July 23, 2012
Movie Monday: The Dark Knight Rises
I planned what I wanted to say about The Dark Knight Rises almost as soon as I finished watching it, but my opinion still feels changeable. I've been wavering back and forth on several elements since watching it. So here are some short snippets of my thoughts.
Bane: Like! Gail Simone's Secret Six emphasized Bane's talents at strategy as well as brute strength, and I liked that the movie emphasized his ability to plan. It's a nice contrast from the Joker. In close-ups, Tom Hardy wasn't quite up to acting with his eyes alone, but he was terrific at delivering a convincing brutal beatdown.
Catwoman: Love! The Anne Hathaway haters can all be quiet now. She was tough and vulnerable, as needed. Truly a woman who can one-up the Batman.
The Soundtrack: Dislike. There's nothing wrong with the sound of Hans Zimmer's theme, but it seemed like the music was constantly blaring at top volume. I found it intrusive at several points during the movie.
Blake: Asi-asi. Look, I like Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I also liked his portrayal of an honest cop in Gotham. He's living proof of how Gotham has changed since the beginning of the Nolan trilogy in Batman Begins. But I hate, hate, hated that they fudged with my favorite character's origin to do it. One or two line changes and I wouldn't have cared. (Those who have seen the movie, feel free to discuss this with me.)
Marion Tate: Like. Marion Cotillard is everywhere these days and I, for one, am not complaining. Comic fans will be happy.
Cinematography: Meh. It was a touch to dark and there weren't as many memorable shots as The Dark Knight. It was perfectly serviceable, but disappointing from a director as visual as Christopher Nolan.
Bruce Wayne: Dire. I do not like Bruce Wayne as a bearded, limping shut-in. The man is a motivated machine and Rachel's death put him out of commission for eight years, to let Wayne Enterprises and his charity lapse again? The endless scenes of Bruce wondering whether he's lost his edge dragged the movie down.
Overall: I loved The Dark Knight Rises. I loved how it brought the trilogy to a close, drawing on elements from the previous movies and the long history of the comics to make a satisfying film. I thought it was a bit slow in the middle, but the explosive opening and thrilling stretch to the ending make up for it. I thought the casting was wonderful, down to small parts like Burn Gorman as Stryver and Daniel Sunjata as Captain Jones. And of course Nolan found another perfect bit for Cillian Murphy to cameo as Dr. Jonathon Crane. Look, my complains about the movie were small and no, it isn't as good as The Dark Knight, but Nolan made a cohesive, exciting trilogy with an interpretation of Batman relevant to our time. It's a staggering achievement for comic book films. The already announced reboot has a lot to live up to.