Monday, July 30, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

I saw The Dark Knight Rises over the past weekend. To be honest, I've read reviews of this movie before and even know the major spoiler as well. Heard that people do like the last one, The Dark Knight better, and complained that the middle part of the movie is just too long, etc. So, my expectation of going to this movie wasn't as high as before. However, am I wrong about that? This movie is much better than I thought and I think this movie is definitely rated 'up' there with many great movies. The more amazing about this movie is that it is the last dance of a trilogy. We all know that so many other trilogies ended badly. Since I put Toy Story Trilogy as one of the best of all times, then this one is very much up there. I would say that I enjoy this movie very much, the complaint about the length is just nonsense. To me, the pace is just right to give time for the characters to act, to let the story unfolded, let the relationships run deeper, so that audiences can immerse themselves to the epic much better. I do enjoy The Avengers, that movie did balance the timing of each characters well, but the truth was that The Avengers does not have as much depth as The Dark Knight Rises. The former one was much more a popcorn flick that was done really well, but this one is much more ambitious, the story has many layers and Christ Nolan does try to cover a lot of things. Is this movie perfect? No, but it is good enough to make me wanna see it again. 

Unlike other movie reviews that I wrote before, I'm not gonna have the 'Goods' and 'Bads' section. Cuz, there isn't any noticeable bads that worth writing a section. So, I'm just gonna talk about my views (mostly good) and thoughts of this movie. First of all, I've not seen The Batman Begin. That's something that I think it would be even better to do that before going to this movie. However, I found that doesn't really matter, cuz that allows me to see The Dark Knight Rises as a stand alone flick but with common characters across 3 movies. In that sense, I think The Dark Knight Rises is about the continue evolution of Batman. What a crime-fighter would think and do given his role in the society. I think the director really want to deal with the pain of a dark hero, how he has to respond to the outside world while dealing with his inner emotions of fear, sorrow, loyalty, love and hope. The environment that Bane built up also significant in the movie. It is not as simple as a bunch of gangs that led by the crazy Joker in the last movie. Instead, it is like a bunch of social rebels with common political belief that want to change the society to a state that remind me of Communists, Revolutionists, Fascists, etc. Especially about those scenes showing the rich/capitalists being dragged from their homes, and put in court for sentencing. The implied political and social meaning is deep. That's something we just don't see it other comic book movies.

In terms of the characters, I think the Catwoman is surprisingly being well used in the script. She isn't much a villian, but more like a Robin to Batman in this movie. Anne Hathaway is very likable. I think she acts well in the movie and she is definitely not a liability to the movie as some people worried about. The other Inception actors/actresses fit the roles in this movie very well. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is believable as a good cop. He is set up to have a bigger role in future Batman story if the current series will ever continue. Put that aside, I think his role as Blake in this movie provides a good supporting human role that is basically for other characters to reflect what they think. Marion Cotillard is the surprise in this movie, the wild card character that usually found in M. Night Shyamalan's movies. Anyway, she played a decent character that is critical to the story. Her background and her dialog at the end basically tied up why the movie was trying to say from the characters point of view. Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, and Michael Caine do just what they suppose to do in the characters. Gary has a bigger role in terms of helping the story to move along, Morgan has a smaller role, and Michael Caine as Batman's butler Alfred add a nice touch to the emotional side of the story. Tom Hardy as Bane is tough character to play. With a mask on, Bane can only act with his bulk which has shown to be very effective in establishing this character. Also, his dialog has helped to show that Bane is by no mean dumb, really a great opponent to Batman. Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne has to act as much as he can without the mask. He did fine I think. Actually, it is always difficult to play a hero in this kind of movie, cuz the villian usually gets most of the spotlight. However, I think Christian Bale did enough to stand on his own, especially what the script has allowed him to act out the pain and fear that the character has to display in the story. 

The actions of this movie are good, not excessive. The batpod is amazing, the batwing is nice. Also, I like to sound of the movie very much. I think Hans Zimmer has done a great job for that. There is just really not much to criticize on the technical side. 

Nevertheless, there are few questions that I obviously have after seeing the movie. That's why I didn't say this movie is perfect. These are small things, but I still would like to point them out and wonder if anyone has the answers. 

1. Why Batman doesn't use much of his gadgets to fight Bane? Instead, he just go man-to-man fist-to-fist with Bane who is much bigger in size. I don't think I will ever get an answer to that, I think it is just part of the story as why Batman doesn't use gun. 

 2. How Blake find the 'base' at the end of the movie? He was running in the woods with a backpack and a GPS thing of some sort, then suddenly, he found the 'base'. I know why that happen, but I couldn't tell how he find that place. 

3. What is the blood transfusion in the plane-hijack all about? Why that scene happened? 

4. Where is that 'Hell' hole that Bruce Wayne was locked up during his recovery? If that's in a foreign country, how the hell Bruce get back to Graham city on time? That place doesn't really look like New Mexico or Texas to me. 

Anyway, these are minor trivial questions that whether they are answered or not wouldn't affect anyone from enjoying this movie. I would sincerely recommend this movie to anyone who like to be entertained and think afterwards. Surely, NOT a waste of time!

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