Synopsis: Eight years on [After The Dark Knight], a new terrorist leader, Bane, overwhelms Gotham’s finest, and the Dark Knight resurfaces to protect a city that has branded him an enemy. (IMDB)
The Dark Knight Rises, like the two preceding films, gathers around a central theme, “Pain.” And considering the senseless tragedy that struck in Aurora, Colorado at the premiere of the movie last night, Pain was already fresh on everyone’s minds when the movie started.
The movie begins with a decrepit Bruce Wayne living a life as a recluse, 8 years after the death of Harvey Dent, who obviously doesn’t reprise his role. Christopher Nolan decided not to even mention The Joker’s name in respect for Heath Ledger. Bruce decides to return to his Batman role when Bane, played by Tom Hardy, who was more threatening and scary than I expected, begins to take on Ra’s Al Ghul’s mission to take down Gotham. Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman, although her alter ego is never mentioned in the film) is her usual anti-hero, with a pinch of vulnerability and a wish for a fresh life away from her career as a cat burglar. I was not enthusiastic for Hathaway to play this role, and I’m still not sure if she fit the role as well as I would have liked her to, but she did a good job and fit into the pacing of the film well. Joseph Gordon-Levitt played John Blake, a Gotham police officer with a past fairly similar to Bruce Wayne’s, except without the money. Gordon-Levitt did a good job, it wasn’t a very difficult role to play but he did a good job, and didn’t make the orphan role sound pathetic. Christian Bale did his usual perfect job, as did Michael Caine made me cry, and he was really good at it. Morgan Freeman was his usual self, he doesn’t really even need to try. And Marion Cotillard also did a great job, but she does good work on all that she does. I thought she would have also made an excellent Catwoman. She plays a character named Miranda, who’s relevancy isn’t really certain until near the ending of the film.
Overall, the best acting jobs were done by Tom Hardy, who despite the nightmares he is going to give me tonight, made the viewer relate and sympathize with him slightly (before hating him again, of course). His voice was also done excellently, although sometimes it became uncomprehensible. The other great acting jobs were from Christian Bale and Gary Oldman. This Batman film was Oldman’s best.
Visually, the film is very representative of pain. I feel like all three of these movies are individually styled based on the theme. Batman Begins was very dark, most scenes occurred during the nighttime, based around Fear. The Dark Knight was very grungy and kind of dirty-looking, based around Chaos. The Dark Knight Rises was very crisp and cold, not unlike Pain. There was a resonate chill in the second half of the film, partly because of Bruce Wayne, and partly because it was snowing the entire time.
The Soundtrack was a bit of a letdown, the only music that wasn’t reused from the previous two films was really repetitive, using the same chanty beat over and over again. However, it didn’t take away from the movie and I think it was used for a reason.
The story was typical Christopher Nolan: creative, unique, artistic, and most of all powerful. The story at times seemed completely desperate and hopeless, but you always feel a glimmer of hope, and at the end, even though the movie, (and the tragedy that surrounded in in Colorado) was painful, The Dark Knight Rises managed to rise through the desperation and give the viewers a sense of hope, that even Bruce Wayne can find happiness and acceptance from a city that has scorned him and called for his death.