Saturday, 21 July 2012

Batman, Bane, And Not Quite Catwoman.

For my 100th blog post it seems only fitting that I not only do what I love doing, but I also do it about something that has reared its head over and over again. The conclusion to a trilogy that had such a solid first movies that the third instalment become the most anticipated movie of the year, even the decade. If you haven't already figured it out, it is the final piece of Nolan's Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises.

It's eight years after the death of Harvey Dent, eight years since The Batman stopped The Joker and agreed to take the blame for Dent's death and eight years of a nearly crime free Gotham. Or crime free until psychotic masked man Bane (Tom Hardy) arrives and begins causing trouble around the city that Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) loves so dearly. However, The Batman is in retirement, Wayne Enterprises is losing money faster than Usain Bolt runs, and the police are no match for Bane's men. Perhaps it is time for Wayne to don his mask and cape once more, despite Alfred's (Michael Caine) advice, and hop into one of Fox's (Morgan Freeman) new machines to take on Bane himself. He'll have the help of of Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman), Officer Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), and Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard) as they try to take down Bane, his army, and cat burglar, Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway). But nothing, and no one, could prepare Batman, Gordon, or even the government, for what Bane has planned for Gotham. As the trailer shows, he is Gotham's reckoning.

Tom Hardy was the Bane of Batman's existence.

Bale, Caine, Oldman, and Freeman all return again with fantastic turns. Bale and Caine in particular show new levels of development in their characters. Caine shows the true side of Alfred's affection for the final Wayne in some very touching speeches and Bale captures not only Batman's aggression, loneliness, and anger, but also Wayne's charisma, something that lacked a little in the previous film. And then there's the  new cast members. Firstly, there's Joseph Gordon-Levitt who takes the role of young, hot headed, police officer Blake and shows that he is intelligent, brave, and caring. Then there's a brilliant performance from Anne Hathaway as the cat burglar Selina Kyle. The dark horse of the new cast, people were unsure how her performance was going to turn out, but those people's issues should still be calmed. Hathaway showed Kyle's isolation, ferociousness and desperation like none of the previous Catwomen; a definite advantage of avoiding the change from anti-hero to full on villain. And finally, the marvellous Tom Hardy as the masked madman Bane. After Heath Ledger's incredible performance as The Joker, little could imagine Nolan finding anyway to top it. Admittedly, comparing the two is like comparing an apple and a pear on their ability to be a banana, they're very different characters. Hardy's Bane is intimidating on a whole different level and scale to The Joker. His huge imposing form, distorted speech, and plain calmness over killing and destruction would make anyone fear him. Hardy is outstanding and Bane is a fantastic character.

Batman and Bane decided to simply
 fist bump and settle their differences.

Every element of this film was so perfectly arranged and created. Nolan has learned from his previous two outings with Batman and has managed to combine those aspects to make this the most technically brilliant movie in the series. Hans Zimmer provides his best accompanying music to date. Not only is it fantastically composed, but it is integrated so well into the film that there it creates an undeniably unique atmosphere perfect for Batman's world. As expected, Wally Pfister's cinematography again raises the bar for action and superhero movies alike. It's simply breathtaking. And on top of all of this, the Nolan brothers screenplay is so engaging that, even in times when the movie dips, the dialogue keeps you hooked for every second. Not to mention the ingenious representations of some of Batman's most well known villains. Selina Kyle sticks to her origins of being a cat burglar and an anti-hero rather than Catwoman which saves having to create a back story to what caused her evil life choices. And Bane, famous for being the character who breaks Batman, is shown with great intelligence, great strength, and a great thirst for destruction. The adaptation from a man with a wrestling mask and toxin pumping in his blood to a man with a mask that helps him live will not only satisfy comic book fanboys, but also please the fans of Nolan's realistic and gritty Gotham. The action scenes are once again some of the most visually stunning and epic set pieces in recent cinema without the need for giant robots or aliens. Just good ol' heart-stopping action.

For some reason, no one took them seriously
 when they claimed to fight crime...

Overall, this is not only a perfectly fitting ending to an incredible trilogy, it is also an absolute masterpiece in cinema. Much like its predecessor, it will shoot to the top of people's lists of favourite movies as well as favourite superhero movies. Arguments will rage on internet forums over which of the series was the best and which villain was the greatest - or evillest - and opinions will fly. The simple truth of the matter, is that The Dark Knight Rises is a glorious film and an epic conclusion to, what has already been widely described as, the best superhero series ever. Expect to see Hathaway more badass then ever before, Caine more touching, and Hardy at his most psychotic. You're in for a treat.

Best Bit? There was a cameo that made me jump out of my chair in geekish excitement, but I think my personal favourite section was Bane and Batman's first intense encounter. Not only was the action outstanding, the dialogue exchanged was so wonderfully written and delivered by Hardy.

1 comment:

  1. With a time-limit that comes close to towering in at 3 hours, this flick could have easily dragged itself around aimlessly, only to cash-in on tying it all up in the end, but that’s not the case here. This is grade-A film-making right here, courtesy of Christopher Nolan and not only was it a great send-off to the trilogy he has made so loved by everybody out there in the world, but also a perfect way to show that he is grateful for each and every fan that has supported him throughout these years. Good review Phil.