Dave’s 3-Word Review:
A conclusive ending.
Take yourself back a year or two. It is the peak of summer films 2012. What most would define as the most anticipated films of the year, let alone the summer, was The Dark Knight Rises. Batman Begins was great, and The Dark Knight was phenomenal. Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker was one of the most iconic roles in film history. The question on everyone’s mind is, how does the film measure up, and does it really need to? Can it be viewed as a standalone film? All these questions are rolled up into one…will The Dark Knight Rises “rise” to everyone’s expectations?
When we last left Batman, he was seen fleeing from the world, retiring the mask and cape. He took the blame for the death of Harvey Dent to reassure that Gotham once had a hero, someone to look up to, a white knight if you will. Eight years later is when our tale begins. We are introduced to a new villain whose name may sound familiar, Bane. Along with Bane, Catwoman showed up in the mix as well. Bane wants the city of Gotham to burn. There is a reason behind all of this, but revealing that would be revealing a secret which would spoil the experience. When Commissioner Gordon is put in the hospital, Batman decides it’s time to return the city as they need him more than ever. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Blake, a city cop that thinks outside the box, and knows there’s more to Batman than what he has been told the past eight years.
Catwoman in this film is not your average Catwoman. Never in the film do you hear her being called “Catwoman”. She was not eaten by a flock of cats (that we know of) nor does she have a whip or razor sharp diamond claws. Only once or twice does she have a cat-like purring tone. Her suit was simply okay, not terrible, but not expected from Catwoman.
This film is nearly three hours in length, and Bruce Wayne dawns the cape only three times in the film. That’s right, a majority of the film does not focus on Batman himself, but rather Bruce’s internal training to get back into the shape of things. It also focuses a lot more on Bane’s havoc on the town, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s role in helping the police as well as Batman into stopping Bane once and for all.
One thing I need to point out is this film was filmed in New York City, while the others were filmed in Chicago, a city that closely resembles Gotham anyway. You can tell too, there are several flying shots that look like nothing else but New York City, which kind of slightly disappoints. It’s also pretty obvious that out of every single Batman movie…ever…this was clearly New York. Heck, it even looked more obvious than some of the Superman movies out there. You ask me, and there’s a slight problem with that. Gotham City doesn’t really look like New York, Metropolis does.
So does it rise to the occation? Tough question, because the first two or three times I saw it, I didn’t think so. Like so many others, my mind was stuck on The Dark Knight. Literally nothing could pass that bar. It was only a question on if it did great on it’s own, and you know what…it really did. I truly believe that The Dark Knight is the best all around, but my God, does this have a really solid story as well. Not only that, but the structure of the story was clearly given a lot of thought. It was a long one, but they put it together amazingly. Take my advice and try your hardest not to immediately compare this to its predecessor.
The last time I watched this, I thought it was closer to Batman Begins, but honestly after watching them over again, I think it’s closer to The Dark Knight in a lot more ways, and I’m absolutely fine with that. I also noticed that it’s just gotten better with every viewing – which is a rarity for me and movies. If you haven’t seen it, watch it for sure. If you have, watch it again for sure – you might be interested to see how much you’ll like it more.
As amazing of a movie as this was, Bane doesn’t have the same iconic oomph as The Joker did. Nor did he in the older movies, nor I’m guessing does he in any of the cartoons or comics. The Joker is Batman’s exact opposite, in all actuality – The Dark Knight should have been the last movie. That being said…they shouldn’t have made this New York. Never did I think while watching, – hey that’s Gotham City. Um, no, that’s freakin’ New York, you idiot.
Bane: We will destroy Gotham and then, when it is done and Gotham is ashes, then you have my permission to die