|Visual Reviews | New This Week | Out Now | New This Week | Coming Soon | The Buzz | Index | Archive A-Z|
Dark Knight Rises, The (2012)
Friday, July 20, 2012
Intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality and language
Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Josh Pence, Nestor Carbonell, Alon Aboutboul, Matthew Modine
Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer
It has been eight years since Batman vanished into the night, turning, in that instant, from hero to fugitive. Assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon both hoped was the greater good. For a time the lie worked, as criminal activity in Gotham City was crushed under the weight of the anti-crime Dent Act. But everything will change with the arrival of a cunning cat burglar with a mysterious agenda. Far more dangerous, however, is the emergence of Bane, a masked terrorist whose ruthless plans for Gotham drive Bruce out of his self-imposed exile. But even if he dons the cape and cowl again, Batman may be no match for Bane.
Dark Knight Rises, The (2012) | Review
An Epic Conclusion
Visually, the film is stunning in its crisp elegance on Blu-ray. The use of darkness has always been a clever tool in the hands of Nolan, and nowhere more necessary than when showing a hiding Bruce Wayne/Batman (Christian Bale) lurking in the shadows after taking the fall for Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight. When he returns, it because he's intrigued by the emergence of Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) and the villainous Bane (Tom Hardy), recognizing that his city again needs him. It's a film about society's hubris, economic integrity (and the lack thereof), and the need for heroes in every age.
I could go on and on about the plot, but I won't. I will say that the one "twist" was one I saw coming in the theater, but rewatching just makes it seem even more obvious. I'm shocked by how a "comic book movie" (a term derisively used by some) includes the likes of Hathaway (Les Miserables' beautifully singing heroine), Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and the no-longer-up-and-coming Joseph Gordon-Levitt ("it" guy, 2012). This is a movie bathed in substance thanks to its plot, its dialogue, its choreography, and its acting. It's certainly more serious than The Avengers, and frankly, rewatching in high definition has more pull for me even than catching the upcoming prequel (The Hobbit) or horribly cast (Jack Reacher) in the theater does.
Available in Blu-ray, DVD, and Ultraviolet, you can take this one on the go, or explore its various extras (all the Batmobiles! The second screen app!) and ideas (completing the trilogy) at home. I think there's still plenty to unpack: how Bane and Batman both use fear for different reasons, how some (Gordon and Blake) still believe when Wayne seems to have lost faith, how Wayne/Batman "converts" Catwoman from a life of self to selfless decision-making, how ultimately, Batman triumphs as a member of a team rather than an isolated martyr. Each of these would be enough to be a main thread in any movie, but with The Dark Knight Rises, you get a gauntlet of Nolan's vision wrapped into one beautiful film.
Maybe in the next few years (probably in a cameo in The Man of Steel) we will see more Batman. He's too much a "normal" guy who chooses to fight the fears of others, and stand for freedom in the darkness. And that's if you can call being a millionaire and wearing a mask normal. At least he's not an alien, right?
Copyright © 2012 Hollywood Jesus. All rights reserved.
More About Dark Knight Rises, The
Home | Movies | DVDs | Music | Books | Comix | TV | Games | Sports | HJ Live! | Terms & Conditions | Privacy | Contact Us | Subscribe | Donate