Friday, July 20, 2012

Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises (No Spoiler)

Christopher Nolan wrapped up the latest Batman trilogy with The Dark Knight Rises in theaters this weekend. The movie concludes the current story arc of Batman's origin in a today's-world Gotham City. After foiling Scarecrow's plot to contaminate Gotham's water supply and stumping Joker's villainous plans to turn Gotham into Arkham City, Batman is forced into hiding after taking the fall for Harvey "Two Face" Dent's 'murder' making him Gotham City's public enemy #1.

The Dark Knight Rises takes place 8 years after the Dark Knight movie and peace has settled on Gotham, but a new villain, Bane, looks to seize control of the city. After much denial by the Gotham Police Department of the impending danger, a vigilant rookie Gotham Cadet convinces Batman that he is needed again.
In contrast to the Joker, Bane and Batman's beef is based on brawn instead of brains. But make no mistake, it's still a mental chess match that makes each character dig deep within himself for the fate of Gotham.
It was hard not to use Dark Knight – with the Joker as a benchmark for comparison to The Dark Knight Rises, but I did and The Dark Knight Rises barely falls short - barely. Despite not being as epic, The Dark Knight Rises is still a phenomenal movie because Batman has to develop his resolve further and conquer himself before he can face Bane for the final bout.
Like Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises is not a typical action flick. It's very much character-driven and tells a great story. Catwoman makes her debut in Gotham City but to say any more will spoil the plot. One non-spoiling disappointment is that "The Bat", Batman's armored arial vehicle, was not incorporated into the Tumbler like the Batpod. I cried 1 tear. Seriously. On the fan-boy side though, the movie pays homage to the comics with Bane being a master of disguise and incorporates elements from both of the previous films. [Note: Bane's voice needs to be featured as a Decepticon *cough* Unicron *cough* in the next Transformers movie!]
Whether or not this is the last time we see Christian Bale suit up as Batman remains to be seen, but the series ended with a not-so-subtle indication of Batman's next chapter. Also, Director Christopher Nolan is critical of 3D so maybe non-coincidently, The Dark Knight Rises is only available in IMAX.
I won't quantify this movie with a rating, but give it a very strong recommendation to go see. [Ok, 4.5/5 stars if you need a number that bad.] Last, but not least, here are my favorite quotes from the movie:
Bane - "He's probably trying to figure out why someone would shoot him with a gun only to throw him out of a plane." (Paraphrase)
Batman - "So that's what that feels like..."
Catch me, Steve, at www.SteveandJ.TV for more blogs and reviews and other shenanigans.

Disclaimer: I'm an employee of Turner Broadcasting, a division of Time Warner,however the views expressed in this post are of my own.

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