Sunday, July 22, 2012
Batman: Dark Knight Rises (2012) Theatrical Release
Review: First off I want to say that this totally lived up to the hype for me and was a great conclusion to the trilogy. It's sad, with how the movie ended, that it is the conclusion because there would be some awesome future movies coming from this franchise if it were to continue.
That being said this is definitely now my second favorite of the trilogy. Better than Begins but not as good as Dark Knight. Begins will always sort of be the red headed step child of the franchise to me. It's sort of necessary to see it to get a feeling for the series, to be introduced to the characters in order to give those characters more weight going into Dark Knight. But you could almost skip Begins entirely and go directly to Dark Knight, seeing Begins accentuates Dark Knight but Dark Knight just has something these other movies don't. And it's more than just Joker.
Dark Knight Rises manages to deliver to us something totally different than the previous two movies while still using the movies and building blocks and somehow managing to be in tone with the other films while also being something totally its own. The plot is intriguing with several twists, some of them I saw coming, some of them I didn't and one that I thought I saw coming early but the the payoff was so long I thought for sure I was wrong until I was proven right, which just made it more awesome when it happened. It's a great movie about people, the crime and the crime fighting are sort of secondary. The characters are all just so great, the returning characters get deepened and the new characters really get established well. No one feels wooden or phoned in. Michael Caine put's in such a fantastic performance, when he get's emotional about Bruce you really feel it, he is the stand out. Commissioner Gordon continues to be awesome and well played by Gary Oldman and new comer (to the series) Anne Hathaway is hypnotic as Catwoman. She plays the character with a lot of depth and you can see that she feels trapped and empathize with her desire for redemption. Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Policeman Blake is great as well in the role of frustrated but passionate cop. Christian Bale, as always, does great and bring passion to every role he's in. As Bruce he can still look amusingly dumbfounded in his playboy persona but is still intimidating as hell as Batman. He's toned down the Bat Voice quite a bit for this last performance and it's probably at its least distracting here. Finally Bane is well done by Tom Hardy. He plays him as a cold blooded, brutal terrorist. This comes through in everything he does, his actions, his words, his body language, he looks incredibly intimidating in just the way he stands and walks. My only problem is with the voice. I eventually got used to it but it sort of sounds like Sean Connery with a cold talking through a tin can and string which can lead to a problem understanding every word of his dialog. I lost some of it, especially in the fight with Batman (spoiler: Batman fights Bane). It was weird at first but I was on board by the end of the movie.
Dark Knight Rises is a great movie and well worth seeing but it's just missing something that Dark Knight had. In my opinion Dark Knight had the more intriguing characters in Harvey Dent and Joker, had better action and a better plot. It was just a more interesting movie and despite its, at times, heavy handed messages it was a perfect Batman movie. This is close, this is really close but just something in me can't give it more than 4. I will definitely be buying this when it's released on Blu-Ray and I'll probably watch it several more times but it won't replace Dark Knight as my go to movie.