The Dark Knight Rises…eventually – a late, but necessary, post

(Again I’m v late to the party on this one coz I’ve been so bloody, ruddy busy. But thought I’d post this anyway…).

The final instalment in Christopher Nolan’s astounding trilogy of Batman films was always going to be highly anticipated and have a lot of expectation riding on it. And rightly so. As we have seen Nolan has managed to successfully reboot an already established franchise with his previous two films making it darker, more intense and most importantly, more realistic.

When we join Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) again he has been hiding away from the world in his manor with his bat cape hung up. Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) and police officer John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) are just two of the people trying to keep the peace in the Batman’s absence though. But then the appearance of a shady character called Bane (Tom Hardy) wakes Bruce up from retirement. (Saying any more than this would probably ruin the plot for you).

First of all I’m going to say that the one big problem with The Dark Knight Rises is the whole first act. It drags. It’s dull. Lots of things happen but it still feels as though NOTHING HAS ACTUALLY HAPPENED. This disappointed me a lot about the film, and it’s one of the reasons I haven’t been rushing out to see it again. However, when TDKR finally gets going: WOW. Pretty much as soon as we get more action from Bane the film feels relentless, but excitingly, brilliantly so. It’s break-neck until the final climax, with a few little clever twists along the way (no spoilers here too coz I’m good like that).

Christian Bale again proves he’s the best Bat for the job with his gruff vocals and menacing persona. Michael Caine as Alfred is loveable and watery-eyed, but missed for most of the film. Gary Oldman is reliably great as Gordon again. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, a usual favourite of mine, is…ok as officer John Blake. It’s not exactly a groundbreaking role, but he’s reliable and interesting. Marion Cotillard feels underused, as does Juno Temple in a role that seems completely unneeded. And Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox is barely there, but obviously great when he is.

The two most exciting, and well performed, characters in the film however are Bane and Catwoman. Tom Hardy excels as the masked man who’s all muscle (his fricking neck is nearly bigger than my waist for crying out loud) and sinister looks. What he’s managed to do with just his facial expressions is incredible. Great scary voice too. Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle aka. Catwoman is sassy and kick-ass. In fact it’s her that nearly runs away with the entire film. Her role feels like it could have possibly been expanded on a little with more of a back story though.

Despite some of the problems in the film though (boring first part and underused characters) Christopher Nolan has managed to achieve something that is often impossible. Nolan, who also co-wrote it with his brother, Jonathan Nolan (as well as David S. Goyer who helped with the story this time), have managed to match the first two films for action, drama and plot and create another brilliant story that while at first isn’t as gripping as The Dark Knight, later on becomes just as exciting to watch, and is a satisfying end to the trilogy. The ending actually makes you wish Nolan never had to let it end, leaving the film on a high note and a teasingly thrilling final reveal. If someone else does pick up where things are left for another Batman, I’m hoping they take as much care as Christopher Nolan (and writers Jonathan Nolan and David S. Goyer) has to make something that pleases all the fans but still make something action-packed and entertaining that is also a mature piece of interesting and thought-provoking cinema that everyone can enjoy.

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~ by square-eyed-geek on August 31, 2012.

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