The Dark Knight Rises review (spoiler free)
Tue, 17 Jul 2012 11:14a.m.
By Kate Rodger
Every now and then there is a movie which, for a reviewer, presents a conundrum. These movies are movies best enjoyed the less you know about them.
I know it might sound insane of me to expect anyone on planet Earth with access to a television, computer or cinema to know next to nothing about Christopher Nolan’s Batman. And his heroic finale, The Dark Knight Rises, with its critically acclaimed billion dollar box office predecessors, clearly already comes heavily laden with enormous expectation, not to mention the multi-million dollar big studio marketing machine to throw it into the mass consciousness weeks out from release.
So what am I saying really? I’m saying I’m on a mission to keep the viewing of The Dark Knight Rises as pure an experience as possible.
The top three questions I’ve been asked about The Dark Knight Rises?
Q: Does Batman die at the end?
A: You know I’m not gonna tell you that.
Q: Is it as good as The Dark Knight?
A: I’d argue it would be nigh on impossible to answer this question given that for me The Dark Knight is as flawless a film as I’ve seen.
Q: Should I go see it?
A: Yes you should.
Like The Dark Knight, this is a darker Batman, and not for the whole family. If The Joker was maniacally frightening, then our new villain Bane is brutal and merciless.
Batman has gone from hero to fugitive, blamed for the murder of Gotham’s White Knight Harvey Dent.
Bruce Wayne has disappeared into the empty halls of his rebuilt Wayne Manor, living hermit-like, his loyal butler Alfred by his side. But Gotham will need a hero again, as Bane bears down on the city to bring his own version of its future, his nightmare, to life.
Nolan brings several old and new characters back to the fore. Bane of course, played ominously and pitilessly by Brit Tom Hardy. Inception’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt is new cop on the block John Blake, his Inception co-star and Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard is Miranda Tate, a wealthy new member of the Wayne Enterprises board.
One of the more controversial character choices Nolan made with this film was the reintroduction of Catwoman. She comes with a chequered past, her cinematic popularity has been hit and miss, and she has polarised fans.
Oscar-nominee Anne Hathaway was Nolan’s choice for the catsuit, and I will say she did not disappoint under his vision and direction, and she’s a pivotal part of this Dark Knight story.
Returning to the Batman fray are his loyal allies; the wonderful Sir Michael Caine as Alfred, Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox and Gary Oldman as Commissioner Jim Gordon.
For those who love the Batman for his gadgets and his methods of transportation, Lucius Fox has been hard at work, and he set his sights much higher this time around. Literally higher, as in, off the ground.
And while we’re talking tech, it’s worth noting Nolan’s love of the IMAX format crossed new frontiers with The Dark Knight Rises. He shot almost half of the 164 minute film using IMAX cameras.
So the scene is scantily set yes? All you really need to do now is go and buy your ticket.
The pressure on Nolan and his titular Dark Knight to deliver a finale worthy of all they’ve done before must have been unspeakable. To dwell on the imperfections – and yes there are some – feels too petty a manoeuvre, given the overall pay-off from The Dark Knight Rises is just so rousingly, so emotionally, and so incalculably gratifying.
The Dark Knight Rises
:: Director: Christopher Nolan
:: Starring: Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Juno Temple
:: Running Time: 164 mins
:: Rating: M - Violence
:: Release Date: July 19, 2012
:: Trailer: Watch here
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21/07/2012 7:31:18 p.m.
I just saw it and I say it was even better than The Dark Knight! The things which were better was the story, the new villain Bane and how the trilogy ended with class. Being shot in IMAX didn't hurt either. :)
19/07/2012 6:23:30 a.m.
@Jim Cricket - they do initially want to push the button, but the MP stops them getting it. They put it to a vote and the guy in the black trenchcoat goes to turn the key, but hesitates when he realises the criminals haven't blown them sky high yet.
18/07/2012 11:10:58 p.m.
Jim Cricket wrote:
"The Dark Knight is as flawless a film as I’ve seen."
No wonder I never agree with your reviews! I can pick out many flaws in that film....but how about I just give you the most obvious one :)
At the end, the bit with the two boats, once has civvies and the other has crooks. In real life, the civvies would not have hesitated to press their button, yet in Nolan's world apparently choosing to save innocent people or criminals represents some kind of moral dilemma.
17/07/2012 4:41:49 p.m.
Since The Dark Knight had its fair share of problems (e.g., most of its lumpy third act), I think what you're really saying is that TDKR is about as good as TDK, i.e., very good and a 'must see' on a true Imax screen. Yay.
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