L ook I don’t really have much to say about ‘THE DARK KNIGHT RISES’ without diving into spoil territory…But I suppose I should at least give some initial thoughts:
It’s testament to Christopher Nolan’s skills that you won’t once think of Heath Ledger’s iconic Joker performance when watching ‘THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.’ Although Tom Hardy’s ‘Bane’ isn’t as memorable as Ledger’s ‘Joker,’ it’s just as iconic.
You can draw Bane with four strokes, and you would recognize him in silhouette. That’s iconic. And that voice – which I loved – grinds away. “What a lovely Voice.”
I guess I’m impressed with Hardy’s performance – It’s an uphill battle for any actor: to pull off a character with only eyes and body language. His Bane is imposing and great. The intellectual and physical superior to Batman. Brutal, and genuinely frightening. Although he is sometimes difficult to understand, his impact is huge. He’s kind of indicative of this entire concluding chapter.
For me, the one who walks away with the movie is Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle. She’s the best part. Maybe the best (or at least most accurate) Catwoman to date. She’s sexy and strong. A female that uses preconceived male ideas of weakness as a power. Great stuff. She’s funny and magnetic. I feel that she walks away with the film.
But at its heart this is a Bruce Wayne film, and the finest one in the series for Bale, Jim Gordon and Alfred. And even though Nolan often bitch-slaps us with the obvious, or clumsily dumps huge chunks of plot – this concluding chapter still feels finite. Subsequently all the actors/filmmakers play it as such – bringing the movie a monumental feel. Akin to watching history unfold.
The action is of an epic scale, everything is consistently jaw dropping when it comes to visuals and scope. From a technical perspective the film is unbeatable. It’s also inventive and risky – there’s even some awesome new hijinks with Bat technology going on here – like some new moves to the bat-pod.
The riskiness and the inventiveness is what I think makes ‘THE DARK KNIGHT RISES’ more than most; Nolan and company, are clearly trying to do something special, something out of the box. Look at the design of Bane, Selina Kyle – look at the films strange structure – it goes from days, to months, to hours to minutes during the climax – there’s even flashbacks. Look at the choices; the story – pretty much everything with Joseph Gordon Levitt…
You’ll understand what I mean once you’ve watched it – but what I’m trying to get at, is that when a filmmaker takes such massive risks, not everything is going to work.
And not everything works out in the film. Some of it is clumsy, some of it drags. There are some things in the third act that I flat out dislike (we’ll discuss later in the week); but for the most part, it just means that they were trying; trying to impact us – to make us feel something: and I think ‘THE DARK KNIGHT RISES’ is a massive accomplishment on that level.
In comparison to the things that Nolan achieves/pulls off – every flaw is relegated to nothing but a petty nitpick. This film is ‘see it three times in the cinema’ classic, and no amount of nitpicking can change it.
But nitpick we shall:
Hans Zimmer’s thudding drum/chant based score is where you will feel it the most – and if you weren’t already; don’t worry Zimmer will force it out of you.
Let’s face it: the whole third film is an uphill battle. ‘THE DARK KNIGHT’ is a near masterpiece, and Nolan doesn’t quite reach that heights here. But then again, recapturing lightning in a bottle is impossible. There are too many themes and ideas boiling around in the film, way too many characters, too many plot-lines, loose ends. And it drags in sections – but a long, bloated overly important chapter is fitting for a conclusion. It’s the operatic explosion that we need.
It’s freaking Batman.
The scale of this thing is mind-boggling. Taking notes from the most famous arcs of Batman such as ‘No Mans Land’ ‘Knightfall,’ ‘Dark Knight Returns’ and colliding them with Charles Dickens’ ‘A Tale Of Two Cities’ Nolan and his script writing partner Jonah Nolan bring about a truly ginormous screenplay. (This film actually shares a lot in common with Alan Moore’s incredible graphic Novel : ‘V For Vendetta’ (not the mess of a film)- I wouldn’t go as far as saying it’s a rip-off, although some things are very similar.) But in terms of themes, it’s all there, it’s just often clumsy in execution.
This is apocalyptic stuff, and that’s probably all that needs to be said about the plot. I want to discuss a lot of things, like Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Selina Kyle, and a bunch of shit that happens in the last half hour, and but I’ll do that later in the week once everyone has seen the thing and I’ll give you fair warning.
I’m hoping to see the film again, and maybe then many of problems will be answered, once I can digest it over. The problem with 3 hour movies; is that it is often way too much for audiences to digest fully. In cinema there is only so much a filmmaker can communicate in that short allotment of time. If this were a comic, I could put it down, return to it later. But with cinema I couldn’t press pause or rewind.
There is so much going on in the film, that a second viewing would be helpful (I saw ‘THE DARK KNIGHT’ three times on first day of release – and I was still finding stuff in the third view). So yeah, I hope I enjoy the second viewing more, or just as much.
What else? The action is incredible. Cinematography is brilliant (we saw it in IMAX – which was spectacular).
Some issues of execution aside: overall it’s a marvel of a movie and a fitting end to the trilogy. You won’t be disappointed.
Check back on Monday for some spoilery articles!