Sunday, July 22, 2012
"THE DARK KNIGHT RISES" Review!!!! (SPOILERS!)
Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy has come to an end. Four years after the release of the monumental “The Dark Knight” comes “The Dark Knight Rises”, which is a more than fitting end to his trilogy. This is my review for the film, and I am going to tell you right now that beware, spoilers aplenty are ahead, so enter at your own risk folks. With that out of the way, let’s begin…
SPOILERS AHEAD! ABANDON ALL HOPE ALL YE WHO ENTER HERE!!!!!!!!!!!
From the beginning with “Batman Begins”, we’ve seen a Batman universe that is all about the realism. From his technology to his wonderful toys to even the villains he’s faced, everything about this new cinematic take on the Batman world is grounded in reality, and it’s made for some great entertainment. As great as “Batman Begins” was though, it was “The Dark Knight” that took things to a new level. With the late Heath Ledger’s brilliant performance as The Joker to a thought provoking script that perfectly displayed the kind of repercussions that would happen in the real world if someone decided to put on a costume and take a serious fight to crime in a crooked and corrupt world, “The Dark Knight” was brilliant despite its small flaws, and to me remains the absolute best comic book-based film to ever see the light of day. With “The Dark Knight Rises”, we see the aftermath that such repercussions have created, escalating even further into an environment of full-blown anarchy and chaos, and the one man that can rise above it all to save the day.
With its much publicized filming taking place, a good chunk of the surprises that the film was set to deliver were already known to the public. From Bane’s connection to Ra’s Al Ghul, to Miranda Tate really being Talia Al Ghul, there weren’t that many twists that the public didn’t kind of already know were going to happen. That aside, we were treated to seeing a world where Batman did indeed “live long enough to see himself become the villain” like Harvey Dent had said in the previous film, as he is a broken and hollow man living a life of seclusion. He comes out of his self-imposed exile as Bane makes his presence felt; eventually re-creating the famous scene from the “Knightfall” comics as he breaks Batman’s back and takes over the city. The day is saved in the end of course, culminating with Batman faking his own death and leaving Gotham City cop John “Robin” Blake to take the reins.
In praise of the film, it was wonderful to see all the seeds planted in “Batman Begins” come to fruition. It was twice as wonderful to see this realistic take on Batman culminate in such a thrilling spectacle. While “The Avengers” was an amazing superhero blockbuster, “The Dark Knight Rises” is more of a thinking-man’s blockbuster, drawing you in with believable characters and motivations, along with some surprisingly brutal action set-pieces to boot. Christian Bale, despite what you may think of him, gives his best performance as Batman here. His portrayal of a broken man that can’t stay away from his duty as the Caped Crusader is a sight to behold. Michael Keaton may always be my favorite Batman, but Bale definitely comes in right behind him. Just about the rest of the cast was great as well. I really enjoyed Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, and Tom Hardy was menacing as all hell as Bane. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was great as well in a surprisingly meaty role. I should also note that Bane’s voice was thankfully re-dubbed during post-production. When the film’s prologue was released alongside “Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol” last year, I’ll be damned if I could understand anything that he fucking said, but here, it’s fixed for the most part. Granted he does kind of sound like Sean Connery in need of a Halls, but hey, it could have been a lot worse.
As for the flaws of the film, the one thing that got me was that Gordon sadly wasn’t featured as prominently as he was the last time around. One of the things that made “The Dark Knight” so great was just how much they featured Gordon and how important a role he played in the proceedings. Here, he doesn’t so much, while Alfred and Lucius Fox seem to spend more time on the backburner as well. Still, the final half hour of the film is so masterfully done and orchestrated that you’ll literally be chewing on your fingernails in anticipation to see how it all comes to an end.
Also in retrospect, when you go to see the film if you haven’t already, thoughts about those in Colorado that were senselessly slaughtered at the film’s premiere will weigh heavy on your head. It’s only a matter of time before we get a handful of idiots that blame the actions of one diseased mind on this film, which is a crying shame in itself. Its times like this that we all wish people like Batman were real.
Do yourself a favor: go see the best, most electrifying conclusion to a superhero trilogy in the history of fucking ever. You’ll be glad that you did.