THE DARK KNIGHT RISES Review: A Satisfying Conclusion To a Great Trilogy
So much hype, so much anticipation, and now, it's finally over. Was The Dark Knight Rises worth waiting for? Absolutely. Below is my review, which is full of spoilers so if you haven't seen the film, stop reading right now!
Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy is over. His final chapter The Dark Knight Rises is now playing in theatres, so hit the jump to check out my spoiler-filled review of the film...
The Dark Knight Rises has finally arrived, which concludes another Batman era. Directed by Christopher Nolan, it all started back 2005 with a rather brilliant Batman Begins. Giving us a little bit different and more realistic take on the character, the film heavily focused on the Bruce Wayne story, where Batman wasn't the main focus. This is something I loved, because Bale's performance was so brilliant and the supporting cast was spot on. The success of Begins was solid enough for studio, so they decided to move on with a sequel. Released in 2008, The Dark Knight was a game changer for comic book movies, according to many people. Before I move on with this review, I want to say that I disagree with that statement. While The Dark Knight certainly raised the bar, it was Batman Begins that started it all. For many reasons, I prefer Batman Begins to The Dark Knight, which could be one of the reasons why I truly loved the final chapter, The Dark Knight Rises.
I saw the film yesterday, and for some odd reason I was kind of nervous before seeing it. It could have been that feeling when you think, "What if it sucks? What if it doesn't live up to my expectations?" But let me tell you this... I had huge expectations. And The Dark Knight Rises surpassed them in a big way. It was that good. From the moment the film starts, you just know this is going to be a bigger, more brutal, more dramatic and emotional Batman film than any of the previous ones. Director Christopher Nolan once again triumphs with this last film, taking the character of Bruce Wayne to a painful journey. What Nolan did in TDK, from action scenes, to little character moments, it's all done better in this one. Every character has a room to breath, nothing is rushed, and everyone gets their moment. What I loved in this one, is how Nolan introduced new characters, and gave them background stories where each of them sort of connects. Pacing of the film is pretty much prefect. I had a problem with that in his previous films, but in this one, it never feels boring or uninteresting. Something is always happening, and it's happening for a reason. The film looks amazing. Cinematography is the best one of the three, and Wally Pfister once again shows his talent with some stunning shots. One thing I didn't quite like in The Dark Knight were the fight scenes. It all looked really bad and it was quite a mess, really. Here, the fight choreography is much better and it shows. The first fight scene between Batman and Bane is one of my favorite parts of the film. No music, just the two of them throwing punches at each other, and it was spectacular. You could see how Batman was struggling, and that was the highlight of the fight. Like I said, the action is bigger, better and more engaging. The music was amazing in the film. Hans Zimmer once again gives the film a great soundtrack, and it fits perfectly in every scene.
Christian Bale simply gives a stunning and emotional performance as Bruce Wayne/Batman, and he is even better than in the last two films. He makes you care for the character and what happens to him, and that's something not a lot of actors can do. Bale's performance and what he did with the character is a true heart of this trilogy and it should be remembered as such. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a new character called John Blake, and he plays it with perfection. Blake is a young cop, full of optimism during bad times in Gotham City. There is a scene in the film that gave me chills... when it is revealed that John Blake's legal name is actually Robin. That was a rather cool nod for the audience. While I had no problems whatsoever with Anne Hathaway playing Selina Kyle/Catwoman when they first announced it, I must admit that based on trailers, she didn't quite fit in this whole thing. But, after seeing the film in its entirety, she owned this role. She had some great material to work with, and there are some memorable scenes with her character. Gary Oldman was great as expected, giving another wonderful performance as Commissioner Gordon. This time he was much more involved in the whole story which makes it even better. One thing this film needed more... Michael Caine. While there is such a great scene between Bruce and Alfred, where they say goodbye to each other, Alfred should have been more in the film. Caine plays this character with such an emotional depth that an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor should happen this time around. Morgan Freeman was also really good, and it's great that Nolan decided to have Lucius Fox find out about what really happened to Batman/Bruce, and that he actually survived that explosion.
Marion Cotillard gives a solid performance as Miranda Tate/ Talia al Ghul, but there was something about her character that seemed off, especially when she died and how it all ended for her. I don't know, if there is a weak link in the script, it would be this character. And finally, the villain of the film... Tom Hardy as Bane. From the moment you see this character, you know he is not the one you want to mess with. Bane is a physical character, and they truly show that in the film. During the whole film, Bane is wearing a mask, so Hardy had to act with his eyes. And he pulled it off. Such a powerful performance. Also, his voice was great. There was maybe a scene or two where you can't really understand what he is saying, but nothing that lowers the quality of Hardy's acting. If I had to say what I didn't like in the film, it would be how they decided to kill Bane. It was anticlimactic, even though the fight scene at City Hall was spectacular. Also, some of the editing is sloppy. It could have been done a little bit better. I do have a few more nitpicks, but none of them outweigh all the great things in the film.
The Dark Knight Rises is a near-perfect film, with brilliant performances, direction and cinematography. Everything you wanted to see in the final chapter of Christopher Nolan's Batman saga is shown in this one. Featuring some really cool cameos, great and entertaining story, and a very satisfying ending, The Dark Knight Rises is an end of another Batman era, which will be remembered as one of the best trilogies in cinematic history.
Starring Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard and Morgan Freeman, The Dark Knight Rises is now in theatres.
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