The Dark Knight Rises Reviewed

Would you believe me if I told you I was skeptical about Batman Begins and even The Dark Knight? Well it’s true and I was skeptical about The Dark Knight Rises too.

How do you top The Dark Knight? How does an older, broken Bruce Wayne excel in a physical role made for young people? Most of all, how do you defeat an opponent who is that much stronger than you?

I needed answers to those questions and that was my motivation to complete the trilogy. I’m sure many people are equally curious to find out how Nolan’s Dark Knight Legend ends and most importantly, can he top what he did in 2008 with The Dark Knight.

The Plot

It has been eight years since Batman vanished into the night, turning, in that instant, from hero to fugitive. Assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon both hoped was the greater good. For a time the lie worked, as criminal activity in Gotham City was crushed under the weight of the anti-crime Dent Act.

But everything will change with the arrival of a cunning cat burglar with a mysterious agenda. Far more dangerous, however, is the emergence of Bane, a masked terrorist whose ruthless plans for Gotham drive Bruce out of his self-imposed exile. But even if he dons the cape and cowl again, Batman may be no match for Bane

The Verdict

I teared to be honest. Not because it was an incredibly touching movie or because the ending was sad…..it was a good ending. Well actually that’s the whole point – that it was a good ending. It’s so rare to have a trilogy of movies where each sequel is better than the one before and especially in comic book movies, they usually turn out to be disasters.

With The Dark Knight Rises we have to appreciate the screenplay. It all comes down to some very good writing and with the way Christopher and Jonathan Nolan weave in so many references to the first 2 movies, we have a complete story.

I think for me what was impressive is that the story largely centers around office John Blake. While Bane very important to the story, it isn’t totally about him which reminds me of what Nolan did in The Dark Knight. Harvey Dent was the story and the Joker was just passing through causing destruction. With Bane we have a different kind of villain, Tom Hardy is no Heath Ledger but it’s a different kind of presence and fear that he brings as a villain.

The physicality that he brings to the table really does make you wonder how Batman was going to beat him. We’ve seen many Batman fight scenes but with him taking on Bane, you will see desperation, you will see how it seems impossible for him to defeat Bane and you will wonder what it will take to win.

Anne Hathaway deserves a lot of credit to what she brings at Catwoman, in fact to be honest she was never referred to as Catwoman in the film and it thought that was a brilliant move. In her portrayal we have a classic femme fatale who has her own agenda. And while many continued to criticize her outfit after the screening, I thought that this should be the way Nolan’s Catwoman should be.

Hey the villains in this movie have a hard job, Hathaway has to a realistic Catwoman and Hardy has to act with only his eyes and his muffled voice. I really take my hat off to them for pulling it off and standing out on their own.

I think if you’re my age and have followed Nolan’s Batman movies from 2005 it paints a picture of the story of your life….in a way.

Here’s how I see it….With Batman Begins you might have been driven and very idealistic and life and the way things should have been done. You might have been young in your career and there were things you wanted to achieve.

In 2008 with The Dark Knight, you are more experienced and at “journey man” stage in your life and career. Doing all you can but can’t quite get to where you want yet.

in 2012 with The Dark Knight Rises, you’ve become slightly jaded and look across the office and see the idealistic newbie or rookie and reflect that he or she was you 8 years ago. Does it inspire you or make you even more jaded….the choice is yours.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The best quality of this film is it’s intelligence and humanity. It’s something you can believe in and perhaps that’s why it will be an important classic.

By Elliott Danker

The Dark Knight Rises opens in cinemas 19 July

Images courtesy of Warner Bros Singapore

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