I just watched The Dark Knight Rises yesterday and I was blown away! It definitely met my expectations and was a great conclusion to the Batman trilogy. I’ll outline my favourite things about the movie and not-so-favourite parts. Just as a warning, there’s some spoiler alerts in my review, so if you haven’t watched the movie yet, don’t keep reading! Just letting you know before-hand that this is an extremely long, extensive review, so if you want to save your eyes from all the reading, stop now and save yourself! 🙂
I thought I would start off with the things I didn’t like so much first because let’s be honest. If Christopher Nolan directed it, there will obviously be less cons and more pros. One thing that really bothered me while watching this movie is Bane. Was anyone else annoyed by his voice? I actually could only understand 10% of what he said. I know his voice is designed to be a bit non-understandable, but really, I would have just appreciated it a little more if I knew what he was saying. Also, many people will probably disagree with me when I say I didn’t like that the writers selected the character of Bane as the villain. I know the writers wanted something different and that Bane challenged Batman on not just a mental, but physical level, but I don’t know. I just don’t like the fact how he’s the classic movie villain who looks like steroids-on-max and that’s he the whole king of this evil army thing. I think I’m probably biased because of how impressed I was with the Joker from the last film, being this uncommon diabolical, truly insane character who didn’t need to rely on physical strength. Don’t get me wrong, I think Tom Hardy did a great job playing Bane and added a lot of depth to the character, but I just didn’t like the character of Bane itself. Another thing was Selina Kyle. I think Anne Hathaway added her own twist to the character of Catwoman which was nice, but I don’t think the acting was anything special. I felt like any other actress could have played that part.
Another thing I could do without was the extremely long length of the movie. It was almost 3 hours long for goodness sake! Especially at the beginning of the film, some scenes seemed to be unnecessary and dragged on and on. I could feel my eyes wanting to close in the less intense scenes at the beginning.
Now what are the things I liked about this movie? One particular thing I absolutely LOVED was the music! I kid you not, I am obsessed with the soundtrack scored by composer Hans Zimmer in this last Batman installment. The music enhanced the film in all ways possible and made scenes so much more intriguing and fluid. I think if I played the Batman theme song in the background of my life, it would make my life seem 10 times more epic!! 🙂 It is almost 8 minutes long, but it is 8 minutes of pure amazing, quality music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLqKSv1F42A&feature=plcp I appreciate well-composed music and I definitely commend Hans Zimmer for his talented work and his contribution to the film. Okay, now that I’m done ranting about the music, I’ll talk about some other things I enjoyed. I thought the plot was brilliant and just the inclusion of small, yet significant scenes really tied the whole film together. One of the scenes that really stood out to me was the scene where Bane lures thousands of police underground and sets explosives all around the city in order to trap them underground. I never expected it while watching the film and found it to be a really clever scene. Also, I liked the scene where Gordon escapes the underground army by plunging himself into a waterway and how Blake deduced where Gordon would be from his earlier finding of a dead man in the sewers. I also enjoyed the cinematography in The Dark Knight Rises. The movie began with this whole attack on an airplane in the air and really caught my attention. I think the viewers of this movie all agree that one of the most visually impressive scenes was at the football stadium. The effects of the stadium rapidly crumbling under the players’ feet was just incredible to watch. Obviously, I cannot leave out Batman’s wonderful Batpod, the Bat (flying vehicle), and all his awesome gadgets.
I also truly appreciate the return of many castmembers, including Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, and Liam Neeson. It made this conclusion to the trilogy a lot better. Aside from the returning cast, there were some new people I thought did an excellent job with their respective characters. Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s portrayal of the young policeman, Blake, brought a fresh addition into the story. His character had aspirations, compassion, intelligence, and just a great vitality. Marion Cotillard did a wonderful job playing Miranda Tate. I know this because I had NO IDEA that she was also Talia! When it was revealed that she was actually Talia, I freaked out in the middle of the theater and totally did not expect it at all! She was so good at playing the confident, powerful, beautiful woman and then suddenly turning into this dark, evil, and a little creepy villain. So yes, I give Marion Cotillard a thumbs up on her stellar performance. However, my two favourite characters of the film had to be Commissioner Gordon and Alfred. I have no idea why! I found that Gordon was one of the intelligent, quick-thinking men with good morals. I also loved that he was one of the few policemen who were not trapped underground because he was in the hospital. I don’t know, I just always found myself rooting for him. Then there’s Alfred. Good ol’ Alfred :’) I am actually so sad that he got extremely few scenes. I know I already said this about Gordon, but I honestly think Alfred might be one of the wisest men in this entire trilogy. Even though he doesn’t have much of a dialogue in this film, everything he says has so much insight, he has a sense of humour, and he truly cares for Bruce Wayne almost as a father-like figure.
Speaking of insight, that is probably my MOST FAVOURITE thing about the movie. Unlike several mainstream big-Hollywood movies these days, The Dark Knight Rises has so many deep messages and isn’t just all about the action and violence. Just this past school year in my media class, I straight out stated that The Dark Knight was by far my favourite movie of all time, no doubt. My reasoning behind this was because of how insightful the film was -and The Dark Knight Rises did not disappoint. I truly love Christopher Nolan’s work, both as a director and writer. I found that some specific scenes of this film provided a great commentary on today’s society. One of my favourites was when Batman was stuck in that underground prison and after countless tries with a rope strapped onto him, he couldn’t climb his way out. The old man said that it was the rope he depended on -his fear of death- that caused his failure. So finally when Batman decided to make the great climb without the rope, he was able to conquer his fears and make it out. I found that scene to be absolutely beautiful. At the end of the film before Batman goes to sacrifice his life, he tells Commissioner Gordon that he was a hero for being so compassionate and lending his coat to him when he was a little boy. That really tells us that simply doing the little things is what really matters and is what speaks to people. I also think that the fictional Gotham City is an accurate representation of many cities today. People have become so corrupted and like to blame all their problems and troubles on someone else, in this case, it was Batman who was blamed. However, when suddenly they need help, they treat Batman as a hero. Their respect for Batman is so conditional. Despite the evil inside these people, Batman is willing to use all his efforts to save them and sacrifice his life -a true hero. That’s what sets Batman apart from so many other superheros. His life is falling apart from the last movie. He lost his love, Rachel, and is forced into hiding. Not only has he hit rock bottom, but the entire city hates him. However, Batman’s empathy and determination helps him to overcome all his own personal struggles and puts the people’s needs before his own. He’s a hero who doesn’t need recognition -a truly great inspiration.
I thought this film was genius. I loved that Batman’s identity is never revealed to the world. I loved how they ended the film with Alfred seeing Bruce Wayne alive at that restaurant he described earlier and that Bruce Wayne is finally happy again. And, I loved that John Blake is actually revealed to be “Robin” and inherits the Bat cave. It really gives you the sense of Batman’s legacy and how it must go on. It was truly the perfect, epic conclusion to the Batman trilogy.
So that’s my review of The Dark Knight Rises! In my opinion, it was not as good as the original, The Dark Knight, but it did live up to my expectations! Overall, amazing plotline and cinematography, quality action and music, and just beautifully insightful! I highly recommend this film to everyone! 🙂