It's hard to do my review of The Dark Knight Rises without first mentioning the tragic killings in Aurora, Colorado. This is a fucking awful and sickening incident, and what makes it hit closer to home is that Rika and I were attending the same event only a few states away. While one of the most anticipated movies of my lifetime was just beginning, James Holmes used a small arsenal of weapons to kill innocent moviegoers, massively damaging the lives of everybody related to the incident. I'm sure many of these poor bastards will never want to go see a movie again, and I don't blame them.
Theres simply not much you can do to prevent something like this, with it being so completely unpredictable. It happened in a community that only had six killings in all of 2011 and had even made a list of Forbes safest cities, but now it will be remembered for years for this violence and even associated with the killings at Columbine. It reminds us that everything in life is a privilege, even going to the movies.
The wait was finally over. After over a year of keeping my mind as spoiler-free as possible, I was able to witness the final chapter in The Dark Knight trilogy. Rika and I were lucky enough to attend all three movies in a row, with the The Dark Knight Rises beginning promptly at 12:01am on Friday. What we saw was simply epic. Sure, this film has a few hitches, but overall this was everything I had hoped for an much more, a fitting end to a trilogy that completely changed everything we thought comic book movies could be.
This movie takes place eight years after The Dark Knight ended. Bruce Wayne is no longer Batman, but more of a recluse. His time beating the shit out of himself has clearly caught up to him, evidenced when his doctor tells him he has no cartilage in his knees, some head trauma, and a body like a worn out prizefighter who may have fought ten bouts too many.
Buuuut he has the itch to get back in the game, and Lucious Fox (Morgan Freeman) showing him some new toys, including the insanely awesome flying vehicle known simply as The Bat (I'm gonna call it The Batwing), didn't help. When Commisioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) is shot when he stumbles upon Banes hideout in the sewers, that was the final straw.
But Batman coming back was kinda like MJ when he played for the Wizards, as he would discover that although he was still the man per se, he wasn't the alpha male. That was Bane.
Bane was as intimidating a foe as you'll see in any movie, and for the first time in the saga, it seemed that Batman (Christian Bale) might not be a little out of his depth. Tom Hardy was the man behind Banes mask, and he portrayed a villain that not only had the muscle to take on the Caped Crusader, but the brains too. Buuuuut his voice, still after it had been "fixed", was unintelligible at times. Rika said it best when she whispered in my ear that she could only understand about 70% of what he was actually saying. It seemed to stick out like a sore thumb too, with everything else going a little quiet while the burly Bane spoke philosophically about the economy and greed of Gotham City. It didn't annoy me as so much made me want to see it in subtitles.
Bane's master stroke. As much as Heath Ledger's Joker threatened to put Gotham under siege in The Dark Knight, Bane went the whole nine yards, literally taking the whole city hostage and even put it on the brink of full destruction. Even though these movies are grounded in reality, they are about superheroes, and Bane is a real supervillian. To boot, he even took his nickname from the comics as "the man who broke the bat" when he lifted Batman over his head and brought him down on his knee. It was so rad to see in movie form, people were cheering even though the good guy got his back broken.
The supporting cast was pitch perfect. Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle aka Catwoman had her moments, but also blended in as a part of a much bigger story. Joseph Gordon-Levitt killed it as Blake, who has quite a future, as you will see near the end of the film. Marion Cotillard, who played Leo's deceased wife in Inception, had a role that grew much larger than expected, and she played it perfectly. You even had a few cameos that I won't spoil for you that had great reactions from the crowd.
This was a very complicated story to tell, and somehow director Christopher Nolan did it with a style and grace that moved the film along at sometimes breakneck speeds. Sure, there were quite a few moments of dialogue that might have ran on a little too long, but sheeeeiiit I forgive you Mr Nolan.
You know what, I'm just gonna end this now. If you have any interest in this movie, first of all I would recommend that you watch the first two, then see it. Amazing stuff.