THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, like its two predecessors is more than a comic book movie. It’s an allegory for a current political or moral debate. Occupy Wall Street is all over this movie. Gotham and it’s leaders are revelling in political corruption, classism, and exploiting its citizens. It’s a tale that we all know very well and clear. This plot-device just has the bells and whistles of exploding football arena, collapsing bridges and a “bat-ship” shootem’ up sequence to highlight its point. The movie isn’t completely left and it’s not completely right in its broad stroke in painting political arrogance.
Christopher and Johnathan Nolan’s script brought us layered characters who possessed complexities that made their motivations more valid that what a typical “comic book” film calls for. Tom Hardy, who’s physically imposing stature, made his Bane a viable villan for the Caped Crusader. Anne Hathaway’s Selena Kyle is cunning and cynical who would make Michelle Pfieffer proudly pass the torch. Her Selena Kyle (Catwoman was never referred to in the movie) trades overt sexuality for graceful vigilance. Christian Bale is as strong as ever as the conflicted hero. The intensity in Bale’s eyes indicate he knows Bruce Wayne’s pain and guilt inside and out and it shows in every scene.
TDKR unfortunately fell under the weight of its predecessor’s storytelling success. THE DARK KNIGHT was a near-perfect movie and it’s sequel will inevitable suffer with comparison. TDKR, while explosive in storytelling and visual effects, just felt less fun this time around. While there were very subtle hints of humor, the jokes felt somewhat forced. Bane’s voice will go down in history as one of the most polarizing effects of the movie. Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that some of the dialogue was muffled. There was so much action going on lightening speed that made the third act seem sort of like a giant blur. Have you ever had someone tell you about their weekend, but they’re talking so fast and are laughing at their own joke that you’re completely lost in the process? That’s how I felt for the last third. I also kept asking myself, how was this movie only rated PG-13. It’s by far one of the most violent films I’ve seen at the theater in while and thought an R-rating would’ve been fully justified. Also, the movie was practically 3 hours and felt like it was practically 3 hours.
THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is an exceptional end to an exceptional trilogy. Mr. Nolan and Mr. Bale have given us three films that are now as iconic as their hero and will go down in history has the standard to which comic book movies have been measured and the dramatic gravitas that must be injected in their story. The most obvious example of this would be the most recent SPIDERMAN movie and the upcoming SUPERMAN movie- which is coincidentally produced by Christopher Nolan. While TDKR was flawed, it’s flaws are easily overlooked when you take the entire trilogy into account.
***1/2 out of 4
courtesy of I-Pic Theaters: buffalo chicken spring rolls, mozzarella sticks and $2-drafts of Blue Moon.