Since I’ll be fortunate enough to re-watch The Dark Knight Rises again today (yay, Fandango!), I should have a more in-depth review of TDKR up in the next few days. Unlike the first review, which was purposely written without any spoilers that may have ruined it for anyone who hasn’t seen it, this one will contain spoilers as I attempt to do a more thorough look at the film itself.
Since there are many people out there who have not yet seen The Dark Knight Rises (TDKR), I shall endeavor to do my very best to do this first review of the film without spoilers of any kind. That means that, for the bulk of the review, I will offer more general impressions of important aspects of the film as well as its key characters.
The film is set about 8 years or so after what took place in the Dark Knight. Before I continue, the new Batman film makes many important allusions and references from events that took place in the previous two. I highly recommend that one go back and watch the first two films beforehand to prepare yourself for TDKR.
The opening sequence which introduces Bane, who happens to be the most recognizable antagonist in the film, is nothing short of genius. From the first moment you lay eyes on him, you realize that the powerful and evil figure that is Bane is not a foe that anyone should take lightly.
From there, we see Bruce Wayne, who is clearly a changed man. Christian Bale’s performance as Bruce Wayne is one of the high points of the film. Bruce not only is affected physically by his many battles fought as Batman, but, more importantly, his overall psyche is affected as well. To sum it up, the Bruce Wayne we meet at the start of TDKR ain’t pretty, folks.
Selina Kyle (aka “Catwoman,” although never referred to as such) is played by a surprisingly good Anne Hathaway. You never fully know what to expect. What she leaves you with is a feisty, snarky, independent, and STRONG female character that is undeniably sexy, smart, quick-witted, and knows how to take care of herself.
Michael Caine, who reprises his role as the faithful Alfred, offers one of the more stronger supporting cast performances that fans will witness in the film. His humor, sensitivity, and compassionate support for Bruce Wayne is especially endearing and reminds us of the fact that even heroes are unmistakably human.
Lucius Fox, played by the impeccable Morgan Freeman, is dead-on as Bruce Wayne’s right hand man at Wayne Enterprises. Gary Oldman’s Commissioner Gordon, while enjoyable, was severely hampered by a lack of scene time. The same could be said of Lucius Fox.
Perhaps the most surprising performance, for me, was Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s turn as the idealistic cop, John Blake. His sincerity and heart really shone through and he did an admirable job in a very crucial supporting role.
Now, what about the plot? The plot can be summarized as follows: Bruce Wayne has been in retirement because of the events which took place in the Dark Knight following the loss of Harvey Dent and the woman he loved, Rachel Dawes. It is only after Gotham is threatened by the mysterious and powerful Bane that Batman is forced to “rise” to somehow defeat this terrifying new menace.
A word about Bane: There have been many reviewers and people who have seen the film that have tried to compare the Joker from The Dark Knight and Bane from TDKR. It is not only unfair to do so, but it is futile as well. The emotional, physical, and mental makeup are so radically different that comparisons just don’t make sense to me, but, as I said, many fans will make them nonetheless. That doesn’t make Bane any less of a foe than Joker was, it just means that the two villains are different kinds of terrors for Batman and Gotham City. The thing that you’ll notice about Bane in TDKR is that he is highly intelligent, driven, and brutal. While there has been complaints about his voice, I personally liked it and had no trouble understanding him. Tom Hardy did an exceptional job in his performance as the ruthless Bane.
There are large stretches of the film in which Batman is absent but, in my estimation, this is necessary because it allows for more character development and allows us to understand why Batman is such an integral part of Gotham City itself as both a hero and symbol.
The action itself never feels forced and is immediate, electric, and mesmerizing. The confrontations that took place between Bane and Batman were my personal favorite parts of the film and had me literally on the edge of my seat. The ferocity, the simplicity, and brutality with which Bane and Batman fought with against each other reminded me of two gladiators facing off as they did in ancient Rome.
The destruction that befell Gotham in the film is hauntingly akin to the 9-11 attacks on American soil. It also can be argued that Bane’s hostile takeover of Gotham was heavily influenced by the Occupy movement. In any case, it made for a grand spectacle indeed.
The end part of the film (I would say the last 20-30 minutes) was a whirlwind and the actual ending contained enough action, drama, and twists and turns that it had me (as well as the entire theater) cheering and applauding loudly at the end. It is something that has to be seen to be believed.
The soundtrack of the film was also well done and added to the overall mood and emotion and drama of the film. On a final note, keep a special eye out on Miranda Tate and Officer John Blake as these two seemingly minor characters turn out to be much more than what they seem to be.
A word about the length (running time): While TDKR is a long film (around 3 hours or so), I never felt that it dragged on or was stale or boring even for one moment.
I refuse to say whether or not TDKR is better than its predecessor, The Dark Knight, but I will say that the last film in the Nolan Batman trilogy is truly a fitting and epic way to wrap up the Dark Knight saga and is my personal favorite of the three.
This film’s greatness was due to the fact that it kept me invested in the story and characters, blew me away with its scope and spectacle, wowed me with its unbelievable action, and kept me interested with enough twists and turns to keep me guessing until the ending, which was both surprising and highly satisfying.
I’m a simple guy. Little things make me happy. Seeing the sun shine, being able to eat fast food or my fave junk food once in a while, spending time with family, and even brightening up someone’s day with a smile, kind words, or support.
It’s easy sometimes to get too caught up with the treadmill rat race that is every day life. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to keep things simple and try to create moments or joy for yourself and others every single day.
Just a thought.
In the unbelievably short time that I have known you I can honestly say that you have managed to turn everything I thought I knew upside down and inside out. Every time we get to interact on the Big Blue Chirpie, I can’t help but feel all happy and giddy and excited. It’s an intoxicating, overwhelming feeling.
You’re such a funny, warm, sweet, beautiful, unique, sexy, and REAL woman that I have grown to really and truly adore, admire, need, and LOVE you. My only regret is that we didn’t meet sooner.
You are not just my world, you’re the best and most special part in it. Dear woman, I <3 u.
Love you now and always,
R (aka GeekRobotica)
Sometimes all you hear is the bad news like “eating too much fast food can cause complications like diabetes and increase your risk for other problems” or “if you trust people too easy, they’ll eventually burn you.”
As true and wise as these admonitions may be, I can venture to say that it is rare that you’ll hear good things come from people’s mouths. Why? I think because there may be a general feeling out there among a lot of people that being good or decent is either boring, mundane, or worse, pedestrian.
Now, I have nothing against being bad as long as it doesn’t end up hurting others or yourself. Hedonism is a wonderful pipe dream, but it often can lead to a miserable and unhappy existence.
I actually don’t mind being “good” or nice to people. As long as there are those that truly appreciate what I have to offer, then I feel that, in the end, it’s worth it. Besides, it’s just part of who I am. And Lord knows, I ain’t about to change it now.