Ryan Thomason

The Dark Knight Rises: Movie Review

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What is there to say about this final movie in the Christopher Nolan directed trilogy other than it was an excellent close to the trilogy, will people be gushing about it like The Avengers? Probably not, it’s a totally different feel than Avengers but to me was just as satisfying.

I loved The Avengers, it made me geekgasm on so many levels. There was something about The Dark Knight Rises that just tapped me on level The Avengers couldn’t achieve. It didn’t have Hulk beating up gods, yes, and there is no Academy Award winning acting like Heath Ledgers Joker from the second film. Maybe it was the fact that this was the closing, a big finale for an amazing run that has catapulted Batman movies into the highest space the 1989 movie occupied and the Batman & Robin movie drove back into the ground.

I just wish there had been more Batman in Dark Knight Rises. After talking to my brother in law that saw the advance screening with me, we wondered if this was as much a John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt)movie as much as it was Bruce Wayne/Batman, which does tie their intertwining plots up in a nice bow at the end. John Blake is a intuitive detective that questions when people don’t want them, and connects the dots just as you would have expected Batman to. Bruce Wayne/Batman does drive the story, obviously it’s his to tell, but you can’t help but get sucked into the other characters, be it Bane (Tom Hardy), Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), Alfred (Michael Caine), or Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) . Everyone has their chance to shine, especially John Blake. Not to say that Bale has no screen time, he does, and watching Batman rise and fall during the course of the movie cemented why I consider Bale at the top of my list of favorite Batman actors. Bruce Wayne has been shuttered in for the last 8 years since Harvey Dent died, putting away the mask and taking the blame (Batman, not Wayne) for Dent’s death. Being such a recluse it takes a while for Bruce to climb his way out of his self imposed prison to become The Batman once again, much to the displeasure of Alfred.

For those of you who heard all the talk about how hard it is to understand Bane’s speech, a lot of what was apparently garbled dialog of Tom Hardy trying to speak through the mask is cleaned up. Still though, even my perceptive brother in law said there were some parts he couldn’t understand. While the dialog of Bane is pretty damn good, there are unfortunately still points where you look to the person next to you and whisper, asking what Bane said. The rest of Bane, is damn good, his fight sequences are excellent, all the way to beating the shit out of Batman to the point of….oh yeah, no spoilers. 30lbs of muscle that Tom Hardy added to his frame makes Bane look liked a ripped man-god, Bane is a seriously imposing figure on screen.

The unraveling of the plot was done in a way that I found myself truly enjoying. Even the long sequences when Bale was absent from the movie and others stepped up the action and drama. Like I said earlier, this is still a Batman movie, but when the light shines off him, it still showcasing something that is just as grand, just as powerful, just as iconic. Anne Hathaway was a pleasant surprise for me, I wasn’t sure how well she would fit in as Selina Kyle having seen more than enough Rom-Coms Hathaway starred in with my wife it was the big question mark for me of the movie. Leave all previous perceptions at the door, Hathaway’s performance was on par with Bale and Gordon-Levitt. Yes, she isn’t the Michelle Pfeifer in the leather getup being all hardcore. Selina Kyle is perceptive and always in survival mode, ready to kick some ass if need be given the situation. Trust me, given the circumstances that Bane places on Gotham, she’ll need all of it.

There was a reason on the way home, we were calling all our friends, and gloating about how great Dark Knight Rises was. Surprisingly we kept it all spoiler free and I hope you show your friends the same kind of appreciation. The Dark knight Rises is a perfect end to the current trilogy. Nolan has said he doesn’t want to do anymore Batman films anytime soon, and he doesn’t have to. DC Comics has stated that they have no new films in sight after this movie and the Superman movie coming out in 2013, for at least until 2016. Will they reboot Batman again? I hope not, Nolan has built something that I think another director could add another level to if Nolan doesn’t want to try and move the series forward, but it’s all something we’ll have to see down the line.

Until then, watch Dark Knight Rises, take some friends, take a boatload of friends. It’s damn good.

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