Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises (2012) * * * *

I was really curious about the final installment of the Batman trilogy. On the one hand, I was interested in how they could end it. If you are familiar with the old movies, then you may know that those were sort of designed to never end. They also got worse and worse. On the other hand, I had been satisfied by the previous movies, and wanted to see the same level of achievement.

When talking about this movie, probably for the rest of history, people will not be able to bypass what happened at a midnight screening in Colorado. The events are tragic, but when looking at the list of injured and dead, something un-understandable jumped out at me. How come there were small children and babies at a midnight screening of an admittedly violent movie? I really have no idea what they were doing there.
Moving on, it did affect my viewing of the movie. I watched it at a mall, in the afternoon. I did have a bit of a bad feeling about watching it in a theatre. When someone stood up, or walked in front of the screen, I couldn't help, but watch the person like a hawk. Nothing happened, of course, it's easy to rationalise that I shouldn't have had that bit of a scare in me, but gut instinct is different.

Now on to the movie itself. It did follow the previous track of the films. The tone was just as dark, the scale of the danger just as large. I do wish they would have done it in 3D, but it was a good movie anyway.
The direction was as good as expected, no silly wobbling of the camera, no weird close-ups. I do wish they would have disguised the fact that they were in New York though. It's been some years since I've seen the previous installment, but as I recall, Gotham wasn't that obviously New York back then. That I found strange. Maybe there had been budget cuts.
The story was as bloody, and as dark as can be expected. However, what surprised me was the slight mystery element, which I dare not speak more of. I did figure most of it out before the end, but not all, and that was a pleasant surprise. The ending was a good closure, and it also made me suspicious of a follow-up movie, or trilogy, with a new central character. It would be nice, since he had only been an overlooked side-kick, who would be interesting enough to be made into a full hero.

Christian Bale was of course a great Batman. I have first noticed him in Equilibrium, where he also played a tortured hero who wears a lot of black. When I first heard he was going to play Batman in the reboot, I knew it was a great choice. He's also known for shaping his body to the role, and he had outdone himself in this case. I could really believe that he had let go of himself so much in the beginning. Now I stop here, because if I go on, I'll have too many spoilers.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who played Blake, almost stole the show. His character started out small, but by the end, he was a central character. In a way, it felt more like his movie, than Christopher's. Once it comes out on DVD, it would be an interesting statistic to see who got how many minutes on screen. The most interesting part about Blake, is that he hardly ever interacts with Batman/Bruce, and therefore the story seemed to have two main characters. The ending also suggested that Christopher Nolan has more plans for him.

Anne Hathaway is another personal favourite of mine. I have never known her to not give a top performance in every role, and after the beating the Catwoman character has gone through in the past, she had done an outstanding job of resurrecting her. She also worked very well with Christian, and they had great chemistry. Makes me wish they were put together in something else.

Marion Cotillard was a good addition to the cast. I feel like she's often overlooked, but her character is just as important as Anne's. She seemed sweet and forward, just as she was supposed to. I really liked her, even though my romantic heart wanted more Anne/Christian.

As a huge fan of Torchwood, I almost gave a shout when I saw a familiar face. Burn Gorman, who played Dr. Owen Harper in Torchwood, had a rather small part, but it was nice to see him working. Made me wish they would have made a bigger villain out of him.
Another favourite fandom of mine also had a small guest appearance. Christopher Judge, who played Teal'c in Stargate SG-1, almost killed one of the good guys. I was thinking, "Teal'c stop being the Jaffa, and go back to being one of the good guys."
So it was fun to see these two guys in the big screen. I just wish they got more parts.

Overall, The Dark Knight trilogy went out with a bang. It was a good, fun movie, and the fans of the franchise are pleased with it. The ending closed the story off well, and there is really a sense of closure. I was happy with it.

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