The Dark Knight Rises

July 23, 2012


The Dark Knight Rises
"The Legend Ends."
★★★★★

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.

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As usual, Christopher Nolan never fails my far-too-great expectation (moreover after he dropped my jaw with the @#$!$#$%#$ of The Dark Knight). Or can I just say, "Oops, he did it again!" ? Nolan produces the finale of his own Batman trilogy beautifully. I've never expected myself to sit still, mesmerized for whatever shows in front of me, in 164 minutes long. I know I know, I said the pretty much the same thing for the Avengers Assemble, but those superheroes-studded aspect will never beat what Nolan does to TDKR; deepening human drama, emotional engagement, and a truly genuine sense of jeopardy.


Bruce Wayne : [to Lucius Fox] "I need you to get me back in the game."

First thing first, let's talk about the storyline. The story continues from The Dark Knight (as the second installment of Nolan's batman trilogy, following the best of Batman Begins), as Gotham City's own Dark Knight has been absent for almost 8 years. The multi-billionaire of Wayne Enterprises, mister no-ordinary Bruce Wayne is crippled. The problem rises as the newly made villain, Bane, threatened to destroy Gotham City for whatever it takes in the name of revenge and what-he-called justice. He misused what once Wayne and his dearly friend Fox created to 'help' Gotham City, as he turns it into a nuclear bomb. And for that my friend, every little secrets revealed, another new cooperation and discooperation, another love fling, and yes, once again, the Batman must rise, paying his responsibilities to protect the cities using the newly improved toy from Mr. Fox (oh my the flying batmobile) and his oh-so-sexy voice.


Bruce Wayne : "This city needs me."

TDKR isn't about Batman, it's mainly about Bruce Wayne. Yes, there're still times for Wayne to put on his six-pack costume and mask, but that's not it. TDKR exploits Wayne for what he really is now; a crippled, old, retired billionaire. He's never been so vulnerable, so fragile, so wounded. It's like he can easily absorb our feelings and make us attached with whatever he tends to do, emotionally and physically. Christian Bale nails it flawlessly. He looks like a wreckage from a dumpster, as he struggle for his own identity, for his own life; the risk he took when he decided to become the dark knight (as well as "I'm getting older and weaker, though I'm rich and a Batman"). Then he becomes so charismatic and almighty when he put his costume on. That's the spirit, I thought. I don't know, this Bruce Wayne-Batman thing captures me, like they're two-sided dagger, one sharp, one blunt, but together, they make quite a dagger. Great job, really really great job Bale.


Alfred : "You're not Batman any more."

And now, let's talk about the villain. Bane bane bane, oh Bane. What can I tell about him beside his gigantic-muscular figure with that hideous facial disfigurement covered by a creepy leather respiration mask that makes him sounds lot like Darth Vader, not to mention all his 'servants' who follow him almost everywhere? Well, I think he's all about strength. And yes, I can't say that he's as perfect as Heath Ledger's Joker for Batman's villain. He's not weak, I know, in fact he's super strong, like "No one ever gonna beat the hell out of me" strong. Let me regain your memory of Heath Ledger's oscar-phenomenal Joker : overly-brilliant, wicked, creepily charismatic and most of all, his smartmouth jokes that easily give you chill. I can't lie, no other villain can ever beat that, no matter how strong and smart he is, because Joker is true-born evil, an equal villain for Batman; he's a complete package and (you know that) the late Ledger portrays him with no flaw. I'm not saying that Bane is a bad villain, cause he isn't. He's strong, a perfectly formed villain, with all his great strength and strong will to destroy, and yes, Tom Hardy portrays him well enough. There's something about his eyes that give me creep so instantly, even without looking at his gargantuan muscles.


Bruce Wayne : "I'm not afraid. I'm angry."

Now let's talk about the other heroines. First up is miss Anne Hathaway who portrays Selina Kyle (the word "catwoman" never come up in this movie). No other word than mindblowing. Hathaway is a perfect role for the dangerously sexy and uberly complex Selina Kyle. She got the move and the words (she's quite a smartmouth type). She takes quite a role in this movie; she may have limited appearance, but it leaves quite a memory. And what's funny is the high-technology spectacles she wears which has typical cat's ears. Catwoman resemble? Second is the mature, big hearted, sharp minded and tough-as-nail was-a-cop-now-detective Blake. Joseph Gordon-Levitt leaves quite an impression; he looks so damn mature and wise and brave. He plays a great deal of helping Gotham City wearing just uniform and gun. And I think he has the resemblance to Ledger, doesn't he? Third is Gary Oldman who portrays the silently tough and smart-headed commissioner Gordon. He's quite an embellishment in this movie, helping Batman inside and out. Then there's Morgan Freeman who portrays Wayne-Batman's golden helper, Fox, as he constantly improves the ridiculously advanced toys, but, other than that, he's nothing. Last but not least, is Marion Cotillard who portrays Miranda Tate; the pretty billionaire whom Wayne lays his heart on. Cotillard, I think, doesn't seem to hold a big role in this movie, until somehow Nolan decided to give some efforts to her development (and that's the big twist everybody!)

Bane : "When Gotham is ashes, you have my permission to die."

So, is TDKR perfect? Well, it's star-studded, well-packed thrilling action, brilliant script, exceptional cinematography (thanks to Wally Pfister who somehow manages to create snows that beautiful, even in the moment of wreckage), stable plot, wonderful CGI and compelling storyline. But, I'm quite dissapointed with the romance. I know this movie shouldn't be quite romantic whatsoever, but still, Wayne and/ Batman's love life is cheesy. I would say that Wayne and Alfred butler-employer relationship is far more captivating. And the final battle (despite the twist) is a huge dissapointment (despite -again the rising of the Batman itself). And the premise of "Superhero never dies" really works here, though I don't think Nolan creates Batman purely as superhero.


Bane : "Gotham, take control... take control of your city. Behold, the instrument of your liberation! Identify yourself to the world!"

Bottom line, is The Dark Knight Rises the end? Yes, it is. TDKR finished what Batman Begins began. And for that my friend, the greatest superhero series ever made is done, finished, over. And for those who ask, does TDKR better, worse or somehow equal to TDK? In my opinion, no it isn't better, worse or equal. Yes, it can't overcome TDK's beauty, but I still love this movie for whatever flaws it has. Do I recommend you to watch this? In what sanity I won't?


Ra's al Ghul : [to Bruce Wayne] "If you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal... you become something else entirely. A legend, Mr. Wayne, a legend!"


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I'm sure you've heard the news of the massacre at the premiere of TDKR at Aurora movie theatre in Colorado that killed 14 people and injured more than 50 people while they were watching the movie? The 24 year-old suspect named James Holmes, dressed in black, appeared at the front of the theater with a rifle, handgun, bulletproof vest and gas mask. He then threw a canister that released some kind of gas (it is believed as tear gas), after which a hissing sound ensued, and he then opened fire on the crowd packed into the early-morning screening of the film. News said that he's obsessed with joker. And this is Christopher Nolan's reaction towards the event :

"Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of The Dark Knight Rises, I would like to express our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community. I would not presume to know anything about the victims of the shooting but that they were there last night to watch a movie. I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime. The movie theatre is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me. Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families."
(seen on the official websites of TDKR, www.thedarknightrises.com)

May all the souls rest in peace. My heart and thoughts are with you.

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