Monday, July 23, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

Now that was a good movie. I didn't love it as much as I loved The Dark Knight but that would be pretty impossible.  I think what I did love most about this film is how it built on the previous two.  It incorporated characters and stories from its predecessors, which really gave it a feeling of a trilogy. They tackled the legacy left by Harvey Dent.  Characters from Batman Begins (yay Scarecrow!) and The Dark Knight appeared along with the introduction of Bane, Catwoman and the real protagonist of the movie, the child of Ra's al Ghul.  But to discuss the latter would get all spoilery for those who haven't seen it.  Also spoilery would be to discuss Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character, Blake, so I won't go there.  But I will say...I SO TOTALLY CALLED IT RIGHT AWAY.  I managed to avoid any and all discussions on the net about whether that character was in the movie so I was glad to see they went there.   

So the story...Batman has been in hiding for 8 years due to taking the blame for the murder of Harvey Dent.  Of course we (and Commissioner Gordon) know the truth.  Actually now that I think about the plot, it's a bit heavy and contrived as far as the bad guys go.  It was kind of a shell game as to who was really the biggest bad in the movie.  First there's the literal big, bad Bane. Bane seems to answer to this one thug who answers to this dude on the Board of Wayne Enterprises who wants to take control of said company.  Well that's not the case at all and the person orchestrating things is supposed to be a bit of a surprise so I'm not going to go there.  Bane takes over and wants to be the speaker for the 99%. He manages to shows us just what would happen if we took down the detested 1%.  However I didn't see much spreading of the wealth after the upper class were tried and inevitably exiled from New Gotham.

Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne decides to put his trust in two of Gotham's hottest.  One is Selina Kyle, master cat burglar, who he knows deep down has some good in her.  I just want to say I loved the way they gave her the cat ears.  Clever, clever, clever!  The other is Miranda Tate, a wealthy do-gooder who Bruce puts in charge of Wayne Enterprises.  Silly Bruce, never trust women with agendas. 

Bane breaks Batman's back and then leaves him in the prison where Bane spent his formative years.  Bruce has to get better so he can travel back to Gotham to save the city he loves.  Or loves to hate.  Or hates to love. Meanwhile the cops are no help ("It's a TRAP!") except for Gordon and Blake.  Seriously, I'd want Gary Oldman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in charge of my city.  It was nice to see police officers not behave like the Keystone Cops for once.

Lots of death and destruction aside, I really dug how things played out in TDKR.  The plot moved along at a good pace and at 164 minutes it could have lagged at any number of points.  And somehow they managed to insert some emotion into the story too.  Bruce is all sorts of upset about how things turned out when he was only trying to help.  He lost the love of his life (Rachel) and took the blame for a murder he didn't commit just so the city would have a hero to look up to.  I also liked the twist that harkened back to Batman Begins and his mentor from the League of Shadows, Ra's al Ghul.  They really managed to tie things up nicely in what turned out to be one of the best trilogies ever. 

I really don't have much else to say.  The acting was spot-on by all involved. Tom Hardy was great as the brainy and brawny Bane.  Anne Hathaway was delicious as Catwoman.  She managed to give her a fragility that's come off as comical in the past.  Bale was great as usual as the tortured hero.  He's able to seem tormented without whining about it and that's appreciated.  The effects, both practical and special, were great.  There maybe was a hair too much on the destruction side but audiences love explosions so I can't fault them for that. 

I'm definitely going to see this again.  What did you guys think? 


  1. I liked the way Catwoman was portrayed. She's just a cat burglar...none of that ridiculous meowing à la Julie Newmar or Michelle Pfeiffer. She doesn't fall off a roof and suddenly get surrounded by a bunch of cats which somehow gives her mad fighting skills...(that never made a damn bit of sense, Tim Burton!)

    In fact, the word Catwoman is never even mentioned in the film, if I recall correctly. Nope...she's just a bad ass thief.

  2. I agree with you 100%. I really like the way Nolan handles the bad guys in these films. He's able to root them in reality and still keep them threatening.

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