Thursday, February 20, 2014

My Review of The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Written by Christopher Nolan And David S. Goyer And Jonathan Nolan
Directed by Christopher Nolan

Selina: "There's a storm coming, Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches, because when it hits, you're all gonna wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us."

The amount of times I have watched this movie since it's DVD release will probably be something of a testament to my personal feelings towards the end of Nolan's Batman franchise. While The Dark Knight does seem to be the favourite out of the three with most people, it's The Dark Knight Rises that overall became my favourite of the bunch.

Out of the three Nolan movies, it's also the longest but never feels like it's being dragged out for a reason but I think the main reason why I love this movie so much is that it actually gave a definitive ending to this particular take on Batman and managed to do so pretty well from my point of view.

Christian Bale has been brilliant throughout all three movies and while the middle movie was his best one, performance wise, he is once again, wonderful throughout this movie as well. Seeing the Batman slowly regaining his focus and trying to stop Bane, especially after a certain encounter is done at a pace that certainly feels organic to the movie's narrative.

Speaking of Bane - when it comes to the rogue gallery, he's an interesting choice for a final antagonist and after being assassinated, character wise with Batman & Robin, it's a credit to Nolan and of course, Tom Hardy that the Bane we saw here was an excellent, calculating man, although his great plan for Gotham was pretty similar to his former mentor, Ra's al Ghul. Hardly shocking considering that he was also a member of the League Of Shadows.

Of course the real villain of the piece didn't turn out to be Bane. Nope, the seemingly selfless Miranda Tate turned out to be no other than Talia al Ghul and while I kind of wish she had revealed her identity a little earlier in the movie, Marion Cotillard did a blinding job as the fanatical daughter of Ra's as Ghul with the screen time she was given nonetheless.

However the highlight of the movie though was Anne Hathaway as cat burglar/print stealer, Selina Kyle/Catwoman. I've always been a big fan of Catwoman and after Halle Berry's disastrous outing in that 2004 movie, it's nice to see that Hathaway seems to get the role a lot better with Selina veering from deadly femme fatale to anti-heroine within the two and a half hours of this entire movie. She's pretty much a joy to watch and her interactions with Bale's Batman and Bruce Wayne are certainly fun. Hathaway definitely became one of the best incarnation of the role to be honest with this movie alone.

As for John Blake - I guess it kind of felt obvious in retrospect that he was Robin, if by name only but his heroism throughout the movie and eventual inheritance of the Batcave certainly felt earned and I do think Joseph Gordon Levitt did an excellent job with a rather interesting supporting role as well. He certainly had as much as screen time as Gary Oldman's James Gordon and definitely did more than either Lucius or Alfred as well. personally, I like to think because of this movie's end, Blake went on to become someone rather familiar.

- This movie had some more cameos from Ra's al Ghul and the Scarecrow. Had circumstances been different, I'd like to think we would've briefly seen the Joker again as well.
- According to Anne Hathaway, she thought she was auditioning for Harley Quinn in this movie.
- I wonder why they chose such a long gap between this movie and the previous one, chronology wise. Was a eight year gap really needed? Not a criticism but I am curious though.
- The final scene with Bruce and Selina living in Florence as Alfred watched them was a nice touch as the fact that Batman's reputation had been restored to the people of Gotham.

For a final movie, The Dark Knight Rises brought a sense of completion to proceedings. The great thing about Nolan's trilogy was the definitive beginning, middle and end it had and all three movies realised that extremely well. A stunning end to a stunning series.

Rating: 10 out of 10

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