Jul 23, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises Review

The story of Batman has long been engraved into societies mind. Everyone knows the story of Bruce Wayne whose parents were gunned down outside of a theater, who then turned that tragedy into motivation to turn into what many would argue to be the greatest superhero ever: Batman.

Many artists have picked up their respective tools and told the tale in their own unique way. One of the most prolific and strongest telling of the tale of Gotham City comes from the mind of director Chris Nolan and the cast and crew of one of the best trilogies to date. The high point is definitely 2008's The Dark Knight. There was absolutely no way anyone could follow that masterpiece, but Nolan tries his damnedest.

Let's start with the great parts of the movie. Upon hearing the news that Anne Hathaway, yes the awkward mess of a tween from The Princess Diaries, was cast as Selina Kyle, and therefore Catwoman, I was repulsed. That was who Nolan had in mind to fill the boots of Michelle Phiefer?!?! Well hindsight is 20/20, and I am glad to say within minutes of being on screen Hathaway had laid all my doubts to rest. She easily steals every scene she is in, and does so in the most brilliant ways thanks to the help of the superb writing of her character.The last half of the movie is amazing, and the ending is so satisfying on every level I can only dream of endings that come close to it's perfection.

Other than those two points though? The movie is a ho-hum trip to average-villie with predictable stops on action boulevard and drama street.

Bane's voice was said to have some clarity issues that have since been resolved, but honestly, they should have just scrapped everything and brought Harding in to re-record it all, as I only understood what he was saying about 70% of the time. Normally, I wouldn't mind the inconsistently of the voice levels, but Nolan gives Bane a lot to say. Harding tries his hardest to act through his expressions but the muzzle honestly gets in the way for a fair amount of it, save for the occasional eye brow raise.

The first half of the movie is a muddled mess, with plot points that just get in the way of the theme of rising against all odds no matter the cost. It also doesn't help that Nolan felt the need to add so many new characters, as characters we have grown to love from the previous two installments such as Alfred and Commissioner Gordon get sidelined. The timeline of the film is also incredibly muddled and while the story telling technique does answer questions it raises so many more.

I believe that with everything Nolan presented, there is a great two hour film in there after cuts have been made. With that being said though, there were some seriously fun geek out moments that had me clapping in approval and grinning like a kid who just discovered candy. Sadly too much of a good thing just leads to getting sick.