July 26, 2012

Theatrical Review: The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Is one of the most anticipated movies in recent years a fitting end to one of the best trilogies of all time? Yes indeed, it sure as hell is. You know who directed it, you know who's in it, so let's just get on with the important bits, shall we?

When we last saw the Caped Crusader, he let his girlfriend die, took the rap for the murder of Harvey Dent, and growled whenever he talked. Eight years later, a maniacal mongoloid named Bane has come to Gotham City, determined to destroy it... but not before he destroys The Bat. Oh, and he isn't alone.

We're going to do our best to avoid any spoilers here, but we have to at least allude to a few things...

Why so growly?
Batman has become a bit of a pariah in the 8 years that have passed since the death of Harvey Dent, mainly because most people think that he killed him. With a new threat on the rise however, it doesn't take long for Gotham to welcome him back with open arms, mainly because they're hypocritical pussies that can't defend themselves. He confronts Bane, which doesn't go so well, goes to jail, goes wall climbing, and confronts Bane again, which kinda goes better the second time around. In the end, he finally solidifies himself as the symbolic protector of Gotham. Also, he has a little hover-plane thing that is awesome.

The Emo Billionaire.
Bruce Wayne is single, looking like a limpy hobo, he's broke, and he's a mopey bitch. It's gotten so bad that Alfred has taken to giving him the "I swore to your parents that I'd protect you..." speech about twice a day, to absolutely no effect. Once he decides to shave though, and has a few hot chicks all up on his jock, he gets his swagger back and decides that his self-induced "Bitch Sabbatical" has to come to an end. That does not stop Alfred from making that damn speech over and over again though... ugh.

This slinky little hooker shows up, gets a pearl necklace from Bruce Wayne, and then decides to cause some Havoc... and man oh man does she ever ride that Batpod better than Batman ever did. If Catwoman doesn't get her own movie after this, then the world is just not right. Sexy, sassy, bad-ass, and... well, we're just gonna double down on that bad-ass comment, she threatens to steal every scene she's in.

"For you!"
Bane is Gotham's reckoning. We know this because he told us so. Forget that he's a terrorist in league with the League of Shadows, because he's in a league all of his own (heh.) He wants to break The Bat both mentally and physically, and in all reality, he's near impossible to stop. Tom Hardy's turn as Bane was brilliant of many different levels. His voice was a tiny bit hard to understand once or twice due to his life-sustaining mask, and his accent was an interesting mix of Caribbean, Irish and Oxford Graduate, but when you think of Bane as a maniacal aristocrat with superhuman strength and a quiet rage to match, it all kind of makes sense. Did I mention that he wasn't alone?

What's his first name?
Joseph Gordon-Levitt owned this role and made this character every bit as important as The Bat himself, in his own way. That's all I'm saying on that topic.

Does Bane break the Batman? Is there more to some of the new characters than we first suspect? Do Lucius Fox and Jim Gordon survive? Does Bruce Wayne get laid? Does Anne Hathaway show off her Cat Toe? Will Alfred ever stop making teary-eyed fucking speeches at random intervals? To answer all of these burning questions at once; yes, no and maybe so.

"Let's hug it out, bitch!"
It's not the solid A+ we had envisioned to be, but TDKR is most definitely a solid A of an experience. In all fairness, some of the wind was knocked out of the movie's sails with the horrible tragedy of Aurora Colorado, but over time we may grow to see this movie as simply a movie.

Christopher Nolan has directed himself a masterpiece here, despite its flaws, and his Batman Trilogy will go down as one of the best ever. The man can craft a film, and though some may criticize various elements of his productions, the overall genius of his storytelling ability can not be denied. His movies are visually perfect, and the eye candy is always underscored with a large amount of sentiment and meaning. He shoots allegory, and he does it in brilliant fashion.

The allegory here is "Don't trust bitches."
Christian Bale was flawless here per usual (despite the Batman growl never being something we loved), and Tom Hardy makes a hell of a Bane (despite many people having issues with his voice as well.) Both are fantastic actors, and it looks as if Hardy's star mat finally start to rise after this movie. Anne Hathaway was dead solid perfect as Catwoman/Selina Kyle. Girl can act, and all of the people who winced when her named was first attached to the part are eating crow (aka her dick) now.

The wild card addition in all of this has got to be Joseph Gordon-Levitt's John Blake; we've always suspected that his character would be more than just another supporting role, and we're glad that we were right. He provided some of the film's best moments, and it made us wish he had been along for the ride from the very start of Batman Begins...

...and so does he.
It doesn't even need to be said that everyone else like Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Marion Cottilard and the others all did their jobs admirably as well, but out of the supporting cast, it was Alfred that shined the most. In a way, this last story may have had the most to do with him, as he provided most of the emotional resonance in the film. We will spoil this one small thing; he survives, though he is forever changed. In that respect, he represents Gotham as a whole.

A few things need mention here; first and foremost, as long as the movie was, it felt as if there were scenes cut out that made some of the middle parts of the film feel clunky. Arguably there were a few plot holes present, but I suspect that a longer cut might smooth over some of the inconsistencies. It also bears mentioning that while a majority of Bane's dialogue was more than discernible, it was at times a bit hard to make out. Once it hits Blu-ray and we can throw some subtitles on screen, it can't imagine it will be an issue for many people anymore, aside from the haters that will hate no matter what. People like that just want to watch the world burn.

"Snuw mreff Beautifunnh."
Everyone who has been a part of this magnanimous trilogy got to play at least a small role in the final chapter, save for Heath Ledger. A scene of him laughing maniacally from his Arkham Asylum jail cell or a quick shot of him causing some sort of mayhem on the streets of Gotham would have been perfect. In that role, he was perfect.

We still miss you, Heath.
The very last shot of the movie, because... damn. Also, any time Batman and Bane knuckle up, and every time we see Catwoman on the Batpod, because... damn.

Some clueless Internet fan-boys and critics will have you believing that TDKR is not what we had all hoped, but make no mistake, this film is a near perfect end to a near perfect trilogy. It has flaws; there's no escaping that fact. Let us liken the film's flaws to a Lamborghini with a scratch and two small dents on the rear quarter panel; it's still a gorgeous car that rides amazingly well, and after hitting that accelerator and taking a few turns, screw the rear quarter panel. It becomes irrelevant.

Nolan and his cast and crew have given us an epic conclusion to and epic story. It's sad to think that this part of the Batman Legacy has ended, but as these films have preached to us since their inception, there's always hope for a better future. In this incarnation or another, The Dark Knight will return, and like the people of Gotham, we will be waiting.



TDKR is packing Double Hottie heat! Here's the thing though, why didn't these two wrestle in this movie? Maybe we'll get that special dream scene as an Easter Egg on the Blu-ray come December... dare we dream?


  1. Great review!

    I agree with you about this being an fitting end to the trilogy. Chris Bale was at his best and Anne was great as Selina as well.

    Check out my review .


  2. For me this was the weakest part of the new Batman. Not such a good story at least not a believable one. The worst "bad guy" ever, not a strong character and not a very good acting regarding all the bad guys from all the Batman movies (even Arnold was better). Was a nice movie to watch but nothing more. I think a 6.5 is what it deserves.