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MJ5K's Review

Created Jul 22, 2012 03:30AM PST • Edited Jul 22, 2012 03:30AM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Perfect 5.0

    Every hero has a journey. Every journey has an end.

    Batman Begins was a reboot of the once-dead Batman franchise. At that point, it was hard to take the premise of a man-in-a-batsuit seriously. Tim Burton’s films were a good start, but their portrayal of Batman as a cold-blooded killer were NOT what the comics had envisioned. And the Schumacher films? Let’s not talk about those. At that point, it seemed that the closest we ever came to seeing Batman in his full glory was in the classic animated series starring the voice-talent of Kevin Conroy as the Caped Crusader. Batman Begins finally took Batman back to his roots, making him gritty, dark, reallistic, and the symbol for good that we know him to be. Though the movie did only decent at the box-office, it did recieve positive reviews. However, it did leave an impact on the superhero genre in that it made us believe superheroes could exist and could be relatable and emotionally involving. Also, it’s impact on the reboot-genre was enormous. In years that followed, we saw reboots of everything, including James Bond, Star Trek, Planet of the Apes, and, more recently, Spider-Man.

    When Batman Begins was first released in 2005, nobody could’ve anticipated what was to follow in the next seven years. When The Dark Knight Rises was released, nobody could’ve anticipated the effect it would have on film and pop culture. It broke countless box-office records, garnered enormous amounts of praise from fans and critics alike, won two Academy Awards (including a posthumous award for the late Heath Ledger’s fearless performance as the Joker), and it even proved controversial. When the Academy Awards didn’t nominate the film for Best Picture, it caused an outcry from millions of people and prompted the Academy to up the Best Picture count to ten rather than five. So, in short, The Dark Knight was a pretty big deal.

    After The Dark Knight, it was inevitable fans would expect a sequel. The big question: Where to go? How can you top the film’s emotional pull? How can you top one of the greatest onscreen villains of recent memory? How can you top the film’s action? How can you top what might be the greatest comic book film ever? So, Nolan and his writing team including brother Jonathan and collaborator David S. Goyer puzzled over how to bring Batman back and conclude his this epic tale.

    The Dark Knight Rises picks up eight years after the events of The Dark Knight. Batman has disappeared since taking the fall for Harvey Dent’s crimes. The city is at peace but only because it is living on a lie. As a result, Bruce Wayne has become a recluse and Commisioner Jim Gordon has to live with the guilt. However, a new enemy has come to terrorize Gotham: Bane, a larger-than-life mercenary who outdoes Batman both physically and mentally. Bane aims to carry out his plan to turn Gotham into dust, and now with the help of Gordon, tech savvy Luscius Fox, cop John Blake, love interest Miranda Tate, and femme fatale Catwoman, Bruce must become Batman to stop Bane and save Gotham.

    The Dark Rises had been on my most anticipated movies list for quite sometime. When the release date was first announced for it (July 20, 2012, to be exact), I could not have been more excited. Because A) It’s my birthday! B) That’s basically the anniversary of the day The Dark Knight came out. So it was very important that I saw it on opening day. And let me say this: this is one of the most satisfying films I’ve ever seen. This is one of the most perfect endings to a franchise ever.

    The story could not have been more perfect. It is one of the most beautifully told and well-done stories ever put on screen. The way the events unfold and the twists and turns the story take are excellent and draw you in emotionally and mentally. It keeps you involved and at the edge of your seats. And the pacing is very good as well. The film clocks in at 165 minutes, and it feels very brisk. There are also underlying political messages about the wealthy which, honestly, I don’t really want to get into too much. The Dark Knight was sort of an allegory for post-9/11 America and this film is mainly an allegory for post-collapse America. And that’s cetainly not a bad thing in the least, in fact it helps the story very much.

    The acting is phenomenal. Christian Bale is one of the finest actors of this generation. I’ve long considered him to be amongst the 21st century De Niros, Pacinos, and Brandos. Many have been mixed on Bale’s performances as Batman in the past, but here he nails the character. He owns this role the same way Sean Connery and Daniel Craig own the role of James Bond. Christian Bale did not play Batman, he WAS Batman. The rest of the cast is phenomenal. Gary Oldman brings the usual heat as Commisioner Gordon and we see more conflict in his character as he is living with this lie. Joseph Gordon Levitt is equally compelling as John Blake, a Gotham city beat cop who stands for the same good both Bruce and Gordon stand for. Why isn’t this guy a super star?! Michael Caine is brilliant as usual, and this time he nearly brought me to tears in his portrayal of Bruce’s loyal butler Alfred. Anyone who had doubts about Anne Hathaway as Catwoman can throw them out the window. She is witty, sassy, and lethal in her role. Certainly better than Halle Berry. Oscar-Winner Marion Cotillard is beautiful and mysterious as Bruce’s newest love interest Miranda Tate. Morgan Freeman delivers the usual goods as the film’s resident “Q” Luscius Fox. But the star-making performance is Tom Hardy as Bane. If you’re expecting a comparison between Bane and the Joker, you’re not getting one. They’re both totally different. The Joker was chaotic and out-there whereas Bane is quietly menacing and physically intimidating. Hardy expresses every emotion through his eyes. And he also said it best about Bane’s character, “Some people just want to watch the world burn. Well, Bane has come to pull the pin on the grenade.”

    The film is very well-made. The action scenes are mind blowing. The action in this film is like The Dark Knight times ten. I feel like the effects and action have gotten better and much cleaner with each movie. The biggest showcase is the ending battle scene between Gotham police and Bane’s army of mercenaries. Visually, this film is incredible. We’re introduced to Batman’s latest vehicle, simply known as The Bat (though known to most Batman fans as the Batwing). The thing I love about Nolan’s films is they don’t overuse CGI, they only use it when necesarry. Most of the effects in this film are real and practical, and it only further adds to the realism of the whole thing.

    Though I may get flack for this, in my opinion, this is better than The Dark Knight. I know people have already had problems with it, but for me, this is a perfect ending to a perfect trilogy.

    NOTE: I wasn’t going to say this in the review, but in regards to the tragedy that befell Aurora, Colorado, let me say this: movies don’t kill people. People kill people.

  3. Perfect 5.0
  4. Male Stars Perfect 5.0
  5. Female Stars Perfect 5.0
  6. Female Costars Perfect 5.0
  7. Male Costars Perfect 5.0
  8. Perfect 5.0
  9. Direction Perfect 5.0
  10. Play Perfect 5.0
  11. Music Perfect 5.0
  12. Visuals Perfect 5.0
  13. Content
  14. Sordid 2.8
  15. Sex Titillating 2.5
  16. Violence Brutal 3.5
  17. Rudeness Salty 2.5
  18. Surreal 2.5
  19. Circumstantial Surreal 2.5
  20. Biological Surreal 2.5
  21. Physical Surreal 2.5


Subscribe to The Dark Knight Rises 8 replies, 3 voices
Aug 4, 2012 2:05PM

Regarding BrianSez’s Review
Wow. Perfect summary commentary Bri.

Jul 30, 2012 7:40AM

I just saw this yesterday as well. Review forthcoming, but I think I’m going with a Silver as well. I think it came down to being overly-long in some parts. Other than that, it was hard to find fault in a tremendously entertaining movie.

Jul 29, 2012 11:24PM

Regarding Wick’s Review
Thanks man. Means a lot coming from you.