The Dark Knight Rose to the occasion!

20 Jul

I just got in from the midnight premiere of The Dark Night Rises. A lot has been said (and threats made apparently) about the movie and a lot will be said in the coming weeks. Expectations were unbelievably high for this movie riding on the prior two movies in Nolan’s triology. I don’t think it would have been possible for it to meet those expectations. What follows are my spoiler free thoughts.

First, I must state, The Dark Knight is my favorite movie ever. Heath Ledger gave the role of a life time with his Joker. Bale, Caine, Oldman, and Freeman likewise gave excellent performances. But to me, the rise and fall of Harvey Dent was the heart of the movie. I finally got the Two-Face story I always thought we deserved. And the conclusion, when Batman decided to take credit for Two-Face’s crimes, was beautiful. So when the announcement was made that this movie would take place eight years later, I was horribly disappointed. It took me several months to accept this but I finally made my peace with it a few months ago.

Dark Knight Rises is a very different animal from The Dark Knight. It was a wonderful movie but I believe it is missing the break neck pace and excitement of Ledger’s Joker or Harvey’s fall. Nolan’s concluding act is a slow boil, building to the final conflict. It is very entertaining and if you know your Batman history from the comic books, the movie is highly influenced by two great Batman stories from the last twenty years. But, by the nature of the story, it does slow down at points. This doesn’t mean it isn’t enjoyable, I truly enjoyed the whole movie, but I was hoping for more Dark Knight but like many paid reviewers point out, the last movie plays more like Batman Begins.

The origin of Bane is brilliantly told. He comes across as an unstoppable force, which plays like his original storyline in the comic books. I was quite surprised at just how well I thought he was done. I must confess, as much as I loved the Batman cartoon from Dini, I never thought Bane was treated with the respect he deserved. And this continued in all other versions until this movie. Finally, someone “got” Bane. Pretty much how I feel about everyone in the Bat-verse. Nolan gets this stuff.

Catwoman plays a lot like Ledger’s Joker. When I heard Anne Hathaway was going to be Catwoman all I could think was that it was insane. Disney’s princess could NOT be the ultimate femme fatale. I was blown away though. She IS Catwoman. Unlike previous Batman movie Catwomen, this story doesn’t require cats magically saving a woman and transforming her into a vigilante. And the costume is the best Catwoman costume since Balent did the art in the comics or the classic adventures of Burt Ward and Adam West.

Dark Knight Rises is not Dark Knight. It is a very different animal. Nolan brings about a wonderful conclusion to his trilogy. I still think the previous movie is better but this was a fantastic, slow building movie. The end of the movie played just how I hoped it would. I can’t wait until I can add this movie to my collection. To me, the movie is best summed up by a line from the last movie. Sometimes, we need our faith rewarded. Nolan rewarded his fans. I hate this was the end.

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One Response to “The Dark Knight Rose to the occasion!”

  1. elmer July 20, 2012 at 8:54 am #

    o no dont let it end!

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