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An ultimately satisfying end to one of the all-time great trilogies!,
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This review is from: The Dark Knight Rises (DVD + UV Copy)  (DVD)Four years ago, I left the pictures having watched The Dark Knight and was rendered absolutely speechless. Normally, after one has seen a film, they usually discuss it with great detail, excitement and/or criticism, but the sheer depth and hard-hitting emotion of Christopher Nolan's Oscar-winning Batman triumph left me staggered and unable to discuss it momentarily. I had to let the movie's power just sink in that little bit longer.
Truthfully, if Nolan didn't produce another Batman sequel, I would've been happy. I mean, The Dark Knight was simply a masterpiece and the greatest superhero movie of all time (bar none). To try and TOP THAT would be next-to-impossible and there was no real need for a trilogy. And yet, four years later...here we are.
The Dark Knight Rises takes place eight years after the Joker's rampage was thwarted. But the so-called `victory' came at too many a high price; Bruce Wayne's childhood friend/love-interest Rachel Dawes died, his ally/friend Harvey Dent was transformed into the vengeful Two-Face and Batman was forced to take the blame for Harvey's crimes and death so that Gotham would never lose hope. Shunned by the city he had saved and plagued by the injuries he had sustained throughout his career, Bruce was forced into retirement.
And now, Gotham City's peace is about to be ruthlessly shattered by the arrival of the ruthless mercenary known only as Bane.
Again, trying to surpass The Dark Knight would be next-to-impossible, but this third film is a reminder that Christopher Nolan approaches his projects with intelligence and logic. Nolan doesn't strive to produce something that's `bigger, badder & better' than The Dark Knight, nor does he do it with the sole aim of making more money. For the last hurrah, Chris delivers a logical, satisfying resolution to his Batman series that's full of the trademark purpose & emotional depth that we've come to expect since Batman Begins.
Speaking of which, The Dark Knight Rises pays homage to some significant plot elements from Batman Begins (as well as The Dark Knight), wrapping up this cinematic continuity in a manner that's most befitting. And like Batman Begins & The Dark Knight, this third part also stands alone as a movie that pushes the right buttons. There are moments of heartbreak, intelligence, human warmth, sinister intentions and exhilarating action that will have you on the edge of your seat from start-to-finish.
On the acting front, Christian Bale deserves the highest praise for delivering what is undoubtedly his most human performance as Bruce Wayne/Batman. When you first see Bruce on screen, he's an absolute shell of his former self to the point of where it's legitimately despairing to the viewer. After all he's gone through, you truly feel for him and fear for the end of his story. To watch Bruce (and Batman for that matter) here will range back-and-forth between upsetting & inspiring. Christian's performance truly engages you.
Michael Caine also falls into that category as Alfred. While you may expect nothing less from the man (whose career is the stuff-of-legend), Michael's performance here affected me in a way I don't recall experiencing before. His role as faithful servant/trusted friend/father-figure is stronger than even his already-wonderful performances in previous Batman movies; full of genuine poignancy and interactions with Bale that will reduce even the stoniest of fans to tears. It's a shame Caine suffers from reduced screen time.
Morgan Freeman (Lucius Fox) & Gary Oldman (Commissioner Gordon) likewise continue to provide great support in their roles, and the new faces of the main-cast - Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Det. John Blake) & Marion Cotillard (Miranda Tate) - more than prove their worth in bringing to life such colourful characters, particularly Gordon-Levitt who stands out much more than just a generic cop, instead being a deep supporting figure to the Batman.
On the villains front, Anne Hathaway is simply sensational as Catwoman/Selina Kyle, embodying the character with all the elegance, wit, sex-appeal and hard-edged charm that the role deserves and demands. Like everyone says, Hathaway is a true scene-stealer, and Tom Hardy likewise has such presence as Bane. Although lacking the charisma & rich depth of Heath Ledger's Joker, Hardy nonetheless rises to the occasion with an intense, brutal & utterly intimidating performance (intertwined with some exceptional body language). Nolan again deserves praise for his rendition of a Batman villain; presenting an incarnation of Bane that not only works well on screen, but remains true to the essence of the original character in the comics.
Unfortunately, this DVD version is very lacking when compared to previous home releases of Batman films. Both Batman Begins & The Dark Knight received the two-disc-set treatment that was packed with documentaries, features, trailers etc, and here (due to the overwhelming rise of Blu-Ray), this single-disc comes equipped only with the usual array of subtitles and the brief, yet superb "The Journey of Bruce Wayne" featurette. While this is a great little extra, it seems stuck on as only an afterthought for the DVD release, which after previous Batman films is something of a disappointment.
So is The Dark Knight Rises better than The Dark Knight? NO, but what's so commendable is that it doesn't TRY to be. Nolan and his crew have just set about making an excellent and satisfying conclusion to The Dark Knight Trilogy and that's what they've done. Is it THE superhero film of 2012? Sorry, but for me, it's still The Avengers. However, The Dark Knight Rises remains a strong, emotional climax to a series that will stay with you forever. A must-have finale to what is unquestionably the best superhero film trilogy of all-time, and one of cinema's greatest trilogies ever in history. PERIOD.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 Dec 2012 01:07:33 GMT
A good write up on the movies BUT i found The Dark Knight the worst of the 3 movies, yea we needed The Dark Knight to carry on the story for the third but no one can ever play The Joker as good as Jack Nicholson. Still everyone has their own opinion, In my opinion the best ever Batman will always be the 1989 Batman
In reply to an earlier post on 28 Dec 2012 15:26:03 GMT
R. Wood says:
Fair enough, sir. To be honest, Tim Burton's 1989 Batman film just didn't sing for me. I found Nicholson okay (at best), but my favourite Joker was Mark Hamill from the Animated Series. Heath was truly the first man to bring the Joker to life on the big screen. Until the Dark Knight Trilogy came along, my favourite Batman films were Batman Returns, Mask of the Phantasm, Sub-Zero & Return of the Joker.
But as you said, it's a matter of opinion. And it's good to debate with those who have different views. Cheers for the feedback.
In reply to an earlier post on 28 Dec 2012 19:27:23 GMT
I will say one thing i totally agree with Mark Hamill specially when it comes to Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City.
Thanks for the reply and thanks for respecting my opinion. a lot of people don't do that on here they just want to be nasty.
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