It’s no secret that not only is Christian Bale my man crush, but so is Batman. I’ve been waiting for this movie since The Dark Knight‘s credits rolled. (Which coincidentally I just re-watched on Friday afternoon.)
To say I went in with high hopes would be an understatement. Thankfully, this movie does not disappoint.
Some will argue that it’s too long. Some will argue that Selina Kyle (Catwoman) is kind of lame. Some will argue that the middle of the film feels kind of boring. And those people could all be right. However, there’s so much awesomeness jam packed into the entirety of the movie, that it’s very easy to overlook its flaws. It’s not a perfect movie – in fact, as much as I loved it, I still prefer The Dark Knight more. Mainly because Heath Ledger knocked his role so far out of the park. (According to the trivia on IMDb, the Joker isn’t even mentioned in this film out of respect for Heath.)
Remember in The Dark Knight where the Batpod pops out of the Tumbler for the first time, and you’re like “OH MY GOD, THAT IS AWESOME!”? There’s a lot of that in The Dark Knight Rises. There’s many scenes where you expect something to happen, and it does, but way more awesome.
I love Tom Hardy as an actor, and have since I saw him in Inception, and he doesn’t disappoint at all as Bane, the film’s main villain. I will admit I had a hard time understanding some of his dialog at times – which I later read him saying was intentional in an interview. He reported that he was trying to sound like Bartley Gorman, an Irish bare-knuckle boxing champion. To me, he sounded a bit like a drunk Sean Connery. In a bad way? Not necessarily.
You’ll read many reviews over the next few days (assuming you even care about reviews) that talk about spoilers and “what happened at the end” and whatnot. But I’m not that guy, I never have been. I loved the ending of the movie. I loved the story-telling that the Nolan brothers put together for this franchise wrap-up. I may have not seen what was coming towards the end of the film, but apparently it was because I was distracted by all the shiny flying things, and fist fights to have seen it. I felt there were two very distinct AHA! moments towards the end of the film. But in discussing it with others after the film, I’m alone in those AHA! moments, and everyone else had seen them coming. Don’t fear, though, even if you see the “twist” coming, it’s still an excellent movie.
I was a little disappointed by the lack of Michael Caine, though. Probably because I could just listen to him talk for the next 50 years, and not care. That guy’s accent is just awesome. (Side note, I’m going to watch The Prestige later today, just to hear his opening voiceover again.) While disappointed, I understood why there was a lack of his character. It fit into the story, and I didn’t get the “Well he’s just off filming some other movie and phoning it in” feeling that sometimes you get when a big actor is missing from a franchise.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is amazing, as always. Talk about a child actor that really grew into his own. Look back at some old episodes of Third Rock from the Sun, and you can clearly see that this kid was going places. (It’s funny that I call him a kid, he’s barely a year and a half younger than I am.) He fits right into the already well established franchise, and feels like he’s been there all along.
I really want to love Anne Hathaway in everything. I honestly do. It’s just getting harder and harder. And I feel a bit badly. When news first broke that she was being cast as Catwoman, everyone flipped out. Don’t lie, you were mad, too. People said “Why her? She’s going to ruin it!” and the like. But I defended her. I said things like “Remember when Heath was cast as the Joker, and people felt the same way? And look how that turned out!” I knew that there was a reason Christopher Nolan had her cast. Nolan is one of the most brilliant filmmakers of our time, how could he possible make a blunder and not fix it? If she was terrible, he’d have recast her. AhemKatieHolmesAhem. (Say what you want, Katie Holmes wasn’t in The Dark Knight due to scheduling conflicts. She sucked in the first movie, and they re-cast her. Plain and simple.) Thankfully, however, Anne Hathaway isn’t in the film enough to ruin it. Which I’m glad for, because the scenes she’s in really didn’t do it for me. She has quite a few fist fights, but I don’t buy it. I don’t get that a tall, skinny, lanky girl could overtake a 6’2″ 220 pound dude with a gun. If that makes me a sexist, so be it.
Chances are, by now, you’ve already seen this movie if you had planned on it, and my review isn’t going to sway you either way. So what I say here is almost moot. However, this movie is fantastic. I’d say it was my top movie of the year so far, but that honor goes to The Avengers, which beats this out only ever so slightly. The Dark Knight Rises delivers, in major ways. It wraps up the franchise amazingly. The story, the action, the characters, the good guys, the bad guys. It’s got everything I wanted it to have (except maybe some more trailers before it), and I’m glad to have seen it on the big-screen. If you’re on the fence about whether or not to go see it, spend the money. If you don’t have the money, borrow the money. You won’t be disappointed.