Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises
Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Director: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Tom Hardy, Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine
Plot: It’s several years after the end of the previous Batman movie, and Batman (Bale) hasn’t made any public appearances after the death of Harvey Dent. Neither has Bruce Wayne, for that matter. He’s holed up in Wayne manner, with his faithful servant Alfred (Caine) looking after him…and trying to get him to settle down with a lady.
Promoted to Commissioner, Gordon (Oldman) has successfully cleaned up the streets and all but eliminated organized crime in Gotham.
However, not all’s well in the world. A nuclear scientist is being transported back to the United States and during this exchange, is broken out against his will by mercenary Bane (Hardy). Bane bee-lines it for Gotham City, where he has dastardly plans for the good scientist. Turns out Bane’s running the League of Shadows – the same group from Batman Begins that trained Bruce, and was also trying to destroy Gotham.
Meanwhile, during a fundraiser held at Wayne Manner, cat burglar Selina Kyle (Hathaway) sneaks into Bruce’s secluded wing and tries to steal his mother’s pearl necklace…as well as his finger prints!
As Bane and crew start laying the foundation of their diabolical scheme, police officer Blake (Gordon-Levitt) is investigating why orphan kids are dying in the sewers of the city.
Bane’s master stroke is finally revealed, forcing Bruce Wayne to done the mantle of the Batman yet again. However, with a more fragile body and having been out of the game for a while, does Batman have a chance to defeat the elite mercenary and his army of the League of Shadows?
I saw an advanced pre-screening of Batman 3 on Thursday night, and really found myself enjoying it. It’s certainly the movie that resembles a comic book the most in the Nolan universe – which isn’t a bad thing by any measure. The budget was bigger, so the stunts and action set pieces were as well. Nothing really stood out as spectacular – but that’s mostly because the entire flick has been beefed up to be incredible.
For those of you who don’t know, the previous Nolan Batman flicks were shot in Chicago – but not this movie. And it shows. The city looks completely different. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing, but a nit-picky thing several people in my group also noticed. However, we are all from Chicago….
The acting in this flick is top-notch. The entire cast does a great job of playing within this comic book world. The stand out performance was, for me, delivered by Caine’s Alfred. He under-goes the most emotional journey of the entire trilogy, and you feel his pain throughout. Gordon-Levitt does a good job as well, eating up the scenes he’s in. He does a good job playing this up-and-coming officer with that go-get-’em attitude that any good cop would need in Gotham City. And Hathaway does a serviceable performance as Selina, which is a trick role to play in a more realistic Batman universe like we’ve seen in Nolan’s flicks.
Bale does a great job as Bruce, playing the tortured soul who just can’t let go of the tragedy of his parents death. Although, his Batman still needs some work. I’m told it’s difficult to work in that suit, but he still sounds like he is short of breath and needs a cough drop.
Despite numerous revisions to his voice as well, Bane is still incredibly difficult to hear and understand through most of the movie. I almost wish they had included some subtitles for him…or had a sound mixer with worse hearing….
Fans of the movies will be glad to know that the previous flicks do get call outs, and do affect the characters and the story. While Joker isn’t mentioned (due to respect to Heath Ledger’s passing, according to interviews with Nolan), the events of that movie are mentions. Here’s what you need to remember for this flick:
1) Bruce Wayne is a rich orphan, who was comforted by Gordon when he parents were killed
2) Bruce traveled the world for 7+ years, eventually joining the League of Shadows before finding out they were evil, and destroying them – killing their leader, Ra’s Al Ghul
3) Batman forms an alliance with Gordon to take down organized crime
The Dark Knight:
1) Harvey Dent is the district attorney who made a difference, teamed up with Batman and Gordon to fight organized crime
2) Harvey Dent was turned into Two-Face, and died at the end of the flick
3) Batman took the blame for Two-Face’s murders (and Dent’s murder) to keep Dent’s reputation clean
I didn’t want to put any plot spoilers into the review, but suffice it to say I saw some of the twists and turns in this flick coming from a mile away. However, I was probably the only person in the theater that’s actually read a Batman comic book, or watched the Batman The Animated Series.
But despite my uncanny ability to predict a lot of movies, I really enjoyed this flick. It’s not as fun of a movie-going experience as The Avengers was (few flicks are, and I knew this one would keep with the dark, brooding tone of the previous movies), but it’s still well worth your hard-earned dollars to see it in theaters.
The run time is long, coming in around 2 hours and 48 minutes. My recommendation: don’t drink a lot BEFORE the movie, or too early. The last thing you want to do is have to pee the entire movie…or have to leave during the grand finale.
The movie will hold your attention, keep you hooked from beginning to end, and really let you connect with the characters we have come to love in these roles (for the last time) in the Nolan Batman universe.
Go see this movie.