Directed By: Christopher Nolan
Hello! As I said in my earlier post, I recently moved back to New Mexico and I haven't had much time to write my review for The Dark Knight Rises. But I am here today to finally do it. Truthfully, after the events in Colorado, I wasn't sure how soon was too soon to write a review for the deliciously violent movie that was at the center of the tragedy. My heart goes out to the victims and their families. As much as I love violence in films, there is no place for such violent acts in our real life communities.
The second installment, The Dark Knight, was arguably one of the best films of the last decade. It is impossible for any Batman villain to ever live up to Heath Ledger's Joker. There is no way to match the intensity, and sheer psychotic violence that The Dark Knight sustained from start to finish. There was a sense of fun, and wonder to the first and second film that wasn't present in The Dark Knight Rises. Perhaps it is the finality of it all. The sense that things are ending can often leave the audience feeling less invested in new characters. And this film had a lot of new characters.
But on the other hand, I feel like Nolan really backed himself into a corner when he decided, and then told the world this would be his last Batman. It forced him to spend a lot of time tying up loose ends while still trying to keep the story new and compelling. If he hadn't mentioned before the release of the film that this would be the last one, and had let the ending of The Dark Knight Rises be a bit more ambiguous, that might have been more successful.
Christian Bale is a strong directors dream and his partnership with Nolan is one of the great Hollywood success stories. And it's not just because Bale is an incredible actor and Nolan an accomplished director. It's because together, they bring out each others strengths. When you watch these films, you begin to realize that Bale needs the structure Nolan's narratives provide, and Nolan needs a bit of that manic energy Bale is so famous for.
As great at Bale is, we cannot discount the other amazing actors rounding out this cast. Gary Oldman is easily one of my top-five favorite British actors of all time and I am glad the story utilized him as much as it did. As Commissioner Gordon, he does seem older, and more jaded, (which I didn't think was possible). But the film jumps ahead 8 years after the Joker incidents and the film takes on this ominous tone of stale anarchy. And the decay shows in Oldman's performance.
The biggest strength of this film, is that the people, and the world they live in, though fantastic, is very much rooted in reality. Though many try to diminish Batman as just a bored rich guy with a sociopathic need to enforce his will, Nolan and Bale work hard to make Bruce Wayne and Batman a sympathetic and broken character. He is certainly that, and I believe it.
While some of the characters, like Commissioner Gordon and Bane seemed right at home in Gotham, others were woefully out of place. As much as I love Anne Hathaway and as classy as she is, I did not find her performance all that inspiring. Let's be honest, Catwoman was a completely superfluous character, an after-thought at best. She adds nothing to the story except for a little T & A*, and Hathaway has never been a T & A kind of actress. While she fills out the cat suit quite nicely, and she's a bit more dynamic, and down to earth than that twitchy Halley Barry disaster, I still think her inclusion was cheap, and only sought to create some romantic tension in a film that didn't need it.
This film is Batman, from start to finish. This is the type of Batman I love, and I relate to. I like that he is an imperfect person, I like that his world is dark and violent, and a not-so-vailed social critique. I think too many people went in with inflated expectations. And no matter how great this film truly is, it will never satisfy the asshole fan boys. But Nolan did the best he could, despite being a bit tired of the material. And it's still an action packed superhero movie, with blood and violence. And at the end, Batman saves the day. And that's why we love him.
A- : It could have been better, but it's Batman, it's Christopher Nolan, you are going to see it, you are going to love it, and everything there is to dislike about this film comes down to nit-picking.
* Tits and Ass
Pictures off of Google