Genre: Superhero, Action, Suspense
Produced by Christopher Nolan
Reviewed by Evan Walter Scott Morgan
QUICK HIT — When a new threat rises in Gotham, Bruce Wayne must decide how involved — if at all — he will be in protecting the city that hated and ostracized him.
Warning: Contains spoilers for Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.
Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, Batman has disappeared and Bruce Wayne secludes himself in Wayne Manor. Gotham, a city once run by organized crime, is now enjoying peace thanks to the Dent Act, which has cracked down on criminals. But as we know, this peace is all based on a lie. And now a new villain has arrived in Gotham—a brooding terrorist leader known as Bane. He claims to be the city’s reckoning and liberation. Now Bruce Wayne must make a choice. Will the Batman rise and come back to help the city that has deemed him a murderer and a criminal, or will he stay in the shadows?
Four years after the record-breaking and breath-taking release of the second installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman franchise, The Dark Knight, we have been given the finale of the trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises. With the popularity and reception of its predecessor, Rises had some pretty big expectations to live up to. As with the last installment of all series, there are mixed reviews flying around. Here are my thoughts:
Rises is a totally different movie than Knight. Not that there are new characters, nor is it a completely different story, but the theme and the battles fought are not the same. With that said, I am going to avoid comparing the two movies to each other as much as I possibly can.
The story is intense. There is no time for rest. After all, there is a fierce battle going on, both mentally and physically. If you are not one for intense action, this is not going to be a movie that you will like.
Nolan does not let the “bigger is better” mindset get to his head like some directors (yes, I am looking at you, Michael Bay). In this movie, Nolan delivers the superhero-style action the way that it was always meant to be delivered: without it getting in the way of story. While the physical intensity is definitely there, so is the psychological. Bruce must make a choice. Is it worth saving the people he once watched over, but is now hated by? And what about when he is broken? Can he overcome a force that he can’t even begin to match?
Along with the awesome story, the acting was superb. Christian Bale, of course, as Bruce Wayne, was as great as he was in Begins and Knight, as was Michael Cane as Wayne’s butler, Alfred. I always enjoy it when he is on film. Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman were great as well in the reprised roles.
As for the new characters in this movie, I have to say that the casting choices were fantastic, especially Anne Hathaway, who played the role of cat burglar Selina Kyle — “Catwoman” in the comics. I believe that all the people who were skeptical of Hathaway being casted in this role will be remarkably pleased with her performance. She portrays the personality of the character well. As for the villain of the movie, Bane, who is played by Tom Hardy: Bane is a brutal character who has no remorse. He’s violent and cunning. And Batman is no match for him. Hardy does a great job with the character, what with the restrictions of being required to wear a mask that covered half his face. While we cannot see the facial expressions on his face, we can most definitely see the ferocity in his eyes.
There are only a couple of things that I found faults with. First, Bane’s voice. Sometimes it was hard to understand what he was saying, but most of the time, I could figure out what he said. The second thing that I had a problem with was the choppiness of what I would say is the first quarter of the film. Thankfully, this is made up for by what came after.
A movie is never complete without a score. The music is what makes us feel the emotions. It gets us going. And in this film, composer Hans Zimmer did not disappoint. The music for the epic confrontation in Gotham’s streets is intense and powerful, definitely the highlight of the score for the movie.
This movie was an epic that completes a series in a way that we have not seen before. As Nolan said himself, it brings the trilogy full-circle. There is a feeling of completeness and closure. Nothing is left hanging.
Rises is a perfect way to end a trilogy that has become one of the biggest franchises ever. And I am glad to have been a part of it.
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