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Monday, 23 July 2012

The Dark Knight Splutters

OK - The Dark Knight Rises is a good movie, but it is nowhere near as good as its immediate predecessor and at two hours and forty five minutes it is way too long and seems to grind to a standstill several times. Still when taken as a whole, Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy is probably the best superhero series ever made.

The bad points first -

1 - Bane is just too bland as the villain and his speech pattern is oddly comical -  He sounds like a West Country Darth Vader on times and at other times like something out of Spongebob Squarepants. He looks powerful in several scenes but just doesn't come across as a formidable enemy for the man who defeated Heath Ledger's Joker in the previous movie.

2 - There also seems to be no sense in Batman simply appearing in the right place at the right time for the admittedly stunning climax.

3 - The film is just too long and all that messing about with Wayne Enterprises doesn't really add anything to the story but merely serves to slow everything down.

4- It also seems odd that Bane is initially able to beat Batman. breaking his back, with no real effort and yet when Bats returns later in the film the tables are so easily turned and Bane is no longer any kind of match for the Batman. I suspect that the voyage of discovery Bruce Wayne goes on in the middle section of the movie, as he lays in his prison with a broken back, is meant to have made him a stronger character but that doesn't some across as obvious. This section of the movie could have done with some extending while other sections could have been trimmed considerably.

The rest is good,-

The storyline  manages to include both terrorism and the fall of capitalism which gives the film a topical edge. Christian Bale also offers his best ever Batman/Bruce Wayne performance in this movie, perhaps because he gets to spend so much time out of the mask and the new Catwoman is, in my opinion, the best version we've ever seen of the character.

The action set pieces are incredible and the ending is arguably the best ever city-getting-trashed sequences ever filmed. There are some great iconic images of Batman fighting side by side with Gotham's citizens. This Batman seems very real  and the movie depicts Batman as an everyman, as something inside of us all. Indeed Batman tells young cop, John Blake that it can be anyone in the bat suit and that it is the symbolism that truly matters. It's very complex in that respect and on times uses Batman almost as a metaphor.

Gary Olman also gets his best shot as Commissioner Gordon and this time it is he and the John Blake character who carry the movie. And there are some truly stunning visuals and overall Nolan manages to remain on the dark and gritty road he started down with Batman Begins.

And that ending! WOW!
Did Batman die?
Well...yes and no.
It's the symbolism that matters you could be anyone in that suit.

It's been a great year for Superhero movies and although The Dark Knight Rises doesn't disappoint on a major scale, I think the Avengers was better.And it is only when taken as a whole  that the movie really shines and offers a satisfying climax to a movie series that will be talked about for years.

1 comment:

buddy2blogger said...

Spot on review, Gary.

I too felt the same about Bane, the length of the movie, Chris Bale giving his best and Anne's performance as Selina.

I also felt the movie had lot of superfluous characters.