Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Released: 2012
Runtime: 164 minutes
Rating: 4/5

Eight years have passed since the events of The Dark Knight; Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has become a recluse as a result of Batman being branded an enemy due to the death of Harvey Dent. Gotham City is enjoying a much welcomed period of peace prosperity with the city’s criminal element massively reduced; until the arrival of the ferocious and mysterious masked terrorist leader Bane (Tom Hardy), who overwhelms Gotham and is hell bent on bringing about its complete destruction. This causes Batman to resurface to once again protect the city.

I admit I don’t share the same level of excitement and enthusiasm that most fans appear to have with Christopher Nolan’s Batman films. But I agree they are excellent films of a very high stranded in overall filmmaking and this final chapter in the trilogy is no exception.

The Dark Knight Rises is grand, operatic and powerful cinematic experience. The plot is somewhat complex but by no means difficult to follow and it’s extremely well structured and balanced. I think it would be unfair to say that it’s a tad predictable, as it is a super hero film but there are twists that for a second really make you think otherwise.

The over story is compelling and really quite emotionally at times; in particular the scenes between Bruce Wayne and Alfred, there is some really meaningful heart felt dialogue there. I was surprised by how bleak the story becomes and the utter sense of hopelessness. You wonder how our hero will overcome these dire circumstances. The film is a tad long coming 16 minutes short of being 3 hours. Some scenes I felt just went longer than they should have.
One thing that I did find a little tiresome, was the constant back and forth dialogue about justice, corruption, doing the right thing, overcoming ones fear, what defines us as people etc. I’m not saying it’s a negative thing as it is an essential theme to the story that’s consistent throughout the three films, but for me it gets to the point where you’re just hearing the same stuff over and over again; for goodness sake I get it.

The film is not as action heavy as the previous two but it delivers some truly spectacular sequences, with a well-balanced use of practical and near flawless CG effects. All of which would not work half as well if it wasn’t for the dramatic, thunderous and intense music from Hans Zimmer. The much anticipated fight scenes between Batman and Bane are brilliantly choreographed. They’re intensely brutal almost too the point of being hard to watch. You can feel every punch, kick and bone crunching movement.

The many performances in this film are great, from a cast that’s impressive to say the least. Christian Bale as the emotionally tortured Bruce Wayne is excellent. I felt more sympathy towards his character than I did the previous films, there is a great deal of pain buried within him that starts to seep out. Michael Caine as poor long suffering Alfred in my opinion gives the most powerful and touching performance out the support characters; he is absolutely heart breaking to watch. Anne Hathaway; my good what a magnificent and beautiful looking woman she is; and just terrific as Selina (Catwoman), sexy, seductive and not an overused character. Tom Hardy is very menacing as Bane, intimidating and frankly a little frightening. However I found his voice a little hard to understand at times, especially when he was shouting. Other supporting cast all very good, including Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman, Matthew Modine who I was very surprised to see and of course Morgan Freeman as the loyal Lucius Fox.

The ending is very satisfying; there is proper closure, it’s positive with a strong sense of hope and it’s very moving. Yet it’s also completely open to interpretation which I thought was great. Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises is an epic conclusion to a very memorable trilogy; that since its beginning in 2005 has set a new benchmark for the super hero genre and in many ways modern filmmaking in general. 


  1. i honestly didn't even feel the length of this movie, since there was so much to pay attention to. it went by fats for me. the movie wasn't without a few issues (namely with catwoman and hathaway, for me), but the more i think about it, it was an exceptional work of art. a perfect way to end a franchise.

    1. There was not much development with Hathaway's character; all we basically know is that she's a jewel thief who wants to erase her criminal record. There is a great level of maturity about the film which does make it stand out from your typical super hero films. Thank you for your comment, I really do appreciate it. :)