Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

Year: 2012
Director: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman

Plot: Eight years after the death of Harvey Dent, Gotham City is almost crime free under the watch of Commissioner Gordon, and Bruce Wayne has retired the cape and suit. However, when the terrorist known as Bane strikes and brings Gotham to its knees, Batman makes his return to save it. But can he?

Review: I was one of the few who thought that The Dark Knight should not have ended the way it did, and that it deserved a follow up to give the character a proper closure. To that end, Christopher Nolan, his brother Jonathan and David S Goyer gives us The Dark Knight Rises. The trailers didn't exactly impress me when I first saw them, but after seeing the finished film, I have to say I'm very impressed.

Nolan has outdone himself again, giving us an epic conclusion to Bruce Wayne's journey from orphan billionaire to vigilante to misunderstood hero, and now to a broken man who has to rediscover his purpose. In this film, Bruce has become a recluse, sleeping in his room all day until Selina Kyle, a cat burglar shows up and steals from him. He learns that she has connections to someone from his company, who in turn is connected to Bane, a masked man with grand plans on destroying Gotham City.

Bane here is closer to the comicbooks than the one in Batman & Robin. He isn't just some over-muscled brute, but a brutal and intelligent villain. Bane successfully beats Batman and breaks him in every way, then turns Gotham upside down. This is where Bruce has to heal himself and fight back to save his city.

It's a story that all Batman fans can be proud of, since it involves watching their hero rise up after being convincingly defeated, a concept that most people can relate to. But Nolan has improved on a lot of other things here. His filming of the fight scenes are better now, we can at least see every move made unlike Batman Begins, where it was mostly blurry. And unlike The Dark Knight, where Harvey Dent and The Joker take up more screen time than our hero, TDKR focuses more on Bruce Wayne this time, which is the right way to go. Even the plot is clearer than TDK.

The entire cast do extremely well here, every one of them fulfilling their roles perfectly. Bale is always awesome as Bruce/Batman, with Tom Hardy doing a good job being intimidating as Bane. Old hands Caine, Oldman and Freeman also do well in their roles as Alfred, Gordon and Lucius Fox respectively. I loved Joseph Gordon-Levitt as policeman John Blake, one of the few who hasn't lost hope in Batman. Joseph has certainly come into his own and it shows here. Marion Cotillard and Anne Hathaway play Bruce's romantic interests here, the former as Miranda Tate, someone with an interest in Wayne Enterprises and the latter as Selina Kyle. Both are great, though I dislike Anne's Catwoman costume.

The first half is great, but I simply love how everything comes together in the second half of the film, where every character's role is defined and played out, with the exception of Alfred, who disappears somehow. This bugs me a bit, along with a few other scenes that could have turned out better.

In conclusion, I have to say that it's a perfect way to end a great trilogy. TDKR may be 164 minutes long, but I sure didn't feel the time go by. It's awesome and everyone should go see it. Really. (4.5/5)


Ira Roslan said...

Did it feel like something was missing without Heath Ledger?

Aaron said...

No, not at all. Heath was brilliant in his own way, but Hardy is pretty damn good himself.


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