Monday, July 23, 2012
The Dark Knight Rises Review
I fully expected to enjoy this flick, but there was a part of me that was worried. You see, I’m one of those hipsters who talks badly about Batman Begins, I love annoying people asking “Where’s Batman” during that one. And I heard that was a big gripe for Dark Knight Rises. So I was all ready to make my complaints here too. But Christopher Nolan was way ahead of me. While there were long sequences with no Batman, instead we got Bane.
Bane is one of my favorite characters in the comics. I love the idea of an anti-Batman, a kid who was raised in prison, paying for his parents’ crimes rather than blessed to be raised in wealth. Bane became the tough guy he is through training, determination, and anger, the same motivators that worked for Bruce Wayne, but Bane didn’t have any of the advantages. He’s smart, strong, fast, and best of all, he dresses like a luchadore. Now, Nolan removed that aspect of the character, but Bane still gets some pretty heavy lifting in the film. Heck, this storyline combines Dark Knight Returns, Knightfall, and No Man’s Land all in a couple hours, and Bane is responsible for all of them!
From the opening sequence on, Tom Hardy is a force of nature as Bane. Again, I’m a big Hardy fan after seeing Bronson, Warriors, and Inception. But man, every time the guy lurched onto the screen I wanted to giggle. His lines were fantastic, and the over-acting was perfect. With only his eyes showing, Hardy had to ramp up the emotions he projects from just his eyes and it totally works. Fantastic. “Do you feel powerful now…?”
Anne Hathaway was a respectable Catwoman, but she was hard to figure out. I suppose that’s true of Catwoman in almost any genre, though, she’s not exactly forthcoming. I’m not sure I totally bought the relationship between her and Batman, the only thing that makes it work is that she did find out that Bruce Wayne is Batman. I also liked her playing such a crucial role in the explosive finale; although you KNOW Bane won that fight…
Joseph Gordon-Levitt will get his super-hero movie someday. Keep working on it, kid! He played the most heroic character in this film. He’s the perfect amalgam of Commissioner Gordon and Batman, and I do hope that he’s a bit well-adjusted than our lead. Gordon has a pretty fun role here too, with lots of dramatic pronouncements, but still getting a fair amount of action scenes too. And Alfred, oh Alfred. I wish I could hear you talk without chuckling.
As for Christian Bale, I’m sure it’s because of his role this time, but I wasn’t as enamored with him as I was in Dark Knight. He’s still good, but it’s always rough watching the “aging hero” story, you know? I just don’t buy him as a quitter! I did enjoy his moment to rise, and it was awesome seeing him “fight like a younger man.” And his toys! The tumblers look good during the day, surprisingly, and the Bat is a nice addition to the mythos. I expect we’ll see it shortly in the comics. I'm not sure the batsuit looked quite as strong in all that bright light, though. Does anyone agree?
So really, a darn entertaining flick that left me happy. The trilogy stands up remarkably well, and while it did peak with Dark Knight, this third film is a close second. I don’t think Nolan is returning to the franchise, so we’re destined for a reboot, but really, we can’t complain about three movies this great with such an amazing cast. This is another one I’ll be buying on blu-ray.