The Dark Knight Rises – Review

Opening 8 years after the events of The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises opens with an optimistic Gotham city enacting the Harvey Dent act that has made the city more secure. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) and Batman haven’t been seen in those 8 years. There was no need for them. It is then that a masked man named Bane (Tom Hardy) kidnaps a Russian scientist from a CIA extraction operation and kills everyone on board of the plane so the wheels of his plans start spinning. Bane wants to bring Gotham its reckoning. He wants to break the city that has sunk so low in decadence.

In the meantime, Wayne enterprises is no longer making profit because of a very ambitious and expensive environmental-friendly project. There’s also a new player in town: Selina Kyle (Ann Hathaway), a very cunning jewel thief, who’s seeking a way to absolve her past. And as events progress, Gotham and its people sink into despair as a false sense of justice is set in. And as Bane rises, the necessity for the Batman rises as well. But will he be able to match Bane? Or will the Bat break, taking with him any hope Gotham city might have?

Simply put, The Dark Knight Rises is a very slow movie to start. And at an almost three hours running time, that’s a lot of time for it to get going. The sad part is when it gets going, it doesn’t capture the epic feel of its predecessor. It doesn’t come close to the sense of urgency that The Dark Knight entailed. It doesn’t come close to the sense of dread, fear and danger that the Joker was able to put in us – even though Bane’s plan was more dangerous.

Tom Hardy does a good job at portraying the masked villain. He is ruthless, powerful, dominating and frightening. Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne and the Batman does his best portrayal of the character in all three movies of the trilogy. His characters are weakened, losing hope, wanting to feel strong again and wanting to save the city they love. He manages to convey all those opposing emotions very well.

Marion Cotillard, as Melinda Tate, a board member of Wayne Enterprise, manages to hold her own but her character is so underdeveloped that her entire presence feels underwhelming. She doesn’t manage to do what she does best and that is steal the show whenever she’s on screen. On the other hand, Michael Cain as Alfred, Bruce Wayne’s butler, and despite the little screen time that he gets is great as the man who wants to keep the boy he raised safe, out of harm’s way, and most importantly alive.

However, the most interesting cast choice was actually Ann Hathaway. She was absolutely brilliant as Selina Kyle and was probably the most fun to watch. She is terrifying, fun, quirky, powerful, afraid, vulnerable, strong…. And she manages to bring forth empathy in the viewer despite her many flaws. She’s fits into the tone Nolan set for the movie perfectly and betters it.

Gary Oldman returns as commissioner Gordon. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as John Blake, with an interesting middle name, a new addition to the police squad and a firm believer in the Batman. Morgan Freeman returns as Fox, the genius behind all the Bat techs. There are also many other characters from the previous Batman movies that will make an appearance as well. The purpose of The Dark Knight Rises is to bring things full circle.

However, instead of bringing things to a closure with a bang, The Dark Knight Rises fizzles away and ends the epic trilogy with a thud. Perhaps I expected more from the movie. Perhaps its only purpose was to bring the Bruce Wayne story arc to its emotional end. But with the long running time and the employment of so many different story lines that don’t go at odds with each other, the stage was set for The Dark Knight Rises to be much more.

The movie boasts brilliant special effects to the backdrop of a masterful score by Hans Zimmer, the best of which is Rise which plays at the movie’s last scene. But even with all of those epic components, The Dark Knight Rises falls short. It is definitely a good movie by all measures – perhaps even better than good. But the standards set forth by both of its predecessors and by Nolan’s previous works as well set the bar way too high and it seems Nolan has faltered and fallen short.

Should you watch it? Definitely. You will more than enjoy it. You will get goosebumps and you will get emotional. But you won’t go out of the movie theatre shocked like you were with The Dark Knight and you won’t go out of the theatre raving about the brilliant movie you just watched. One thing to be grateful for, however, is Nolan breaking the boundaries of comic book-based movies and delivering an Oscar-worthy trilogy that will never see any golden statuettes.

Rise, Nolan. Rise.

7/10

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New Batman: The Dark Knight Rises Trailer

Is it just me or does this movie keep looking better and better, if that’s even possible?

It’s my #1 most anticipated movie of the year and I’m sure Christopher Nolan won’t disappoint me at all.

Batman: The Dark Knight Rises – Teaser Poster

If you’re half as excited as I am for the upcoming Christopher Nolan Batman movie, then you must be very, very excited. Add a couple of very’s to that and you’d feel what I’m feeling. After all, how epic was The Dark Knight?

Set for a July 20, 2012 release, The Dark Knight Rises has had its teaser poster released and it is full of destruction in Gotham City. And based simply on this and the premise that with any Nolan movie, to get a city destroyed like this, he takes you on a roller coaster ride, then we’re in for one great cinematic experience.

“The Dark Knight Rises” will again star Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne (Batman), Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon, Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox and Michael Caine as Alfred. The film also stars Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard. A star studded cast that will surely work in favor of this movie.

Now, enough with the talking. Check out the poster:

Thor – Movie Review

I think I may be a sucker for Marvel-related movies but I have failed not to like any Marvel superhero movie and Thor is no exception, albeit some of those movies are better than others… Thor, however, ranks as one of the best superhero movies I have seen.

Not as famous in pop culture as Superman, Spiderman, Batman, Iron Man, etc… Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is the son of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), a man who waged a war against the Frost Giants of Jotenheim and their king Laufey and stole their source of power. Thor, however, is not as reasonable as his father and is more reckless-material than king-material. As he prepares to ascend to become king of Asgard, the festivities are interrupted by an apparent breach in their fortress’ security by the Frost Giants. Thor becomes overly furious and leads an act of vengence against them, despite his father telling him not to do so. As a result, he is banished to Earth, without his power, in the form of the almighty hammer Mjolnir. But there is a traitor in the house of Odin, one that will do everything to prevent Thor from coming back.

On Earth, Thor meets Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), a physicist, her assistant Darcy (Kat Dennings) and mentor Erik (Stellan Skarsgård). And when Mjolnir is uncovered in the desert and seized by government officials, Thor needs to do everything to recover it and get back home – but that will not be as easy as it seems.

Thor is a very, very entertaining movie. It has everything you could expect from a superhero movie: fight scenes (although I would have liked to see more of those), a story (a very interesting one at that), comedy (there will be some scenes where you fall down off your seat laughing) and ultimately some romance, which is always necessary in superhero movies.

The performances by the actors and actresses of the movie are spot-on. They do not underperform but on the other hand, they do not really excel and give powerhouse performances, mostly because this is not the movie vehicle to do so. But there is no miscast here. Chris Hemsworth, the actor portraying Thor, has probably spent more time at the gym than the time he spent pursuing a college degree and it obviously shows. Natalie Portman is, well, Natalie Portman and she never does anything less than credible with her movies. And how perfect can Anthony Hopkins be in the role of a the “father of all things”?

The special effects are great as well but the 3D is sort of useless here. The directing is also very well executed and the music is not bad. There are some corny moments and some parts of the movie are overly predictable as well but that does not deter you from enjoying it.

Overall, Thor is awesome! It is a movie that will immerse you. It focuses on character development more so that blinding action sequences and that is definitely a good thing because the characters in Thor are interesting to say the least but I would have preferred if the action scenes already present in the movie were extended a bit. Sure, Thor has its flaws but if you felt like going to a movie simply to have fun and get out of it with a need to google the existence of a sequel, this is it.