Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Dark Knight Rises – 5 out of 5

"Hold on a that two dogs doing it?"
Batman is arguably one of the best superheroes to ever exist and without a doubt, one of the most popular. When he was created, he was dark on a level that was almost foreign in the world of comic books. A lot of superheroes are built on tragedy—Superman is an alien alone on Earth with his planet destroyed, Spider-Man’s uncle is murdered, Daredevil loses his sight in a freak accident and Wolverine was born a tool with a bad haircut (yeah, I don’t care for Wolvie…I await your hate-mail)—but Batman took his tragedy and not only let it built his crime-fighting career but held on to it like an obsessed teenager holds on to their copies of Twilight or how a hipster hugs whatever thing they try to fool themselves is NOT extremely popular in their faux anti-conformity lifestyles. Overtime Spidey, Supes, Matt Murdock all let their past troubles just be there inspiration and uses it to continue to inspire them. Batman, instead, used it to make himself darker and more obsessed. He did what the other heroes were doing but brought it to the shadows.

For a butler, Alfred sure talks a lot of back sass.

"WHEEEE-- I mean--ARGHHHH!!!"
Batman’s comics were dark when most comics were light and as time went on, they only became darker. Sure there is some awful examples of Batman comics out there but Batman has still remained at the forefront of great storytelling. Unlike a majority of other heroes out there, Batman has seen more adaptations of these stories than anyone else (somewhere, Aquaman is crying about this fact but no one can tell because he’s underwater). They’ve ranged from setting the standard with Tim Burton’s film with Michael Keaton in the cape and cowl fighting Jack Nicholson as the Joker to the “let’s try and collectively forget about this one” Batman & Robin in all its embarrassing batsuit nippledom. Christopher Nolan stepped forward in 2005 and began a reboot of the Batman film franchise (a sorely needed one) that began with…well…Batman Begins. Christian Bale was the new Batman and no one was prepared for what Nolan was going to do with his Dark Knight trilogy.

Batman's crotch rocket is scientifically proven to be 100% less douchy
than your typical crotch rocket.

While Batman Begins set the new standard, it was The Dark Knight released in 2008 that blew away everything we once knew about a Batman movie. Heath Ledger stole the film with his portrayal as The Joker to the point there was forgiveness to Christian Bale’s ridiculous Batman voice. Sadly, The Dark Knight Rises is the final film in Nolen’s Dark Knight Trilogy but it went out in an epic way. However, I would have really liked to see Nolen continue to make Batman films because I would have loved to see him tackle some of Batman’s more fantastic villains like Killer Croc or even Clayface.

"Batman?  Is that you?  Hey, it's me, Bane!  Come here, ya big lug and let me break you."

"Would you like a Kit-Kat, Batman...I'll give you a break!"
That line was brought to you by Joel Schumacher.
At the end of The Dark Knight, Batman (Christian Bale) takes the wrap for Harvey Dent’s murder and Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) covers up the fact that Dent lost his shit and became Two-Face and the Bats locks up the Batcave. Eight years have passed and the death of Harvey serves as a catalyst to bring peace to Gotham. However, a frightening new villain named Bane (Tom Hardy) arrives to set Gotham a flame and bring Batman out of retirement. Through the use of a nuclear device and imprisoning most of Gotham’s police force underground, Bane quickly claims Gotham as his own before he breaks Batman and casts his into a pit of hell. Now Bruce Wayne must reclaim the inspiration that made him an enemy of crime and team with Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) and an idealistic young cop who believes in the Batman; Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), in order to stop Bane and deactivate the bomb.

And, at one point, Own Harper from Torchwood shows up.

While I can’t emphasize enough how depressing it is that this is the final Bale/Nolan Batman film, it couldn’t have went out on a bigger note. Drawing inspiration from Knightfall, The Dark Knight Returns and No Man’s Land; The Dark Knight Rises proved to be a wet dream come true for the Batman franchise. Despite the fact that the Bale Batman voice is still here.

The mustache is more forgivable than the voice.

I literally have no complaints on this film as it is action packed with a story that is both emotional (thanks Alfred, for making me cry. Damn you and your awesome performances Michael Caine!) and powerful as we see the Dark Knight pushed to his limits and his past coming back to haunt him.

"Mr. Wayne, have I ever told you about my friend Andy Dufresne?"

Like all the previous Nolan Batman films, the cast is second-to-none. Anne Hathaway dominates and demands attention as Selina Kyle aka Catwoman—and they never once refer to her as Catwoman and that was actually pretty awesome. I’m just speculating here but I think it has to do with the embarrassing Halle Berry movie. And speaking of Catwoman, did you know that Julie Newmar (one of the Catwomans from the Adam West series) hated the film. She said it was “too dark” and went against what they were trying to create in the series. Apparently no one pointed out to her that the Adam West show was a satire of Batman and not intended to be a serious notch in the World’s Greatest Detective’s utility belt.

Newmar WISHES she was this good as Catwoman.

Everyone remembers Heath’s ungodly amazing performance as The Joker in The Dark Knight and it seemed destined that his performance as a villain could not be trumped but when your opponent is Bane, how could one fail?

Oh could fail in a very obvious way...

With the pain of remembering what Schumacher did to the brilliant tactician and monstrously destructive force that is Bane in Batman & Robin still fresh in Batman fans' minds everywhere (some wounds will never heal, Schumacher), Nolan decided to give the big “fuck you” to the man who nearly destroyed the Batman film legacy by giving one of Batman’s greatest comic villains the movie representation he deserved…albeit with a more “white” accent.

He also wore some great coats.

Underneath the mask is the Predator's mouth.
Tom Hardy donned the mask and became Gotham’s reckoning. If there’s one thing Nolan did better than anything else in his trilogy is casting the perfect actor to play the villain and Hardy, already a bad-ass, become more bad-assy as Bane. To be honest, you’ll either love or hate the voice Hardy had as Bane and I, personally, fall into the Love Category and I frequently find myself impersonating Bane’s voice as often as I recite The Joker’s monologues about how he got his scars. For a reference point, I recite those scenes quite often…usually when I first wake up and look in the mirror to prepare myself for the day.

Bane Batch Shot.

Then, as if Nolan looked at his cast listing and saw Morgan Freeman, Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine and Marion Cotillard (playing Bruce Wayne’s new possible love interest with a shady past; Miranda) and he could have easily stopped and said, “I have more star power in this movie than a fleet of blockbusters but I’m Christopher ‘Fucking’ Nolan and I can’t stop there. Someone bring me Joseph Gordon-Levitt!”

"I'm here...let's sex this place up with my awesome acting abilities!"

"That's right, into all three movies!"
I saw The Dark Knight Rises three times in the theaters. On opening day I saw it on freaking IMAX!!! I’m a big fan of Bats and a bigger fan of the treatment this trilogy has shown the hero. And I know I’ve said it before but it does really sadden me that this is the final Nolan Batman film but this final entry into the trilogy is near perfection. It has the dark, gritty nature that Batman calls home, the story's large and on a grand scale that is deserving of the final overture for this movie, the acting is on a level mere mortals are incapable of truly appreciating and you get to see Anne Hathaway in a skin-tight outfit. 

Nolan putting Hathaway on the Batpod is his personal "you're welcome" to the fans.

From the moment the film opens to the “nudge and wink” ending Nolan provided us, the film is an epic conclusion to a trilogy that went beyond the expectations. Like The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises is a perfected example of a comic book property done right.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome review, Ron. You hit on all the high points in the movie.

    My fav lines in the review:"..but held on to it like an obsessed teenager holds on to their copies of Twilight..."



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