Friday, July 27, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

I read a number of reviews saying that Rises is not as good as the previous one, The Dark Knight, and I would respectfully disagree.

TDK is about how darkness and evil can corrupt even the most upstanding of citizens, and in a way, it's about lacking faith in humanity.

For me, it's right on par with TDK, though villain-wise, Bane is not nearly as unpredictable and time-bomby as the enigmatic Joker of TDK. I found Bane interesting enough, though, probably because I had been ruined by Batman and Robin, where Bane was depicted as a mindless minion that is all brawn.

As a result of that horrible, horrible movie, I never thought Bane could be primary villain material. Played by Tom Hardy (a far cry from his skinny Star Trek: Nemesis days), Bane blew me away. He reminds me a little of Theodore "T-Bag" Bagwell (from Prison Break), who seems redneck white trash enough but doesn't speak at all like one.

[And from then on, I've been taken by Robert Knepper.]

Frankly, I'm still not over the fact that Bane is not an idiot. But I digress.

This is a movie about a hero that falls and then rises again, which thematically, plays out in plot and music throughout the movie. That anthemic chant you hear in the trailer? It's in the opening scenes, and in most of Bane's. Surprisingly, this movie uses more elements from the comic books than the previous ones. It's still the gritty crime thriller that we all come to expect from Nolan's Batman movies, but the main difference in this is that it has far more action than its predecessors.

You even get to see the infamous back-breaking scene midway, though it doesn't look as brutal and iconic as originally drawn.

I loved how this movie brings the trilogy to full circle, in both storyline and sentiment. I won't say anymore than that, because I'm trying to practice writing spoiler-free reviews.

If you pay attention (and you will need to, as with all Christopher Nolan movies), you should be able to spot the all-usual Nolan twist way before it happens.

[And if you consider this as spoiling, obviously you've not seen a Chris Nolan movie.]

Oddly, this movie also brings to mind the Frat Pack. You see so many Nolan alumni in this one, it feels like a B-movie sequel to one of his movies where only the supporting actors return, and you find out that that sequel is completely unrelated to the original. In case you feel a bit lost here, the original I'm referring to is Inception.

So for me, I would say that Rises is right up there with TDK. No trilogy curse this time around. 9/10.

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