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The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Eight years on, a new terrorist leader, Bane, overwhelms Gotham’s finest, and the Dark Knight resurfaces to protect a city that has branded him an enemy.

It’s been 4 years since the world saw the release of ‘The Dark Knight’ and the anticipation for this 3rd Nolan directed movie is huge.
Christopher Nolan is a mixed bag to me, I don’t feel the love for ‘The Prestige’ or ‘Inception’ the way a lot of people did. And I still feel to this day that The Dark Knight is basically one brilliant (and because of his death) last performance by Heath Ledger.

Having said that, I loved what Nolan has done with the character of Batman up until now, and being as skeptical as I was going into this, I have to admit this is the best superhero movie ever made. And, one of the best movies ever made. If there’s one superhero movie that should be nominated for Oscars, this is the one.

First things first, the cast is comprised of regulars of the series, Christian Bale once again dons the suit of Batman, Gary Oldman is the chief of police, Michael Caine plays the part of Alfred and Morgan Freeman plays Lucius Fox. Now, having said that, there are some new additions to this already impressive cast, Tom Hardy plays the main threat of the movie called Bane (more on him in a bit) and Anne Hathaway plays Selina Kyle (a.k.a. Catwoman) and we also get the extremely talented Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Blake, an up and coming police officer.

Each and every single actor shines in his or her role, Christian gets the chance to really explore the character of Bruce Wayne because of a more focussed view on what’s at stake. It’s this choice by Nolan that pushes this movie into realms most other movies could only dream of. He takes maximum advantage of the fact that we all know each character by heart, and gives them story arks that benefit them. Whether it’s Alfred who serves as Batman’s conscience and father, or Lucius Fox as the Batman anthology’s answer to Q from Bond.
I was also deeply moved at how intriguing this story turned out being.

Bane is mostly known from his comic form where his best turn as a villain was when he broke Batman’s back. I wasn’t convinced he would be a worthy replacement for the joker as he’s not a particularly layered character. Yet, in that regard Christopher Nolan has proven me wrong as well. Bane is blunt force with a brain, Tom Hardy gives it his all and actually looks like he could play the hulk without CGI. His speech, to those who were worried, is perfectly fine and menacing, and his motives to all of his plans are cleverly thought out.
No eternal life, no money, he just wants to take away the boundries between the rich and the poor.
It’s terrifying to say the least.

Moving on from Tom to another newcomer: Catwoman!
Once again, Mr. Nolan knows what audience he has to deal with and skips her origin story.
No cats licking her face, no good girl turned bad, she just exists within this world, and she’s believable.
Anne Hathaway (seen here on the right) has never truely convinced me of either her sexyness or her acting abilities. It’s ironic to see her give such a great performance in a role that basically killed Halle Berry’s career in 92 minutes.

Not once referred to as Catwoman, Selina Kyle is a burglar, and a convincing one as well. She’s smart and manages to feel like a necessary part of the story. She binds a lot together and you don’t get that Spiderman 3 feeling where there’s just too many characters trying to step into the spotlight.

Smart is a definition that sums up a lot that’s been done by Christopher Nolan.
He never once falls for that huge pitfall called believability as he gives us a story with larger than life characters and let it take place in a realistic environment. You really feel that this could be happening in a real world, Bane is just a big dude, Catwoman a smart burglar and for those who never thought this true, Batman is nothing more than a dude with money and gadgets. It’s this realism that elevates it from all other superhero movies.

And then there’s this guy called Joseph Gordon something?
Once playing a nerdy dude in a sitcom called ‘3rd rock from the sun’, Joseph’s claim to fame has come as no surprise to insiders.
After brilliant turns in smaller and lesser known movies such as Brick and Killshot, Joseph went on to star in Inception, 50/50 and has another 3 movies coming out this year, it’s safe to say he’s one of the biggest up and comers in Hollywood. He totally fits the role of Blake, an up and comer in the Gotham police force who serves as the voice of the common people.

There has been a lot of debate about his inclusion in this movie, and the question most people have is whether or not he is the new Robin.
While Christopher Nolan has always said that he would never include Robin since he found him to be a waste of time, I won’t go into a lot of detail about his particular part in this story. Don’t take that as a ‘ow he’s robin’ and just take it for what it is, I dont spoiler a great movie like this, and his (and others) importance in the story shall not be discussed here.

The movie is long though, clocking in at just under 3 hours, The Dark Knight Rises, sure does take time to rise, and never once did I feel that it should have been shorter. Every second of the time available has been used for the proper goal, which is to end this saga on a high note.
While Christopher Nolan has already claimed he won’t return for a 4th part, as well as Christian Bale, after you’ve finished this absolute masterpiece, you’ll start sending him your salary to convince him to give it another go. Not just the best movie of this year, or the best superhero movie ever, this is a reason to absolutely love everything there is to love about Nolan, Batman and Cinema in general.

9.5/10 stars!

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Discussion

3 thoughts on “The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

  1. amazing write up. TDKR has set the bar even higher, it seems.

    Posted by Victor De Leon | July 21, 2012, 00:39
  2. This was a really good read Sir Knoop. You made me even more excited if this was possible. I’ll comment more after I saw the movie. Kudos for this review though…!

    Posted by JK | July 21, 2012, 12:07
  3. Saw it in the movies 2 weeks ago, quite impressed, but I think I prefer The dark knight (2008) more!

    Posted by matej | August 25, 2012, 20:23

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