Monday 23 July 2012

Today's Review: The Dark Knight Rises

I've waited patiently for four years, but now it's over. The trilogy is complete, and with it my IMAX virginity has been taken. I certainly did clIMAX. Or should I say, my dark knight rose. But that would imply I have a gangrenous penis or something. Let's continue.

Yes, the caped crusader returns, striking fear into the hearts of Gotham's criminals. Or does he? I'll try and keep the spoilers to an absolute minimum, but Rises takes place eight years after the conclusion of The Dark Knight, and apparently things have been quite uneventful in Gotham in that time. But when a powerful new enemy emerges from the depths, Bruce Wayne must once again suit up and bond with allies old and new to save his city once again.

Tom Hardy plays our bad guy this time, the massive, intimidating Bane. I rewatched The Dark Knight last night, and I still can't get over how great Heath Ledger's Joker was. It's a tremendously difficult role to live up to, but I had a fair amount of faith in Hardy. Though his voice is somewhat ridiculous behind that mask of his, Bane is certainly a force to be reckoned with. The Joker's plan was merely to create chaos, he was unpredictable, and the humour he injected into the proceedings made them all the more intimidating. But Bane has a plan, and he has the power to follow it through. Throughout the whole movie he is a lurking presence, and is unrelentingly terrifying.

Yes, Bane indeed has a plan, and if you thought Gotham seemed bad under the reign of The Joker, you haven't seen anything yet. This movie is long, about two and three quarter hours, but it's suitably epic. While we start off with a relatively peaceful Gotham, and spend some time getting reacquainted with old characters and introduced to new, the action quickly builds right up until the grand finale, which sent chills down my spine several times in terms of its scope and execution.

Nolan has done it again. This man can make a damn fine movie, and after setting the bar ridiculously high with The Dark Knight it's a real testament to his skill that he's managed to craft another masterpiece, especially since he wasn't sure about it to begin with. It's beautifully filmed, the sweeping shots of Gotham, especially in the darker hours of the movie, are fantastic. The characters are tried and tested, there are changes of hearts and redemptions. The themes and motifs carried over from the previous movies are still valid and hold strong. The only slight qualm I did have was with Anne Hathaway's Selina Kyle. She just didn't feel as fleshed out as everyone else, and her inclusion seemed somewhat tacked on, but I learned to love her in the end.

But I've been reading reviews. Turns out some people didn't think this was too great, and the only real consistent complaint I've seen against it was that it was too dark, and lacking in humour. No shit, this is Nolan's Batman. Did you think you were going to see Adam West running around with a giant comedy bomb? Of course this will be dark, have you not seen the others? Sure, there was humour in The Dark Knight, but that was just part of the terror. Sure, The Dark Knight Rises may not be the most perfect movie in existence, plot holes and inconsistencies will be picked up, but that's the case with any movie. But I left that cinema knowing that I have watched a completely awesome movie. One that I will most definitely watch again, probably many times over.

My rating: 5/5

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