Monday, July 23, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

I don't want to review The Dark Knight Rises. There's a bunch of reviews out there already which are definitely more eloquent then what I can write up. With that said, if you're still sticking around and would like to know my opinion:

The Dark Knight Rises is a good movie but, it's not a good stand alone movie. Unlike Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, you'll have to know what went on in the previous two in order to understand The Dark Knight Rises.

If you are on the fence about watching The Dark Knight Rises and don't like Anne Hathaway, stay away from this one. Personally, I really enjoyed Anne Hathaway's portrayal of Catwoman. I like the street smart "Audrey Hepburn-esque" cat burglar portrayal much more than the seductress that recent stories had painted her out to be.

If you liked Batman Begins but hated The Dark Knight er... give The Dark Knight Rises a watch. This recent installment addresses certain issues from Batman Begins and provides resolutions. In fact, the consequences of the Joker's actions in The Dark Knight looms over The Dark Rises like a dark cloud. So, in a way the Joker is in this movie.

If you like Joseph Gordon-Levitt you will like The Dark Knight Rises. Why? Just trust me on this. But if you want to know more I'll discuss that after the "JUMP!"

If you don't care much for Chris Nolan's style of Gotham, definitely skip this. Other wise, it's a pretty good movie and it's uplifting. The Dark Knight Rises closed the series on a good note. For more, I have a list of spoiler-full observations and maybe a smidgen of a review after the "JUMP!"



The Dark Knight Rises:
Some Days, You Just Can't Get Rid of a Bomb! (or Rocky III)
  • We don't actually get to see much of Batman in The Dark Knight Rises. Bruce Wayne doesn't put on the cowl until maybe 45min into the movie. Normally, I'd complain but I enjoyed the build up along with the introduction of the supporting cast.
  • Batman gets the crap kicked out of him by Bane and the iconic back breaker is in this movie. Then for the rest of the movie, Bruce Wayne/Batman is crippled and in prison. I had my speculations about this was afraid it would happen this way because, it means Batman is not going to be in a Batman movie. I hate it when stories takes the main character out of the story or incapacitate the hero so they can't be 100%. It doesn't work and it makes for boring story telling. With that said, somehow Nolan made it work for The Dark Knight Rises. I think it's because the story is structured like Rocky III
  • Yes, The Dark Knight Rises is Rocky III. At least that is how I see it. Maybe there are other movies with the same structure and works as well? But, I can't think of any right now. You can edit The Dark Knight Rises to Survivor's Eye of the Tiger and it'll fit like a glove. Although, Bruce Wayne starts off the movie already being broken. The life of crime fighting has taken a toll on his body and spirit. When he puts the suit on again, he's ready to die. He lost the "hunger." A younger, hungrier and more powerful opponent (Bane/Clubber Lang) comes in. Even Alfred commented on this when he saw a footage of Bane. Alfred is basically Mickey in this. I guess you can play the Rocky Theme when Bruce Wayne trains to get back into shape to for his rematch with Bane. Bruce Wayne's cell mates even gave him a Rocky-esque wisdom. 
  • Batman/Bruce Wayne loses everything in this movie. Even Alfred leaves him. Alfred wanted to see Bruce Wayne happy and couldn't stand his quest for vengeance. With the father figure gone it's like Rocky losing his coach/father figure Mickey.
  • Remember the scene when Qui Gon Jinn appeared as a Force Ghost to Bruce Wayne and told him that there are different ways to achieve immortality? That was cool! Then at the end of the movie after Batman dies, Bruce Wayne shows up as a Force Ghost in the cafe in Italy to have a date with Catwoman and to show Alfred that he's happy... that was cool too! Although, when I heard Qui Gon Jinn's voice in The Dark Knight Rises I yelled, "ASLAN!" I should have known better. The Force is not strong with me.
  • Batman dies in this. Batman set us up a bomb in Gotham. It's a 6 mile radius nuclear device. Batman tries to get rid of it but some days, you just can't get rid of a bomb! Like the 1960's Batman movie, he takes it out to the harbor and detonates it.
  • With Batman being broken throughout most of the movie so, what was the rest of the movie about? Joseph Gordon-Levitt!!! WOW! I like him as an actor but, I didn't know he was able to carry a movie when he's not the title character. Wait a minute, if the impact of the Joker was so significant that it looms over Gotham like a dark cloud... so, Batman's influence was strong enough that when he disappeared the citizens of Gotham rises up to uphold the justice? Hmm... and Joseph Gordon-Levitt becomes Batman at the end of the movie. Actually, I really really really hope he does. They had a jab that his character's middle name is "Robin" but he doesn't like to use it. I hope that's a sign he'll be the next Batman. RFblues pointed out that Joseph Gordon-Levitt WAS "Robin" throughout The Dark Knight Rises and he graduates to be Batman at the end.
  • Even Catwoman caught Batman's spirit and fought for justice. Or maybe it's for her own benefit? I believe being such a witty and street smart character, she could have found a way to leave Gotham during Bane's revolution. Just like how Bruce Wayne found a way to sneak into Gotham. I found Anne Hathaway highly entertaining as Catwoman. She is my favorite of all the incarnations of the Catwoman character.
  • There are arguments that Catwoman is not needed and just a waste of time in this movie. I have to disagree. Someone like Catwoman is what I wish Nolan's Batman series would show more. I want the series to show us more of the unstable characters, the dangerous criminally insane of Gotham. Show us cameos/examples. Using the Scarecrow over and over again is not bad but there are so much more in Batman's rogues gallery. Show us the reason why Ra Sha Ghul, Talia and Bane wants to cleanse Gotham. Then again maybe it's just Ra Sha Ghul who wants to purge Gotham. Now that I think about it, Talia was out for revenge since Batman killed her father. Just like how Batman was the embodiment of vengeance for his parent's death? Bane's motivation? He was in love with Talia and also believed in the cleansing of Gotham. Now, I'm not dismissing Bane as a one dimensional character (bomb, bomb, bomb)... hmm... Jokes aside Bane is pretty complex. All the characters are great in The Dark Knight Rises. An awesome ensemble.
  • One final thought, Bruce Wayne/Batman not telling Alfred about his fake death was an ultimate "fuck you" for leaving him and making him answer the door at Wayne Manor.

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