Posted by: greercn | July 22, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

It’s the most hyped and hotly-anticipated movie of the summer. Yet, comments on its release and reviews have been overshadowed by the dreadful event in Aurora, Colorado.

So, that grim darkness will always affect how we think about “The Dark Knight Rises”.

I went to see it on the first day of release at the BFI IMAX with a packed audience and we were all very excited to be there. The full force of the movie comes alive in IMAX and I would recommend anyone who can to see it in that format.

How good a movie is it? It held my attention for 165 minutes, with only two peeks at the watch.

Christopher Nolan’s third and final film in his reimagining of the Batman DC Comic character brings closure to the various plot strands, but there is way too much material for the thoughtful viewer to be completely satisfied.

Bruce Wayne is a shadow of his former self. Christian Bale’s face and tone are bleak. It’s eight years since Batman has been around and he is a public enemy.

You don’t need to have seen the first two movies in this trilogy to enjoy this, as the back story is told.

A new threat comes to Gotham City in the form of Tom Hardy’s epic villain Bane. It’s a chaotic film, influenced by ideas of revolution and rebellion agaist the established order.

Bruce perks up a bit when Selina/Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) and Miranda (Marion Cotillard) come along.

Soon, the bad guys are winning and they have awesome weapons. Can Batman rise again and save the city?

It’s one of the peculiarities of the Batman myth that you find yourself cheering for a millionaire businessman instead of for the little guy.

One of the big messages here is that Nolan tries to nuance his characters, in the light of political events.

He would have needed a much longer movie to make this point effectively. As it is, the effects are spectacular and the attacks and battles are all beautifully done, with that dark light andĀ distant hopeful sky all present and correct as in any Nolan movie.

Despite the length, it often feels choppy and like scenes have been cut significantly. There are abrupt changes of pace and style.

Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon and Michael Caine as Alfred have terrific moments, as does Morgan Freeman. Anne Hathaway brings the only moments of humour and this is of the sardonic variety.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is just fantastic.What a commanding presence he has.

It’s all very much a movie for troubled times and, quite honestly, I missed Heath Ledger’s Joker.

But the ending? No spoilers here, but I found the ending disturbing and unsatisfying. See it, because people will be talking about this everywhere. All in all, I enjoyed it – with significant reservations.

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