Movie Reviews

Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises

Despite  a conventional 2nd half, The Dark Knight Rises is a well crafted closure to the trilogy.

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.. — (C) Warner Bros.

The first half of the movie raises the bar and does not disappoint. The thrilling plot accelerates with escalating violence from Bane. The action scenes are vivid and raw. The fight scenes don’t have any background music, and at some point you will be  convinced that Batman is no match for such an imposing and immense villain.

Like the previous installments in this trilogy, there’s a realistic current that runs through the film. It still pokes at the common perceptions of good and evil, but the central focus is on Bruce Wayne. Although he has dedicated his life to Gotham, he is left to hole up in his mansion physically and mentally damaged while Batman is branded as a fugitive. Alfred, who stands for the emotional side of the film, pleads for him to find another way to save the city. But Bruce only knows one path that can cost his life.

There are great performances all around. The whole cast delivers. Even though Bane sounds like Sean Connery speaking through a Darth Vader mask, Tom Hardy was exceptional. There were doubts whether Anne Hathaway could pull this off, but she did well as Selena Kyle.

However, the second half of the movie doesn’t live up to the promise of the first. Nolan retreats into the familiar superhero story. After an epic first half with the help of the IMAX system, you’ll be expecting an equally grand send off. But while the action scenes were amazing, the ending was predictable.

There were also other flaws if you care to nitpick. The psychodrama about fear and soul were excessive and the political themes fell flat. The Occupy Wall Street inspired  riot suggests that even though Bane has done terrible things to the city, the residents joined the anarchy and held trials against the elite. In addition, when you inject realism into a superhero movie things can get noticeably silly especially when the tone is very serious.  No amount of meditations on fear can result into that recovery.

But even with these missteps, The Dark Knight Rises is a good ending for the trilogy. Overall, its still a complex potent action film.

My Rating: 8/10

Alternative Movie Poster by hobo95

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