This article contains mild character spoilers, and a few vague story spoilers.
I haven’t really been into superhero movies, until The Dark Knight came out. Then along came Iron Man, and I was hooked. I mean, I liked The Hulk – the Ed Norton Hulk (sorry, Lou Ferrigno & Eric Bana), but capital-H hated The Watchmen. So it turns out I may be a bit of a superhero movie snob.
I am also a bit of a Christian Bale snob. I think he can behave like a spoiled and petulant child, but I think that is because he really becomes the role he is playing; when he is in character, he and the character are one and the same. Bale has been in the media quite a bit for his tirades and temper tantrums, and while I don’t forgive the ranting and I do agree he goes too far, I can understand why he would be set off to begin with. What makes me a snob about him is that he makes really good movies. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of one movie that I have seen with him as lead that hasn’t impressed me. He is really and truly a good actor, and we all know they are becoming less and less the real ‘movie star’ of years past.
But I digress, as often happens.
The Dark Knight Rises is action-packed, and though it runs a lengthy 2.5 hours, it is literally an edge-of-your-seat 2.5 hours.
Bane (Tom Hardy) is my favourite Batman villain so far. If you don’t know the story of Bane (which I didn’t until Friday – thanks, Wikipedia!), I would suggest taking a quick look online – I would have been lost if I hadn’t. Bane’s history factors a great deal in this story, and I was grateful in the opening scenes that I had been advised to do some research.
Like Heath Ledger’s Joker, Bane is very prevalent in the last of this Batman trilogy. Ledger’s Joker was prolific; Hardy’s Bane is almost the focus of the movie. In setting up what is the most diabolical social experiment ever, he forces Bruce Wayne to resurrect Batman in the most unimaginable way. By building an army of angry, former Harvey Dent-incarcerated inmates, he unleashes an almost unstoppable wave of anger on Gotham City.
Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman), of course, knows the truth about Harvey Dent/TwoFace, as does Officer John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt); the two find each other quickly and set about getting Batman back in action. I am a big JGL fan, I think he has come a long way since his days on 3rd Rock From The Sun. The choices he has made in his work have impressed me a great deal, and I don’t think it’s a stretch to compare him to Leo DiCaprio.
Anne Hathaway blew me away as Selina Kyle/Catwoman. I have seen her in one other dramatic role – Rachel Getting Married – and I had to admit that if she could just get away from dressing like a princess, she had a serious acting career ahead of her. This was a whole new side of Anne’s acting ability – wry, witty, sexy, bad, and what turns out to be a conscience.
And once again, Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) astounds us with the Wayne Enterprises-funded vehicles and weaponry.The minds that came up with the Bat-vehicles must be some of the most imaginative in the business. Like I said earlier, I am not a superhero comic book fan, but these movies would make a fan out of the biggest opponent.
All that being said, I am still a movie cynic. There were a few eye-roll-worthy scenes, and a few sequences that made me laugh at the ridiculousness.
One of those scenes is the fight scene between the police and the emancipated inmates. Batman had alluded to not wanting to fight with guns or weapons, so the whole scene (shot from above) resembled a street fight between the Greasers and the Socs. Like they say, when you’re a jet, you’re a jet.
All photos courtesy of www.thedarkknightrises.com gallery of stills.