I saw The Dark Knight Rises for a second time and have some more thoughts. Let’s commence.
First off let me say, it gets better the second time. This time I entered the movie knowing what was wrong with it and I guess my brain just tuned them out because I made it through the problems in the first half easily and I got to enjoy it and fall more in love with it than the first time. Here’s a bullet list of things I wanna point out.
1). The score
How incredible is Hans Zimmer? I mean that score is so pulsating. Much like The Dark Knight he keeps a certain tune going the entire time. But in this movie I loved how he gave a character a specific tune. Batman had the theme that has been in each movie, Catwoman had that beautiful piano part, and Bane had the chanting that haunts us in our sleep every night now. While everything is falling apart around the movie, this score just pulsates the screen like a heart to a body, pumping music in and raising our hearts while it grows stronger. He already was one of my favorite composers but he affirms this with this latest score. Again showing that Mr. Zimmer is one of the best in the business.
2). The cinematography
God this is a beautiful movie. For all the faults it has there’s one it doesn’t and that’s the way it looks. Both Chris Nolan and Wally Pfister are on the top of their game. The shot that I love most is when the bridges are exploding (it was featured also in the trailer). When I saw it in IMAX, that particular shot just stuck out and grabbed me. It felt like I was being engulfed in the scene. On that IMAX screen this shot was just mystifying.
3). Joesph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, and Anne Hathaway
I didn’t get to go crazy about these three nearly enough in my review. They. Were. Spectacular. Let’s start with Mr. Gordon-Levitt. This is his second Nolan movie, first being Inception, and he excels in this role. I thought his part in Inception while great action-wise was not written as well as some of the other parts and he was left with a lot of one-liners. As Blake, he totally gets into the role and the personality of this Gotham cop. While he does introduce one of the plot holes, he still steals the show in the second and third acts that you would expect be dominated by Bane or Batman. He is the light within Gotham while Batman is away and plays the role of the hero without a mask. I thought he displayed great talent in this role and while I was already a fan of his work before this movie, I continue to be and am excited for his future fares.
Now to Mr. Hardy. As I said in my review, he isn’t Heath Ledger’s Joker, he’s different. While the Joker was more of an adversary of the mind and not really looking to destroy Gotham but rather make Batman destroy it himself. Hardy’s Bane is a more physical adversary to Batman and wants to see Gotham burn. Much like Ra’s Al Ghoul in Batman Begins, Bane carries that intent to see the corrupt of Gotham burn which is why the plot lines of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight Rises line up so well. But the thing I liked most about Bane was not his goals but how Hardy played the character. His voice while kind of funny at first, quickly became scary and the way he held himself was intimidating. Hardy plays the character with so much intensity even though all we can see is his eyes. It’s crazy how good of a job he did with such little facial features to work with.
Now to Ms. Hathaway. First off like the Congressman, I’m in love. While many still find Michell Pfeiffer to be the better Catwoman, I disagree and have to go with Hathaway’s portrayal. She mixes that sex appeal with smarts. It kicks in when she comes across Bruce Wayne the very first time and he reveals that he knows what she’s up to. Her whole personality switches and she changes from the maid to Selina Kyle in a second with one line, “Oops.” I love it. Throughout the movie she continues to thrive in the role and her fight scenes with Batman are a joy to watch. I wish we could of had more.
4). My favorite parts
Here are a few of my favorite moments in the movie.
- Bane’s speech: When he is on top of the Tumbler and is speaking to Gotham before letting the prisoners out, I could just give him an award. Hardy does the speech with such grace and personality much like the Joker talking about how he got his scars you have to go crazy over how well this actor gave this speech and how great a villain they are.
- Wayne climbing from the Pit: When Bruce Wayne finally gets out of the pit, it is such a great moment. Much like the discovery of the Batcave in Batman Begins you have that Zimmer score going with the theme song, the bats flying out, and the triumph of Bruce Wayne to get you pumped for the epic final act of the movie. I love the way Nolan filmed it with one shot in particular where Wayne was climbing up and he put the camera behind him looking up and you could see just the magnitude of how difficult and high the pit actually was. Greatness.
- The final act: Not much more I can say about it but how incredible it was. The intensity in every second was exhilarating. The twists coming at you left and right. I can’t say much more than just wow.
I’m going to link to my Study of Christopher Nolan right here and put The Dark Knight Rises in the ranking of all of his movies. While it is a really good film like I said in my review the obvious plot holes and lazy writing make the movie fall short of some of the other great Nolan movies. Here’s the new ranking.
1. The Dark Knight
4. The Dark Knight Rises
5. The Prestige
6. Batman Begins
It beats Batman Begins due to the great villain and ending that The Dark Knight Rises had and Batman Begins lacked. Actually let me say more memorable villain. It still is behind Inception due to Inception’s impeccable writing and story that leaves you thrilled and shocked the entire time. That’s also the case with Memento which just had a better and more well tied together story than The Dark Knight Rises.
I still really enjoyed this movie though and I can’t wait to see Nolan do more. His original content is so interesting that I’m excited to see him do more of it with a larger cast of stars like the Batman trilogy. Now let’s begin to look forward to Man of Steel shall we?