Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Kiwi Film Review: The Dark Knight Rises

IMDB: 8.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 87%(critics), 92%(audience)
Roger Ebert: 3/4 stars

Stars: Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Morgan Freeman, Marion Cotillard, Michael Caine
Directed By: Christopher Nolan
Written By: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan

Release Date: 20 July 2012
Described by IMDB as: "Despite his tarnished reputation after the events of The Dark Knight, in which he took the rap for Dent's crimes, Batman feels compelled to intervene to assist the city and its police force which is struggling to cope with Bane's plans to destroy the city."

*This review has some SPOILERS*

 I really loved the whole opening scene of this film. I mean, I knew the whole time that Bane(Tom Hardy) was one of the "prisoners", but I don't think Nolan was necessarily trying to hide that, I think you were probably supposed to be aware of that. When the other plane hooks on and it pulls the first plane forward and the wings break off, amazing shot, so cool. I loved at the end of that scene when Bane(Hardy) and his scientist prisoner are hanging onto the rope, and the plane lets go and falls down around them. It looked amazing! Very Nolanesque. He just keeps getting bigger and better stunts. The scale of this film is so much larger then the last two, its really amazing.

I thought the character development in this film was really great in this film. Obviously it helps that there were 3 films to develop them over time, but still, even knew characters I felt were properly developed. I really liked the more vulnerable side of Bruce Wayne/Batman(Christian Bale) in this film, both physically and mentally he's been very beaten down since the last time we saw him, 8 years ago. Our first view of him is seeing him limping with a cane, which he does for the first 1/4 of the movie. When he gets past that you really see him break down when Alfred(Michael Caine) has "the talk" with him. Speaking of Alfred, how great was he in this film? He's not in it as much as the last two, but the scenes he is in are very emotional and powerful. You really get the full impact of his love for Bruce(Bale) in this film.

I've heard a lot of people saying how they didn't like Anne Hathaway, and I have to say that I wasn't completely sure she could handle this role, but I've loved her in other films so I wanted to keep an open mind. I thought she did an amazing job, her first scene when she's upstairs and you see the difference between her acting when Bruce finds her in the room, and her behaviour when he catches her having stolen from him was really fantastic. It definitely solidified her in the rest of the film for me. I'm glad that her first scene was such a great one for portraying her acting abilities because I didn't really think about it after that scene. 
Another thing I've heard a lot of criticism about is Bane(Hardy). Not so much the acting or the character, but the voice. I can definitely understand it because it is a pretty strange voice and sound but I think it fits the character well. It is a little hard to understand sometimes, but I don't think you really miss anything super important.

I absolutely love both Joseph Gordon Levitt and Gary Oldman in this film. Oldman as Commissioner Gordon is so good. He's an amazing actor in all of his roles, but I think that this character

I don't want to get too much into the storyline because I don't want to give anything away. This film has more story and substance then most movies I've ever seen. Some people have said that they think its too much, but I totally disagree. At no point is this film dull or long, its constantly exciting and I think it was exactly the right length of time. I loved how connected it was to both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight with lots of cameos of characters from the films and a ton of references to both. I'd be really interested in seeing if/how the Joker(Ledger) would've fit into it if Heath Ledger hadn't died before the filming began.

I loved absolutely everything about this film. The acting was outstanding, writing was amazing, and the cinematography is absolutely beautiful. This film is a must-see, but I think that its important to watch the first two films first as this is definitely a well formed trilogy.

I'm giving it a 10/10. I have basically no problems with it at all. I'm a huge Nolan fan and a huge Batman fan so this is right up my ally. I watched it for the 4th time tonight, and it was still wonderful.

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