THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
With Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Cain, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson
Written by Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer (based on the comic book characters created by Bob Kane)
Directed by Christopher Nolan
The new generation Batman trilogy comes to a close with this huge production.
After landing the blame for tragic deaths in The Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne takes it hard and disappears into the shadows. But he is drawn out when Bane, a new villain makes his violent entry to the Gotham City outlaw stage, holding the city hostage with a massive bomb. A sexy cat burglar also weaves into the narrative (Hathaway looking good but not coming close to Pfeifer's rendition of Tim Burton's Catwoman). Some faces of the past get resurrected, and double-crossers in high places raise the stakes. With new technology Batman and other resistance fighters within the police force fight to free their besieged city, with character backgrounds and motivations also slowly drawn out across the narrative.
The issue of the wealthy elite and the struggling little people also get highlighted, and the creation of Batman side-kick Robin is also hinted at.
Clocking in at almost 160 minutes, this is quite a marathon, but with so much to be said, and filmmakers at the top of their game, most won't get numb-butt while being drawn into this blend of human drama and action.
With a far more realistic touch than Burton and Schumacher's more cartoon flavoured renditions, these movies (however well-made and exciting they are) lack that fantasy element, even the location of New York City blatantly evident (making it hard for me to see it as 'Gotham City'). And, the Batman voice can still sometimes be distracting (especially if you're trying to figure out what he's saying in the middle of a noisy fight!). While on the subject of voices, Bane's pompous accent and delivery is just plane ridiculous(!), and far too articulated stuck behind that mask. But hey, I guess it needs to retain some kind of comic book element, besides the gadgets and tech.
No extra features on this release, unfortunately.
5 / B
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temperature
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished