Did The Dark Knight Rises live up to the extremely high expectations set by The Dark Knight? Or was this the movie we deserved but not the one we need right now. Read the review to find out. Also this is a spoiler free review.
The Dark Knight Rises takes place 8 years after the events of The Dark Knight and Bruce Wayne is retired from being Batman. It opens with a good scene, introducing Bane well but it is hard to beat the "Bank Heist" scene from The Dark Knight. But the movie picked up and I enjoyed just about every minute of it, the story went places I had never expected. There were some shocking plot twists and almost nothing was given away in the few trailers I had seen previously. I avoided all but the first three trailers for the movie, therefore almost nothing about the plot was spoiled, expect for a few things that I know from the comics. The tone of The Dark Knight Rises was fantastic, it was still dark and gritty but it seemed to work better for me than the previous Nolan Batman movies. I am a fan of long epic movies, and The Dark Knight Rises long run was definitely a plus for me. It rarely felt rushed but the middle act did drag a bit. Although Bane is no match compared to The Joker, his back story was unique and unexpected. Bane was an excellent adversary for Batman, because he was a match physically and mentally. Also Bane's presence and overall demeanor was just awesome. Surprisingly, he was not too difficult to understand for most of the movie and his voice was mostly really cool, however there were scenes that left you wondering what he said and it was hard to understand a few other characters during some scenes. Another surprise was the action, it was top notch. Very impressive, Batman and Catwoman's fighting style was excellent and great to watch (more about action later). Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle was fantastic. Catwoman has always been my second favorite Batman character after The Joker, and Hathaway played her perfectly, with the way she moved and fought she almost stole the show at times. Also the costumes for the characters looked functional and were well designed. There was one flaw that I did find somewhat odd; the romance was just kind of there without any explanation why the two characters happened to like each other in basically one night without any shown previous history. It did not ruin the movie in anyway, but I was thinking about it thoughout most of the movie.
Although the movie does not have the same type of thrills that The Dark Knight had, The Dark Knight Rises was not really a "crime thriller" like its predecessor. The Dark Knight Rises is in some ways a war movie and an epic. Also The Dark Knight Rises is a lot more of a science fiction movie than the previous installments with some high-tech gadgets and vehicles. There were a few shocking plot twists in the movie, especially if you do not know anything about the comic books. The new character John Blake was a very likable character; as usual Joseph Gordon-Levitt gave an excellent performance. Miranda Tate, played by Marion Cotillard, was good but not quite as good as she could have been. Also the movie did have a few minor plot holes, but The Dark Knight had just about as many Plot Holes in the movie. that The Dark Knight Rises did so overall, they were easily tolerable for the overall enjoyment of the movie.
Arguably the best part of The Dark Knight Rises was the ending. It had one of the best last 10-15 minutes of a movie I have seen in a very long time, it was so satisfying yet left me wanting so much more.
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Genre: Action, Comic Book, Epic, Sci-Fi
Release Date: July 20, 2012
Running Time: 165 minutes
MMPA rating: July 20, 2012
The Good: Perfect conclusion, Fantastic Hans Zimmer Score, Top notch action scenes, Shocking plot twists, Excellent performances and cast, Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle was great, Epic story, Impressive action set pieces, Great special effects,
Plot: The following plot summary is copied from Wikipedia.com.
Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, Gotham City is in a state of peace. Under powers granted by the Dent Act (legislation inspired by the perceived heroism of the late Harvey Dent), Commissioner James Gordon and the Gotham City Police Department have nearly eradicated violent and organized crime. Gordon feels guilty about the cover-up of Harvey Dent's crimes, but decides that the city is not ready to hear the truth. While following a lead in the abduction of a congressional representative, Gordon's speech falls into the hands of the villain Bane, who discovers the truth about Dent. Gordon is shot in the process of escaping and promotes patrol officer John Blake to detective, allowing Blake to report directly to him in the hospital.
As Batman has disappeared from Gotham, so too has Bruce Wayne, locking himself inside Wayne Manor. Wayne Enterprises is crumbling after he invested in board member Miranda Tate's clean energy project, designed to harness fusion power, and shut it down after learning that the core could be modified to become a nuclear weapon.
Watch the movie to see what happens next.
Plot: 9.8/10- Despite the few minor plot holes, the plot worked excellently. The overall the tone was almost like an epic or war movie. Also the plot twists were great and mostly unexpected, plus the back story for the characters was very satisfying. However the ending was so bone chilling and ended it perfectly. I really cannot imagine it ending any better than it did. But there were some plot holes and unnecessary leaps in logic that the audience will have to made.
Action: 9.4/10- Finally, Batman gets to have some awesome hand-to-hand action scenes, although he is still a little too much like a tanking brute, especially in the first fight between him and Bane, he later uses more technique from his previous training. The large epic "Battle of Gotham" shown in the trailer was awesome and all the other action scenes were top notch with only a few poorly framed shots. Also Selina Kyle was excellent during her fight scenes and well choreographed.
Something I need to clarify about what was said in my Batman Begins Review. that the choreography was done poorly, actually it was the camera work and framing of the shots that was not done well. But as I hoped and expected, he learned from Inception how to framed action scenes and it turned out fantastically.
Acting: 9.8/10- Although nothing could possibly match Heath Ledger's Oscar Winning performance, Christian Bale steeped up his performance to a whole new level and his was not too over the top as in The Dark Knight. Tom Hardy as Bane was menacing and tried to be almost Darth Vader like with his presence, which worked to great effect. Michael Caine, as usual, was excellent in his role but was kind of given the shaft in terms of screen-time and the same for Morgan Freeman yet both gave top notch performances. Joseph Gordon-Levitt gave another fantastic performance in a very likable role. Although Gary Oldman is one of my favorite actors, he did not seem to be quite as good or just did not have enough great material but his performance was still great. Marion Cotillard was fine in her role, but the character could have been slightly more developed.
Despite some debate on whether Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle was the best choice for the role, but I have to say she was excellent. She was one of the highlights of the movie.
Special effects: 9.6/10- The Dark Knight Rises relied more on special effects than the previous entries of the franchise, but I could hardly find a subpar effect anywhere in the movie.
Soundtrack: 10/10- This might just be Hans Zimmer's best soundtrack to date. Although in one or two short parts, the soundtrack over powered the movie but the score its self is a masterpiece. Combining similar themes from the previous movies and adding a new spin on them.
Comedy: 7.7/10- There was not much humor in the movie, but some of the remarks by the characters were funny in a "that's an awesome line" kind of way.
Would I Watch This Again: Although I have no need to see it again in the theater, I would mostly buy the Blu-Ray/DVD.
Overall: 9.8/10- Overall The Dark Knight Rises was nothing like I was expecting it to be, it exceeded my expectations and concluded the trilogy perfectly.
Closing comments: The Dark Knight was not the movie we expected but the one we needed.
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