A Movie Review on The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The Dark Knight Rises, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan (Memento, Inception, Batman Trilogy), is a superb finale to this Batman trilogy. Nolan put everything he had into crafting the first two magnificent films, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, and with this third, and final film, he continues the same type of filmmaking.
Without diving into any spoilers the story of The Dark Knight Rises picks up 8 years after the second film and, as you could possibly guess things are somewhat different. The city of Gotham has been affected by the actions of what happened during The Dark Knight. Although there is no mention of the Joker throughout any part of the film (Nolan did this out of respect for Heath), Harvey Dent and the results of that night play a small, but somewhat significant part within this film. The film does tie-in more with the first film, Batman Begins, than The Dark Knight. If you have not seen the first film in the trilogy then it might be a good idea to check it out first before seeing this one. Saying too much more related to the story would spoil it, but the film (2h 45min runtime) is nothing short of captivating. The action throughout is as good as it gets and the introduction of The Bat is an awesome scene. I would have liked to see a bit more of Batman's gadgets throughout the film but for story purposes they probably didn't fit in. The last third of the movie will keep you on the edge of your seat, producing an ending that is everything fans of this series could have ever asked for.
Throughout the beginning of The Dark Knight Rises we are introduced to numerous new characters all with separate agendas. It's fascinating to see how Christopher, along with writers Jonathan Nolan, his brother, and David S. Goyer are able to weave these characters throughout the story without making it feel too overwhelming. Christian Bale, as always, does a wonderful job bringing to life the Dark Knight. Throughout this film he is called upon to use his entire range of acting skills and he does so with ease. He continues to provide us with the best version of the Dark Knight. Tom Hardy (Inception, Warrior) does a fantastic job portraying the sheer ferocity of Bane. He is absolutely menacing and his on screen presence is equal to that of Heath's Joker. His voice was the one thing many were worried about but needless to say, after hearing him speak for the first time the worries and doubts will vanish. There were only a couple of words throughout the film that were hard to understand, but the rest came through quite clear. Anne Hathaway (Alice in Wonderland, Love and Other Drugs) as Selina Kyle/Catwoman completely makes up for the atrocity that was Halle Berry's Catwoman. She was the perfect choice and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a Catwoman spin-off with Hathaway. Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception, 500 Days of Summer) as John Blake, a Gotham City police officer, is without a doubt my favorite character throughout the film(except for the Dark Knight himself). I don't want to give anything away but he plays a huge part in the story and easily gets more screen time than many of the other characters in the film. Marion Cotillard (Inception, Contagion), who plays Miranda Tate, also does a great job within the film. The returning cast members all do superb jobs in their roles but it is Michael Cain as Alfred Pennyworth who stands out, delivering the best performance in the entire film.
I do have a couple of very, very minor gripes with the film though. I felt that Bane's introduction doesn't evoke the same awe-inducing reaction that the Jokers introduction did during The Dark Knight but he does come across as more of a threat. During this same scene we are treated to a terrible performance by one of the agents who provided me with a little amusement at the sight of his over-acting but also took away, only slightly, from everything else going on.
Christopher Nolan once again brings Gotham City to life creating yet another masterpiece to add to his collection. The Dark Knight Rises is the perfect ending to this wonderful journey that Nolan and company have taken us on.
The Dark Knight Rises was released in theaters on July 20th 2012.
Directed by Christopher Nolan. Starring Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman and Michael Cane.
Rated PG-13. Runtime: 165 Minutes