The Dark Knight Rises
Now that the real most anticipated film of 2012 is out (sorry avengers), and the complete story of the Batman according to Christopher Nolan is told, what else is there to look forward to, in 2012?
The short answer is “nothing”.
The long answer is that perhaps, one day, another whitekknight will rise up in defiance and challenge Nolan’s throne to making the grittiest superhero movies ever. But not today, and I think, not soon. But let’s get down to the review, shall we?
In The Dark Knight Rises, we’re dropped into Gotham exactly 8 years to the day where we left off, which had since been christened Harvey Dent Day. Batman hasn’t been seen since that day, and Bruce Wayne had become a reclusive creep, holed up in his home (still) moping about the loss of Rachel Dawes. (the Maggie Gyllenhaal version, not the Katie Holmes version)
The streets were cleaned up, and all seems fair at Gotham. Until the arrival of Bane and his diabolical plan to take it down.
Once more, Bruce is called upon to don his cowl and cape and save the day. New characters to this sequel include Joseph Gordon-Levitt as rookie cop John Blake, Tom Hardy as Bane, Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle and Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate.
This last installment is ambitious in many aspects, often taking the action and spectacle to a whole new level, while also trying to tie in all the story threads from Batman Begins and The Dark Knight to form one big, epic narrative.
There are many wonderfully glorious set-pieces filmed in imax, and a lot of the action such as the opening scene and the football field scenes are truly magnificent. We witness the journey of Bruce Wayne / Batman come full circle, and gape at the physical threat of Bane.
However, the film is not without some weaknesses. My main gripe would be Bane’s voice, which was unintelligible at first, and later on just sounded disjointed. The fact that his face was mostly masked also means he has to do most of his acting using only body language and his eyes, which takes away a lot of the emotions of certain scenes. This is where many people compared it to the performance of Heath Ledger’s Joker, and where it was sorely missed.
But all in, I really enjoyed the film, plot holes notwithstanding. Oh, and Anne Hathaway did an amazing job with her role as Selina Kyle!
The following paragraphs discuss the ending of the film, so for those of you not wanting to be spoiled, this is your chance to stop reading.
Now, there’s a lot of buzz about the ending, and there are many things happening that were being crammed into the last 5 minutes to take it all in. (and no, i’m not referring to Robin)
Let’s take a step back and review what happened:
Batman takes the nuclear bomb out to sea on The Bat | Bomb explodes | We’re shown Bruce Wayne’s tombstone with a hysterical Alfred | Gordon unveils Batman statue in honor of his deeds | Reading of Bruce Wayne’s will where he donates Wayne Manor to orphans and leaves John Blake the batcave | John Blake’s full name is Robin John Blake | Lucius Fox discovers The Bat’s autopilot had been fixed a few months earlier | Alfred has coffee in an Italian cafe and spots Bruce Wayne with Selina Fox, and they nod and smile at each other.
So Batman did fix the autopilot and had jumped off sometime before the bomb exploded? But wait, didn’t we see him still in the cockpit with 5 seconds to go? How did he manage to get to the save zone and survive in that time? Did the Alfred spotting Bruce Wayne scene seem a little too surreal and dream-like to you? I thought so.
So what’s the deal? Did Batman / Bruce survive the blast, and actually managed to pass the baton to Blake, while he retires away to Europe?
Or did he actually die in the blast, and Alfred’s vision was just that, a vision? Maybe it was his own way of giving himself closure in thinking that Bruce is now in a better place, even in death? (cue the music of Non, je ne regrette rien)
I’d like to think it was the latter. Cos happy endings are so not Nolanish. What do you think?
Sadly, one of the things people will remember most about The Dark Knight Rises will be the Colorado shooting, in which a masked gunman James Holmes opened fire during a midnight screening, killing 12 and injuring 58 others. His home was also booby-trapped with explosives, but luckily no one else was hurt in that one. Police managed to disarm the explosives before detonating them outside.