Thursday, July 19, 2012
"The Dark Knight Rises" - Christopher Nolan (2012)
Let's just get the question on everyone's minds out of the way.
No, "The Dark Knight Rises" is not as good as "The Dark Knight," but how many movies are?
The two films belong in different genres entirely. "The Dark Knight Rises " is an action film on a massive scale while its predecessor was a brooding crime drama.
Having said that, there's no reason why anyone shouldn't enjoy the new Batman movie; it's spectacular.
The film opens up with an impressive action sequence that introduces us to a new brand of Batman villain.
It involves Bane allowing himself to be taken into custody and then promptly escaping by crashing a plane and killing a lot of people.
When one of Bane's henchmen willingly goes to his death, we realize we're not just dealing with criminals, but fanatics.
Tom Hardy plays Bane with a serviceable menace.
Bane bests Batman in a fight and it's surprisingly unsettling to see Batman defeated.
Showing all that rage and sadness with most of his face obscured is a tall order and hardy has Heath Ledger's enormous shoes to fill, but he manages to make it work beautifully.
As for the other villain, Anne Hathaway is simply fantastic as Catwoman.
At the start of the film, Hathaway plays her character with a convincing meekness with superb underlying intensity.
When she takes a sinister sharp turn, we completely believe her.
She establishes herself as someone who can more than take care of herself and her character evolves from there.
And just a side note the character actors featured in the film were chosen very well, from Burn Gorman to Matthew Modine. (I was especially pleased to see "Torchwood's" Gorman.)
I'm afraid of saying too much in this review just because nobody wants to be spoiled.
Suffice it to say there are a couple of twists at the end.
I did not see one of them coming and the other you would have to be an idiot not to spot in the first act of the film.
So go, with my blessing. Enjoy Batman in all his stylized glory.