Monday, July 23, 2012


Directed by Christopher Nolan'

Christian Bale - Bruce Wayne/ Batman
Tom Hardy - Bane
Anne Hathaway - Selina Kyle/ Catwoman

     Eight years on, a new terrorist leader, Bane, overwhelms Gotham's finest, and the Dark Knight resurfaces to protect a city that has branded him an enemy.

     The final of director Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy is here. Compared to the other films in the series, the promo material for it such as TV spots and trailers, even print ads, were a lot more low key. This isn't really a bad thing as not a lot of information is out about the film. Yet the one thing that is hanging over the film is the film before it, The Dark Knight. Can this film get out from under the shadow of that film, as it will have to, to make sure it can stand on it's own.

     Let me start out by saying that all the actors and actresses were firing on all cylinders in this film. Christian Bale has always done a good job playing dual roles. One as Bruce Wayne and the other, the more true character, Batman. Bale gives his usual gravely voice speeches that we have grown accustomed to over the past seven years he has been portraying Batman. Yet most of the film centers on Bruce Wayne and Bale is more than up for it. Anne Hathaway, who plays Selena Kyle and Catwoman, adds a another character that fits perfectly into Gotham City. Michael Caine though plays the heart of the film. Caine as Alfred Pennyworth has always stated the facts straight to Bruce Wayne and it's no different this time. Like Batman and Commissioner Gordon, Caine's character has been carrying around a secret for the past eight years and it has eaten him alive the whole time and when the secret comes out it destroys Bruce but frees Pennyworth. Yet the stand out performance in this was Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake, who adds a youthfulness that is missing from the rest of the movie.

     I'm not going to ruin the film by saying what happens at the end and I try to stay away from doing that in my reviews unless I cannot think of no other way around it. Thankfully with this film I don't have that problem. What I will talk about is Bane. Bane in the comic was the one person that completely broke Bruce Wayne and Batman. And that happens here as well almost in the exact same way with Batman. The breaking of Bruce Wayne though is what drives the first two thirds of the film. From the ruinations of Wayne Enterprises to the loss of his one true friend and confidant, Wayne is taken apart piece by piece as the film moves forward. While with The Dark Knight, the Joker was all about chaos, and you can even say that the Joker was a force of nature in that movie, Bane is a completely different beast all together. Bane was all about planning and deception, a terrorist, which is more in line with Batman Begins villian, Ra's al Gul. In fact this is the conclusion of storyline started with that film. To say more about it than that is to ruin a major plot development later in the film. If there was one flaw with the film though it is Bane as well. Not the character or his action, but his speech. The reason why is because even in an IMAX theater, which is the only true way to see this, some of Bane's dialogue is not understandable and garbled.

     Now I'm going to geek out a little bit and talk about one the things I love about the film and that's the Batpod, or that cool as hell bike. Every time that bike took a corner or had to turn around quickly and the wheels became unlocked and then start spinning a smile crossed my face over how cool it was. The action is more intense in this film than the other Batman films and that is what most people will more than likely go and see this for and if they do and only pay attention to that they will miss what makes these movies so special and different. The main reason to go and see this is to be involved in the story as this film is story driven more than anything else and that is where these films have shined the most. In the character study of what drives these people we have come to know. And their insanity that motivates them. The best example of this is Bruce Wayne in this film. As he starts out broken already, or so he thinks he has sunk as low as he could go, only to find out that he was wrong on every level.

     Director Christopher Nolan has always been a competent director from his first full film Following and has improved with each and every film he has made. This is due to his ability to focus on the human aspect of the characters more that the action. The action is there to help move the film along but it is not the motivation for the characters. It's trying to do what is right no matter what happens. Don't get me wrong though, there is action in here and the third act is almost all out action on a scale Nolan has never done before. Nolan though hits it so far out of the park when the action does start that it's just amazing and thanks to the camera staying on the action and following it it just makes it seem more grand.Yes, people will say that The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises are political movies. Yes there is commentary in there about politics but it is just a background to the main story. For a final act in a trilogy this is a perfect way to end the series as all plots are wrapped up and there isn't a single person left out at the end. In the end all I can say about The Dark Knight Rises is go and watch it and enjoy it, for Nolan has again made a film that is far above others.


     Christian Bale has stated that he would not play Batman if Robin appeared anywhere in the trilogy. Christopher Nolan agreed not to include Robin as it would undermine the dark tone of his series.

     Cillian Murphy as Jonathan Crane or Scarecrow is the only Batman film villain in recent years to appear in all three films.

     According to Christopher Nolan, Bane was chosen as the film's main antagonist "to test Batman mentally as well as physically."

     At 165 minutes long, this is the longest Batman film released to date.

     Tom Hardy described Bane as an absolute terrorist: "He's brutal, but also incredibly clinical in the fact that he has a result-based and oriented fighting style. The style is heavy-handed, heavy-footed... it's nasty. It's not about fighting, it's about carnage!"

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