Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My First Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises

The main reason this is my first movie review is because this is (sadly) the first movie I've watched in a LONG TIME. And I don't even want to get into how long it has been since I've seen a movie in the theater-- does Avatar come to mind? OK, maybe I've seen something more recent.

But I digress. I was looking forward to this final entry into the wonderful Batman trilogy done directed by Christopher Nolan. I have to say I'm a huge fan of Christian Bale and have been since his much younger days when he starred in Disney's less well known Newsies (still have that soundtrack) and played Teddy in Little Women. Since then, he has really honed his acting skills and has become an excellent actor, and to me, is the perfectly cast for Batman.

I have heard mixed reviews from my friends about this movie. I think in some aspects that is because this is really not Bruce Wayne's movie or Batman's even. I would argue that this movie is really James Gordon and John Blake's movie.

Just as a short synopsis for those of you who have not seen this movie yet (but honestly, I think I was probably one of the last people to do so since it's been out a while), eight years has passed since the events of the last movie. Batman has taken the fall for Harvey Dent, who died in the last movie, and Bruce has become a recluse. Gordon has perpetuated this lie in order to politically keep evil people behind bars (don't tell me to explain this to you because I didn't really get it), but now, a new menace has come to town-- a hulking brute with a sinister voice named Bane. He has mysterious ties to Bruce's old mentor from the first movie, and he decides to take up Batman's mantle once again.

This synopsis makes it seem like the focus would be on Bruce/Batman. But it's not. Most of the movie, which I loved, is focused on John Blake and his ideals as a police officer. We learn how he grew up and because of this, how he understands Batman better than probably anyone else. He makes one of the most interesting character arcs in the movie, and his decision at the end of the movie is very satisfying.

The second most important is Gordon. He has felt unbelievably guilty about the burden of this lie he has been keeping, and he almost decides to bring the truth to light, but then decides against it. Unsurprisingly, this comes to haunt him later on in the film, and he continues to play a nice foil to both young Blake and Bruce himself.

A newcomer that I loved was Anne Hathaway as Catwoman. I never really liked Rachel Dawes as a love interest, and finally in this series dominated by male superheroes, we get a woman that kicks butt. I like that she is not the conventional good girl, she starts out as a thief and then can't get out of it since that's all she's ever known. I also loved the touch of her goggles as her "cat" ears. I do wonder at the reason for the mask-- no one in the audience or even in the movie is fooled at all. Maybe it's just to finish off the tight leather bodysuit?

There are some great twists that were not completely surprising but incredibly satisfying. I love how the story came full circle and it reminds me how much I appreciate when movies and books are well done. I wholeheartedly award this movie 5 out of 5 stars. I think out of all of the superhero movies, the Batman trilogy as a whole has been the strongest of any of them.

What did you think of the latest Batman installment?

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  1. Avatar?? Girl, you must be living under a rock!!
    Great review, though, I haven't watched The Dark Knight Rises yet, but I intend to. I love Hathaway, so glad she's part of this movie! :)

    Ana @ BookSpark