Posted on July 20, 2012 AT 04:48pm
To say expectations for this film were high would be an understatement worthy of an award. As there isn’t an award for understatements you’re going to have to accept that as fact. Christopher Nolan brought Batman out of camp and into the gritty reality of crime as well as being down right dark. Two films are what Nolan has under his belt which tell the story of the tragic hero, both of which are critically acclaimed and commercially successful. He had a challenge on his hands, that much is true.
The Dark Knight Rises is set eight years after Batman took the fall for the crimes of Harvey Dent/Two-Face and Gotham has experienced a period of peace. That is until Catwomen rears her pretty face onto the scene, foreshadowing a greater threat. She fits well with this world, which was the worry when she was announced as being in this film. The greater threat mentioned is the genuinely terrifying Bane with his ridiculously intimidating physique, intellect and voice. The complaints with his voice are unwarranted and those complaining need a hearing test. When he spoke, you listened and he didn’t waste his lines. The scariest thing about this fantastic villain is that although he is muscle bound and looks like a dumb brute, he speaks with such civility. He knows what he is doing; there is a reason for his actions and you should pity anyone who stands in his way.
The story moves at a good pace; there was never a moment when it seemed to slow down. The action is expertly orchestrated with limited CGI and it looks the better for it. The fight scenes are choreographed with ferocity and purpose rarely seen in other action films. The gripes of the previous film was the action was shot close up to the characters at times but Nolan now lets you see the action. You’re able to see the characters going at it with some of the fighting being truly violent. Also, this time around, our hero has many new toys to play with. I won’t spoil what they are but if you have seen the trailers then you know.While they seem fantastical, they are implemented well and don’t seem far-fetched. There are some truly spectacular set-pieces, packing a hefty punch. However, the surprising aspect of the film was the real emotion of the scenes involving Alfred and Bruce. There is no shame in saying that tears were shed on multiple occasions. True care has been taken in crafting these characters, they are people worth caring about which makes this film bitter sweet as it’s the last time they will appear on the big screen.
The acting has been turned up a notch. The regulars such as Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman have excelled themselves. The new additions to the cast have brought something fresh, it was nice seeing new faces and how they fit into the narrative. The highlight being Tom Hardy as Bane. You don’t see his mouth in the film but his intent is made clear with his eyes. He looks into the eyes of his victims with a concentrated stare, which sends shivers down the spine. Anne Hathaway as the morally ambiguous feline female was also very good. She had the right attitude, looked good in her suit and kicked some arse as we British would say. Joseph Gordon-Levitt works well as the idealistic rookie cop, looking to Batman and Gordon for guidance.
SUMMARY: The Dark Knight Rises takes what is good about Batman Begins and The Dark Knight then rolls them into a cacophony of film-making genius. Christopher Nolan, along with his crew of magicians, have seemingly done the impossible and met the expectations of this humble writer. Now this humble writer can’t come close to justifying this film in words but what can be said is that you need to see this film as soon as you are able. The Dark Knight has truly risen to the occasion.
- THE GOOD: Epic story, superb action, and solid performances.
- THE BAD: The film ends.
- THE UGLY: Bane’s henchman.
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