Hello….yes it’s been a while since I last blogged on this site but uh, yeh there’s good reason to as I was privy to a press screening of The Dark Knight Rises and I’d like to share some “spoiler-free” thoughts. I’ll do another review in a few weeks that will contain spoilers but I imagine most people would have seen it by then.
Well, I’ll start with first impressions. It was always going to be tough to top The Dark Knight with its amazing cinematography, tight script and an oscar-winning performance by Heath Ledger. So, the question is: does it? The answer is simple: no. It doesn’t quite capture the same wow factor, but that doesn’t mean this movie is anything short of amazing; because it is. Where The Dark Knight was an 8/10, this one I consider a 7/10.
First off, this movie has its own flavour. Just like Batman Begins felt like a real comic book movie and The Dark Knight felt more like a crime thriller, this one has that distinct Christopher Nolan (director) stamp that the others only hinted at. What do I mean by that? I mean it has a similar vibe to Nolan’s other movies, notably Inception and The Prestige. When you see it you’ll understand what I mean.
Let’s talk a minute about some of the characters.
BATMAN: We’ve all heard the talk about his voice and how everyone hates it. Well, I for one never did because it’s the godamned Batman and his purpose is to instil fear and how else would you go about it? Like Michael Keaton’s whisper? No. But the producers of this film have heard your cries and have made it a bit more human than before, but still gruff as ever. This is Christian Bale’s finest performance out of all three, and it’s a shame this is the last one he’ll be doing.
BANE: Now, the serious comic book geeks are going bananas because this Bane – fondly being referred to as BINO (Bane In Name Only) – is not the character they grew up with, but I assure you he is just as menacing and just as smart. But, even so, this is Nolan’s “grounded” version of Batman. The comic book Bane does not work on film – certainly not in the fiasco that was featured in the Batman & Robin movie – so I’ll just wave past that whole story. Tom Hardy’s performance is actually really good. At first his voice is laughable (if you thought Batman’s was bad wait till you get a load of this), but what I found happening was that every time he spoke I paid more attention and therefore understood him better. Hardy’s portrayal is actually quite intense and you are genuinely scared of what this guy can do, but what I found interesting is that as his backstory is covered I felt more and more sorry for him.
SELINA KYLE: First off let me say that I think Ann Hathaway sucks…she’s unattractive and not a terribly good actress (in my opinion), but I can honestly say that she was superb in this. Really great performance. A lot of other reviewers are saying she was the standout, but I’m not sure about that because I think that Batman, Bane and Catwoman all stood out equally.
Lastly I want to touch on the story itself. Since this is a trilogy one would assume that there is a common link between them, and I can tell you there definitely is. All grounds are covered (save for the fate of The Joker, but Nolan had said early on that would not be addressed out of respect for Heath) and there are some interesting cameos from some characters from the first movie.
So why wasn’t it THAT good? At nearly 3 hours this film doesn’t feel long enough. Some important bits of info are passed over to help the story move along, but I found myself becoming distracted with questions. Why didn’t they just have it make a bit more sense with a few short scenes of dialogue at crucial stages. We’re sitting here this long already I don’t think an extra 10 minutes would have made a difference. And then I have some issues with the ending but I will only address those in my “spoiler” review…but I will say this: I wonder if the producers and the studio forced Nolan to just show a little too much in terms of how I thought Nolan would handle some scenes at the end. But then again this is the last movie and should be a closed book instead of being left open and ambiguous like Inception was.
But yes overall this is a very good movie and highly enjoyable and a perfect end to a damn near perfect trilogy.
On a sad note. Some crazy asshole went and ruined a lot of people’s lives after the midnight screening in Aurora, Denver. Here is a recent report:
“At least 14 people were killed early Friday when at least one gunman opened fire at a midnight screening of the summer blockbuster “The Dark Knight Rises” near Denver, authorities and witnesses said.
Aurora police chief Dan Oates told reporters that 10 people died at the scene of the shooting and four others died after being taken to local hospitals. At least 50 other people were injured, Oates said.
One suspect was in custody, police said.
Witnesses told reporters that gunfire erupted during a shootout scene.
Brenda Stuart, of 850 KOA radio, told Sky News that “a lot of people thought the gunshots were part of the movie.”
The Denver Post quoted witness, Bejamin Fernandez, 30, as saying that people ran from the theater as shots rang out.
Fernandez told the Post that he saw people falling, including one young girl.
Salina Jordan, 19, who was in Theater 8, told the Post she saw one girl struck in the cheek and others in the stomach, including a girl who looked to be around 9 years old.”
Condolences go out to all the families.