Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises - Review

This is not going to be a typical review. I saw The Dark Knight Rises and was thoroughly impressed. It was a satisfying and fitting close to the trilogy, and though it ran at two hours, I was left wanting more. To me, this was a better film as far as making me excited about what was going on. It wasn't as deep or as bleak as The Dark Knight, and some would argue was more "comic-book." Guess what? It may be the realistic "Nolan-verse" but it is still a movie based on a comic. That's probably what I liked about it. It maintained that world that has been set up, but added so much more flavor to it. I will touch upon a few things below the jump. I'm going to try and avoid spoilers as much as possible.

Let's go ahead and get this out of the way. When Anne Hathaway was announced as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, I was super excited. I knew she would do great in the role. Then I saw her costume and all of my excitement dropped. The bodysuit I was fine with. It's fairly close to the Darwyn Cooke design that has stood the test of time. The goggles and that mask, though? Ugh. They were awful, and still are. In motion, they're not so bad, but I just don't think they're visually appealing at all. It looked like they tried to modernize the suit from the television show. That being said, Hathaway NAILS it. She is smart, cunning, sassy, sexy, and a complete bad-ass. She is Selina Kyle. I came out of the movie with her as a favorite part.

   There were tons of rumors surrounding Tom Hardy's role before he was revealed to be playing Bane. I thought he would have made for an interesting Hugo Strange if they had gone the route of him impersonating Batman. I was not excited at all when they said he'd be Bane. I was at the point of boredom when they revealed his costume. The heck is he wearing? That's not a luchador mask. You know what, though? I dug Bane in this movie. He worked in the context that he was used. He was still a sly, smart strategist and he was completely brutal. Hardy was a beast in this role. There were times when I couldn't understand a word he said, though. It's not comic Bane, but it was satisfactory.

Is Joseph Gordon Levitt going to be to Christopher Nolan as De Niro was and DiCaprio is to Martin Scorsese? After stealing the show in this film, Probably so. Levitt's John Blake, a one off obscure name from an ancient Batman issue, really was the heart of this movie. The entire time, you want to see him put on a suit of his own and just go to town on the bad guys. I'm sad that this is the end of Nolan's Batman films as he really set up some great possibilities with this character. The only logical choice DC has now is to bring him into comic continuity. There will be casual viewers leaving this film and going to try and find material with this character and none exists. I would really love to see a Jonathan Nolan/David Goyer scripted series featuring John Blake either continuing his story in this universe or bringing him to the comic Gotham. He was one of the best parts of the movie.

I really had a lot of reservations going into the early summer when it came to this film. None of the trailers really made me care until the very last full length one released by Nokia. That's when my interest perked up. Then there were the subsequent TV spots that finally made it look exciting and appealing, and it was. The last act is epic and the ending was great. I loved it and it's my favorite out of Nolan's trilogy. I love the ties to Batman Begins, showing that there was a plan all along. It make have had a few hiccups due to events beyond the cast and crew's control, but it all panned out. Whoever they get to reboot this franchise needs all the luck and help in the world to follow this one up.

I would love for some people to speak up in the comments to get some discussion going! Did you see the film? What did you think? Spoilers ahoy!

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