Sunday, July 29, 2012
The Dark Knight Rises
Before I begin this review, I just want to remind everyone to say a prayer for those involved in the shootings in Colorado. I was at the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises, but my memories of the night will likely forever be overshadowed by the evil actions of one man. There is nothing we can do for those lives lost on that horrible night, yet we can always remember to cherish our time here on this planet, because we never know when it might run out.
My review of The Dark Knight Rises is going to be a bit different from my usual reviews, as it will contain some spoilers. I just wanted to warn everyone, just in case you haven't seen it yet. Normally, I don't spoil anything, so do not be discouraged from reading my other reviews!
If you didn't know, I had a long post last week about my expectations for The Dark Knight Rises. You can read the post here.
The most disappointing aspect of the film, in my opinion, was the fact that I was required to re-imagine a brand new story. I wish the film would have started where we had left off, at the end of The Dark Knight. While it did help with the introductions of Bain and Catwoman, the plot build-up of the political themes was completely forgotten by the end of the film. What was introduced as a stab at big government, turned into another attempt for Ra's Al Ghul to take a stab at Batman. It wasn't awful, but it could have been much better. If you took the epic nature of the ending and spread it throughout the rest of the film, it would make for a film at least ten times better. As I said in my expectations, I wanted Batman to die... Well, Batman died!... Then he didn't... However, I was ok with it, because we were allowed to feel the emotions that came with a dead Batman. We were allowed to see the praise that was received, the tears that were shed, and the truth that Batman could be anybody. Along with this, we were also allowed a happy ending.
While the plot was a bit below expectations, the characters greatly exceeded my expectations. From unforeseen villains to unforeseen love interests, this movie was your typical action flick. The difference was the fact that most every member of the audience was more attached to these characters compared to your average action film. The events that played out weren't just happening to any old character; they were happening to The Dark Knight, who we have come to love.
Let me start with a question. Why in the heck was Scarecrow (played by Cillian Murphy) even necessary to mention in this film? He is by-far the worst of all Nolan-created Batman villains, yet he won't go away! Also, I don't understand why Matthew Modine's Foley (the stupid detective) was necessary. We were already getting an extra cop when Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Blake showed up, and his introduction was ok. However, Foley was trying to act like he had been an integral part of the Gotham police force forever, and we have never seen him. It just angered me. On top of that, I was going to hate on Marion Cotillard's Miranda Tate, but she saved herself at the end.
Christian Bale, as Bruce Wayne, is undoubtedly the greatest Batman of all time, and he continued that legacy in The Dark Knight Rises. When remembering this film, however, I will always think of Joseph Gordon-Levitt's great(ly predictable) performance as Blake. Gordon-Levitt is one of my favorite actors, and, while this wasn't his best performance, Blake's character was fantastic. It would be so, so fantastic if whoever took over Batman next just took up where Christopher Nolan left off, with Blake as Batman. While the hero was epic, Bain (played by Tom Hardy) and Catwoman (played by Anne Hathaway) were equally as great in their villainous roles. I was really worried about each of them, but they really were great Nolan-created villains. I even enjoyed Catwoman's not-so-villainous ways. Finally, kudos to Alfred (played by Michael Caine) for almost making me cry four-times thus far.
Wow! A conclusion it certainly was! While it wasn't Christopher Nolan's best film, it was a satisfying conclusion to one of the best trilogies of all time. Could it have been better? Probably, yes. But, I honestly can't think of how I could have made it better, so I can't be too harsh about that. Nolan gave us so many great characters in these three movies that I hated to say goodbye. I really wish that he would just make a new Batman film every year for the rest of eternity! Doesn't look like that's going to be the case. My only hope is that the director of the next Batman film, whoever that may be, will do half as well as my man Christopher Nolan. Until Batman returns, we will have to be entertained by Nolan's take on Batman, which doesn't bother me one little bit. I give The Dark Knight Rises 3.24 out of 5 stars.