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The Dark Knight Rises





Released: 20th July 2012

Directed By: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Certificate: 12A

Reviewed By: William McAbee




There are very few directors like Christopher Nolan in my personal opinion. There are not many directors that get me so pumped for a film like Nolan does. Unlike people like Almodóvar or Wes Anderson who bring out the film analyzer in me, Nolan brings out the true fanboy in me. With stuff like Memento and Inception, Nolan has become an icon among film lovers and one of my all time favorites, I’ve even begun saying “In Nolan We Trust”. Nolan also is notable for doing something unlike any other director I have seen in my life time. Nolan was able to combine the film fanatic fan boys with the mainstream crowd to create a franchise that brings together just about anyone that has been to a theater to enjoy a film all together. It all started with Batman Begins and then followed up with The Dark Knight which is probably one of the greatest movies ever made. When I learned that Nolan would be back to finish the trilogy I was excited but nervous. How could Nolan possibly follow up The Dark Knight and Heath Ledger’s legendary performance? Even for Nolan it seemed far from possible. Still pieces started to fall together, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and even Anne Hathaway were announced to be casted and the new villain would be Bane. I was still skeptical but was very interested to see what Nolan was up to. “In Nolan We Trust”. Then after years of waiting, we got to see the first trailer for The Dark Knight Rises. I was awe struck as the images in front of me confirmed my hopes, could Nolan possibly pull it off? Could he possibly make a film that was worthy of following up The Dark Knight? Well I made sure to get a front seat to the IMAX midnight premiere and after meeting and talking with some fellow movie maniacs, the lights went down, the previews played, and I got to sit back and watch The Dark Knight Rises. Read on to see what I thought of the finale to the epic trilogy from Christopher Nolan…

The Dark Knight Rises starts a few years after the last film ended. Harvey Dent’s death has caused a new act to passed which helps the cops keep criminals in jail and a annual Harvey Dent day is held in his honor. Bruce Wayne has gone into isolation in his mansion with Alfred by his side. Little does Bruce know, a new villain is on the rise in Bane who has set his sights on Gotham. Bane, slowly but surely, lets his plan come together with his army of followers. Bruce decides its about time to come out of hiding, as the man and the bat, but quickly learns that things has changed since the last time he was out. Bruce must find a way to rise and protect Gotham from Bane while also getting his life back together. Will Bruce be able to protect Gotham as Batman or will Bane overpower him? Go see the movie to find out!!!!

The first thing that I want to get off my chest is that I fully believe that you will not be disappointed in The Dark Knight Rises. If you are nervous I hope to calm those nerves down, it is an almost flawless film that really is fun to watch and the most entertaining film of the year without a doubt. Epic at times feels like too soft a word than what I just watched and it is without a doubt a great finish to secure this as the great superhero film trilogy of all time and places it with The Lord Of The Rings and Star Wars as one of the greatest trilogies period. I left the theater breathless and screaming in the car on the way home in pure joy and excitement from what I had experienced. What more do you want?

Now this film does have a few problems, but none of them are huge and will not ruin your movie going experience. I do admit at the beginning it does feel slow and the pacing and editing is a little off. This is barely noticeable and I feel as if im being nick picky at that even. Once the film finally gets headed in the right direction and starts to bury itself into the Bane versus Wayne storyline then it gets better and better. The film begins to feel like a roller coaster, the long climb can be slow and the worst part but its not that bad at all, but once we get close to the top we start to get really excited and pumped until we hit the drop and it becomes one of the most intense and awesome moments of our lives. So while the climb isn’t incredible and some may find it boring, it is all pieces to the big puzzle. Nolan slowly puts each piece together to create the epic finale at the ending and the patience pays off big time.

Big props needs to be given to the amazing cast and their great acting throughout the film. Gary Oldman and Christian Bale are fantastic as expected and do a great job once again playing their roles. Big praise goes to Michael Caine who while was great in the previous two films really stands out here giving a fantastic performance and really pulls at the audience’s heartstrings. I was also pleasantly surprised by Anne Hathaway’s performance as Selina Kyle aka Catwoman. I wasn’t very confident that Hathaway was going to be able to pull off the seductive, stealthy, and deadly persona that I enjoyed in the comic books but I promise ya within 10 minutes of this movie you will see she pulls it off. I really enjoyed her performance and thought she played Selina perfectly.

Then we come to Bane and as with the previous Dark Knight films that villain can at times be more important than Batman himself. With the first we had Ra’s al Ghul and Scarecrow who were a combination of intelligence and intense fear. Then we had a Joker who was a pure “agent of chaos” who was unpredictable in a deadly way. With Bane we get the worst of all worlds. He is extremely intelligent, a deadly planner, unpredictable, a persuader, a recruiter, and horrifyingly strong. Hardy’s performance is great in my opinion who is able to give Bane the villain this film needed. His physical stature is incredibly intimidating and his voice will continuously send a chill down your spine. While its hard to argue if he is better than Joker or not, he certainly is unlike any other villain Batman has had to face and he certainly brings a new level of fear into the game.

It is also noteworthy to point out the sheer beauty of this film. Wally Pfister gave this film a gorgeous look and nothing looks better than the the IMAX shots on the big screen. There is a reason Nolan shot on IMAX cameras and this is a film that deserves and needs to be seen on an IMAX screen. Combined together with Nolan’s epic vision of pure visual effects and huge scale this might be one of the most ambitious films I have ever seen. An all out war with tons of explosions, fights, and intense set pieces that only a man like Nolan could envision and execute. While watching it was almost hard to wrap my head around how he was able to do these huge scenes and perform them so well. In my opinion, especially in the last act of the film, it is hard not to just lose yourself in the pure magic and spectacle and soak it all in while you can.

Now while I said earlier that the first half can feel a little slow and at times out of pace with the second half the film, it goes without saying that by the end of the film and upon reflection that the first half is seen in a completely different life. As with most of his films, the first half is subtly and slowly putting together pieces to create the big puzzle that we can see by the end of the film. Now I am not saying this film is as deep or puzzling as Inception but this film starts putting together pieces from the previous two films and this one to create the grand spectacle that comes together in the last act. So while the first act may at times feel a little disappointing, by the end you basically overlook any problems and just adore the film.

So did Nolan succeed? I think it is obvious that he has created one of the greatest trilogies of all time and with Rises he has created one of the biggest and ambitious films I have ever seen. The last act is one of the most action packed and intense thrill rides out there. The characters are incredible and the film looks beautiful. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was great and his role just grows and grows as we move on throughout the film. The ending is awesome and the last shot of the film had me screaming and praying that somehow, someway Nolan would returned even though I know he won’t. Needless to say I really did love this film and it is just too much fun. Fanboys will love it and film lovers should enjoy it as well. Can we still trust Nolan? Hell yeah we can! A perfect ending to an incredible trilogy. I want to be see more but am completely satisfied at the same time.


Fan of director ‘Chris Nolan’? MM reviews for ‘Inception’ and ‘Memento’

Hello! I am William McAbee. I do my fair share of reviews from time to time and I tweet like there is no tomorrow! I work currently as a video editor and producer.

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