of the pile this year. It’s the perfect mix of action, emotion and grit. For comic book readers in the know, the twist of the final act is predictable within 20 minutes of the first shot. However even when you see it coming, you can’t help but get sucked into the moment. Batman’s new toys will have you more than satisfied if you love action and tech in your super hero films. As I said while walking out of the cinema, we came for Nolan’s Batman but left happy for Bruce and Gotham. The last five minutes might reduce you to tears, even if you look like Tom Hardy.

The Dark Knight Rises is Verified Awesome.

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