|Full Circle||1 out of 2 users found this review helpful.|
I feel as if to properly give a review of a film with such cultural magnitude I should share my personal experience with the movie which I am discussing. I pre-purchased my tickets for the film the previous night, because I was highly anticipating this film for quite some time now. The following day I found out about the Aurora Colorado tragedy and I was saddened and fearful much like anyone else. This one film was the most awaited cinema experience for me of the entire year, and now it had this horrible, tragic stigma surrounding it. After much deliberation I felt that it would be appropriate to see the film to support all those involved in making the movie during such a trying time, not only for the Dark Knight franchise, but also for the movie theater industry.
The opening sequence of the film immediately engaged me, and was helpful in pulling me away from reality, thankfully. Without spoiling the details of the main antagonist Bane's introduction, I will say that his meticulous planning for this opening sequence is not even the tip of the iceberg for his devious plans that unfold later in the film. Bane is cunning, fearless, and exhumes overwhelming dominance, physically and mentally, over his foes. Bane could be called the complete anti-thesis of Batman, yet his tactics and proverbial "work ethic" run almost parallel with the Dark Knight; a sound game plan of preparation, physical supremacy, and a acute execution of employing fear. Tom Hardy gives an excellent performance, which is even more extraordinary due to the fact that Mr. Hardy is wearing a mask during the majority of the film. I feel that most peoples opinions on Hardy's vocal performance is split; some feel as if his diction is far too abstract from the visual grandeur of such a physical specimen. I on the other hand felt a strong vibe from another character played by Hardy who is similar to Bane ; the eccentric Charles Bronson. While the accent is different, there is a very socialite flair to his demeanor, with a bit of sarcasm and humor. It was a unexpected way for Hardy to portray the masked villain, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching him on screen.
The next big character of the film is The Catwoman, played by Anne Hathaway. I was not particularly as keen on this version of Catwoman. While her character did walk the line between heroine and villainess through the film I felt as if her back story and motivation was not explained too clearly. When asked why she commits certain plot pieces in the film it is simply stated that "she is in too deep" or that "she owes too much" to the antagonists of the film, yet does not give specific details as to what that may be. She wants to erase her "criminal history" , yet if that is of such importance it holds the disbelief that it would just perpetuate even more problems. If Catwoman has such an issue with her criminal identity, it seems strange that she could infiltrate Wayne Manor with such ease. If Selina Kyle can blend into a socialite Ball without garnering any attention, it proposes the notion that Kyle's criminal identity is clearly not such a pressing issue. At one point she is infiltrating Wayne Manor as a maid, and in another she is off running around Gotham with a missing Congressman, conducting under the table business deals with corporate goons, which is splintered off from another plot thread. The issue with this lies as to what exactly is Selina Kyle, the Catwoman? Briefly explaining that she is a jewel thief with an unspecified debt, vague "criminal history" and lack of interaction with her superiors deflates her purpose in the film. Even the costume is somewhat strange, her "cat ears" are apparently night vision goggles, but their shape just make the role of Catwoman feel forced and unnecessary, considering the Nolan Batman film's characterizations are the complete opposite. In summary, I felt that the film throws the Catwoman at you, screaming "Hey, its the Catwoman!" without giving any sort of creative explanation that usually is form for the Nolan Batman universe. I also felt as if I have seen a similar yet far superior female super hero character in all black, The Avenger's Black Widow. My misgivings about the Catwoman should not take away from Anne Hathaway's performance. There are a few memorable moments that are very Catwoman-esque that ride heavily on Hathaway's talents. Whether its using male assumptions about helpless women in a humorous manner, or "whispering" her opinions on Gotham's wealthy elite into a compromised Bruce Waynes ear. Hathaway gives a relatively entertaining take on the Catwoman in every scene.
Another new major role which deserves mention is one of the most positive and endearing roles in the film, and that is Joseph Gordon-Levitt's portrayal of Gotham Police officer John Blake. Officer John Blake represents the minority of Gotham's opinion of Batman. It is revealed that Batman has become the public enemy of Gotham due to his sacrifice of becoming the martyr for the death of Harvey Dent from the previous film the Dark Knight. In order to keep faith of the law and order in Gotham it was necessary to save the image of Dent and create a reason and purpose for the people to believe in the police organization against the overwhelming amount of terror that strikes Gotham. Blake seeks the truth about Batman, and in this motivation he becomes the true hero that Gotham needs. He does not take the easy way out and he does not change his beliefs to meet his goals. Even in the face of adversity and criticism, Blake does not commit to doing anything to compromise sanity, nor does he do anything to twist or manipulate his police duty. What Blake does is continue to investigate and dig deep into the conspiracy that threatens Gotham, and without his commitment to walk the balance between discovering the truth and following the chain of command. Eventually Blake makes a breakthrough in his personal investigation that leads to the support of injured Commissioner Gordon, and with this he becomes a pivotal tool to the protection of Gotham. Levitt's character is calm, and uses critical thinking skills to assess the crisis at hand. At one point Blake makes a mistake involving a suspect in the overall plan of Bane, but even when he acknowledges that he possibly killed someone who has the information the police needs, he figures out enough to at least attempt to stop a fairly problematic situation. Even when his last minute revelation does not stop the inevitable, Blake continues to support the fear stricken city, and never loses hope. Joseph Gordon Levitt absolutely oozes with determination and inspiration, and his character which was created for the film has shown a lot of depth and charisma. I feel as if this character will find it's way into other mediums of the Batman franchise, so don't be surprised if Detective John Blake shows up in the comic continuity. Given there is a nice nod about who John Blake actually represents, I feel that he deserves a separate identity from that certain manifestation. In my opinion, Officer John Blake is a lot like The Batman: Animated Series' Harley Quinn. Like Quinn, I think Blake was such a fantastic character that he deserves to be a permanent fixture in all Batman lore, and not just involved in the modicum of the Nolan films.
Now that I have examined the newest additions to film, I believe a overall analyzing of Batman and the Dark Knight Rises is in order. When Bruce Wayne is first shown in Rises, I was immediately took back to Batman Begins. Wayne is a disheveled mess. I was harkened back to how Wayne was portrayed in the first film when he was barely beginning to train with the League of Shadows. At this moment, Wayne was confused and unsure of his purpose. The death of his parents eventually inspired him to become Batman to fight the evil forces that plagued Gotham. With the deaths of Rachel Dawes and District Attorney Harvey Dent, once again Bruce Wayne is in the same position. The first half of the film is revolved around the villains putting together their scheme, in which its full depth and scope of how and why is revealed late in the film (with a nice twist), meanwhile Bruce Wayne has to rebuild himself to return under the mantle of the Bat. The movies takes Batman to a point where, much like the comics, he fails in his attempt to stop Bane. Bane completely pulls the rug from under his feet, and this is where the prior two films are put into perspective into why Bruce is Batman. This is where everything becomes full circle for the trilogy. Almost every aspect of what Wayne has done, his role in Wayne industries, his dealings with Lucious Fox, and his relationship with Alfred Pennyworth comes to a very dramatic apex. Nearly every major character focus in Batman Begins and the Dark Knight returns in some form or another to give fuel to the fire in the final confrontation not only with saving Gotham from a very real threat, but also the undertones of other aspects of the problems within Gotham. The consequences of Bruce Waynes dealings with Ra's al Ghul, and how the decisions made at the end of the Dark Knight are all fuel to the train that pushes every moment to its final scene. Once all the players in the story are revealed with their true intentions, and once all of the cards are put into play the viewer realizes that this is not a trilogy, it is not a collection of three separate sagas placed in chronological order. All three films are one, it is one saga, one story. Even if the movies were released years apart, you never forget that what happened before this film, which is what makes the Nolan Batman films one singular experience. The only thing that I can say negative about the film is that the beginning plot threads can be a little bit hard to follow at the beginning of the Dark Knight Rises film, but once everything comes together, The Dark Knight Rises absolutely melts into the previous two film with such cohesiveness, it makes the continuity feel so natural, and so well written. It really makes an effort to show that while this film is called "The Dark Knight Rises" it is not just about the Dark Knight "rising" to overcome. It is about every character rising above their own weaknesses and insecurities. One absolutely emotional evidence of this is a moment where a certain secret is revealed between Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth. Alfred has to confront Wayne about the mistakes he has made, and watching Michael Caine in such an emotional state is a moment that really shows what the meaning of the movie is all about. Coming out of this film I was given the impression that no matter what your intentions, whether good or bad, you will eventually have to face the consequences of your decisions, again, whether the outcome of those consequences are "good" or "bad".
The Dark Knight Rises has a satisfying conclusion, and its plot takes various turns which reveals that everything that has happened to Bruce Wayne comes completely full circle. As I mentioned earlier, there is a rather sad blight upon this film due to the horrific incident that happened in Aurora Colorado, and it truly saddens me. It's no surprise that the media may have twisted this film into something it is not. It is not a movie to be avoided because of this. I am glad I viewed this film when I did, and I take no shame in saying that. I implore those who decided to not view this film because it may be perceived as a paragon of guilt, to hopefully some day give this film a chance. While I can understand that some may temporarily abandon this film out of respect for the victims, I can honestly say that walking out of this film I felt a emotional attachment to the movie. It taught me that during times of crisis and fear, you can always find the courage to rise above.
Trailer 2: The Dark Knight Rises
It's finally here in an HD, non-watermarked format!
Teaser: The Dark Knight Rises
The talk of the town is finally here and no longer in shaky cam. Get a glimpse of Bane!
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