Director: Christopher Nolan (Inception)
Producer: Emma Thomas, Charles Roven and Christopher Nolan
Screen Writer: Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan (known for Batman Begins and The Dark Knight)
Actors: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Morgan Freeman
Film Score Composer: Hans Zimmer
Plot Summary: Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, Gotham City is in a state of peace. Under powers granted by the Dent Act (legislation inspired by the late hero Harvey Dent), Commissioner Gordon and the Gotham City Police, have nearly cleaned the streets of violence and organized crime. Gordon feels guilty about the cover-up of Harvey Dent’s crimes, but decides that the city is not ready to hear the truth. As Batman has disappeared from Gotham, so too has Bruce Wayne, locking himself inside Wayne Manor from Gotham’s public view. A new villain Bane, discovers the truth about Dent. Gordon finds the secret hideout of Bane and his followers and is shot in the process of escaping. He promotes patrol officer John Blake to detective, allowing Blake to report directly to him in the hospital. Following a trail left by cat burglar Selina Kyle, Batman locates Bane, who says that he took over the League of Shadows following Ra’s al Ghul’s death.
The long awaited movie of the year is here, The Dark Knight Rises. Being a fan of Christopher Nolan’s work, I couldn’t wait to see this movie. Batman Begins was a good movie and The Dark Knight was a jaw dropping epic movie, so I had high expectations for The Dark Knight Rises. I am not sure if the expectation I had for this movie is the reason I was not very impressed with it or if the movie really wasn’t that impressive to begin with. When I saw Batman Begins, I was not impressed with the movie, especially Katie Holmes’ role and I had to watch the movie several times before it grew on me and I finally began to appreciate the movie for what it was.
Then The Dark Knight came out and I had major reservations about it since I wasn’t that impressed with Batman Begins. Because my expectations were low the movie blew my socks off!! I couldn’t get enough of it, even though I didn’t much care for Maggie Gyllenhaal’s role (do you see a pattern here?). With talks of a third movie coming out and being so awe struck with Nolan’s directing (especially after seeing the movie Inception), anticipation swelled in me. Think about it: Batman Begins was an OK movie, The Dark Knight was AMAZING; it is only natural to think that the third movie would be epic beyond proportion.
So why did I leave the movie theater with mixed feelings about the movie? I admit, I wasn’t really happy with myself feeling how I did about the movie. I started to read other reviews about the movie and came to the conclusion that fan-based reviews praised the movie for all its glory, averaging 9/10 stars and critic reviews were highly disappointed with the plot and rated the movie 7/10 stars (which caused an uproar with the fans, causing some sites to shut reviews of this movie down).
The cinematography and direction was your typical Christopher Nolan movie with his cutting edge approach to movie magic. He thrills us with fast action scenes that make you rush to a computer to Google to see if the scene you just watch was possible in real life (no really, after the opening scene with the destruction of the plane in the air, I had to look it up. Epic!!!!). The unique fighting style he brought us in the original Batman Begins still awes us in The Dark Knight Rises.
The set design was meh at best, with the costume design memorable to the characters. The film was shot in various locations, including Jodhpur, London, Nottingham, Glasgow, Los Angeles, New York City, Newark and Pittsburgh. With the broad range of locations, it makes it a bit hard to follow the movie. With all the different scenes changing dramatically, the locations didn’t flow well together. The costumes fit the characters very well and didn’t appear to give them that over dramatic comic book character look. Bane’s face mask was great and added to his mysterious façade. Cat Woman’s look was surprisingly awesome without being cheesy. Her goggles were a great concept, making her sleek, sexy and lethal; ’til she raises them giving her a cat like appearance. Very, very cool!
The script/story line and the actors is where it gets disappointing for me. I felt the script was mediocre and didn’t have any memorable one liners in it like the Dark Knight had. To me it was poorly put together and rushed with no real pizazz added to it. The story line definitely had some holes in it. For example, why are we eight years down the road? Why is the city of Gotham still holding ceremony over the death of Harvey Dent? Why did Bruce Wayne go into seclusion when Batman took the wrap for Dent’s death, he didn’t have to? These few questions leave the movie feeling like the heart and soul of the story line was not well thought out. As always, Christian Bale, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman bring excellent acting to the roles they played and are well deserved of the roles from the beginning.
Again I was disappointed with the casting of the female actors in their roles. Anne Hathaway and Marion Cotillard are great actresses but I personally don’t think this role was for them. They played their parts to the best of their ability but still the roles could have been so much more. I think it was poor casting on their parts. The surprise actor of the movie was Mr. Tom Hardy, boy was I shock and I did my research and found out who you were! What an amazing job you did and all the effort you put into your role! Not only did you gain weight and muscle to look your part but your acting was like nothing I have ever seen you do in any of your other movies. You definitely stepped out of your normal acting style to show the world a different side of you. Bravo!!!! (clapping hands)
All in all, The Dark Knight Rises was a good movie. It is a movie I will own when it is released on DVD/Blu Ray. I think I set to high a standard on this movie which lead to my disappointment especially considering how I felt about The Dark Knight and Inception. Maybe this movie is like Batman Begins, I just need to let it grow on me.
A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a little boy’s shoulders to let him know that the world hadn’t ended.
*Disclaimers: Plot summary, movie info and movie trailer image sourced from IMDB.com, sooner.net, & rottentomatoes.com.