The X-Women

Saturday, July 21, 2012

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (2012) wraps up an epic trilogy with an amazing finale!

Let me get my review started by immediately making this statement: The Dark Knight Rises is really good but it's not better than The Dark Knight, in my opinion. Sorry, had to go ahead and say that. Now onto my review.

*Just got back from seeing Dark Knight Rises for the second time and my initial rating holds up. As with most midnight screenings it's hard to be objective as the crowd is so into and amazing. Some films I have watched at midnight showings do not hold upon a second viewing..Phantom Menace and Superman Returns are good examples. But Dark Knight Rises does. With that said onto my full review.

Bruce Wayne about to suit up again for the first time in 8 years

The Dark Knight Rises picks up 8 years later after the events in the last film and Gotham is a much better place. Well crime wise it is. Batman has hung up his cape and cowl and resides in his alter ego guise of Bruce Wayne at his mammoth mansion. Christian Bale ratchets up his acting and is the best he has ever been in this series. Especially as Bruce, he comes across more wounded and human. And his Batman voice is much improved, thank god. But he is not the same Batman, as he has been away from the game for 8 years. His body is wracked as he needs surgery on his knee and shoulder and walks around with a cane. When you first see him, you think holy shit, there is no way this guy can take on Bane, the new villain played by Tom Hardy who terrorizes Gotham. This guy is a freak of nature as he is stronger and faster than Batman and is just as smart. Watching footage of this guy even Alfred says what we all are thinking.."Look at him Master Wayne, his speed and strength. You can't win!" Reminds me of what Adrian use to tell Rocky before a tough fight. 

Bane wreaking havoc in Gotham

Anyway Batman doesn't just have to worry about Bane's attack on Gotham's finest and richest but he is also attacked by a rival businessman who aims to take down Wayne Enterprises. So it is a two pronged attack that our hero doesn't see coming. And then there's the loose cannon in the form of Selina Kyle (played by Anne Hathaway) a sophisticated cat burglar who is at first a pain in the ass for Batman but then comes through at the end when he needs her help. By the way, Anne rocks as Selina. To all those naysayers who thought she was a bad choice for this role..I say, take that. She is dangerous, funny, smart and sexy as hell. Dare I say it, but she is my favorite Catwoman. I know other fans may take offense to that but she is. She pulls off an incredible performance that has you guessing which way she is going go. 

Selina Kyle/Catwoman

Bane on the other hand is a little different. While Tom Hardy is perfect in this role, his voice is sometimes hard to understand and when you do understand him, it's kind of weird sounding. I really can't describe it but once you see the film, you will immediately know what I'm talking about. After seeing it a second time, it still sounds weird.

Batman rides again

So back to the film which like I said is really good. But it falls just a little short of The Dark Knight. Which I knew would be pretty hard to top. But Chris Nolan and company give it their all and go for broke. The action is amped up with some intense fight scenes and shoot-outs. There is a tense hostage situation at the Gotham Stock Exchange where Bane and his cronies take over that is quite riveting. Which leads to a very cool chase sequence involving Batman on his Bat-pod and those bad guys on motorcycles and about 50 police cars. And Hans Zimmer works his magic music score once again as the theme swells every time things get a little tense and exciting.

John Blake on the job

All the regulars return and give solid performances again such as Gary Oldman, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman. Newcomers Joseph Gordon Levitt as cop John Blake and Marion Cotillard as Miranda Fox, a woman who has to bail out Bruce Wayne's struggling company are top notch. And it's very cool seeing Aidan Gillen in a role as a CIA operative dealing with Bane in the opening scene. Fans may remember Gillen from The Wire and recently Game of Thrones. Matthew Modine as the acting police commissioner is dreadful. Every time he speaks he says the most stupid and unbelievable things. Reminds me of Paul Gleason from the first Die Hard movie. Both are totally ridiculous characters.

Bane and Batman in the brawl of the decade

The film does have a few slow spots but considering it is 2 hours and 45 minutes long that was expected. But it never drags and you're are never checking your watch. You are caught up in everything that goes on. I will say that the plans the villains use to take down Bruce Wayne/Batman are methodical and strategical. Lots of planning and execution from a lot of parties. That being said, it makes The Joker's plan all that more amazing in The Dark Knight because he really didn't have a plan as he stated.  And he damn sure didn't have all the resources these baddies had. Either way, this was a worthy follow-up to that film and a great wrap up to an amazing film series. Long live Batman!
Say what again! I dare ya!

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