Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Jason reviews The Dark Knight Rises

As a film fan, there's no better feeling than watching a movie told by a master storyteller. Few writer/directors can claim to be such a filmmaker, but Christopher Nolan is certainly one of them. He's proved it with his first two Batman films and movies like Inception and Memento, and he drives the point home with The Dark Knight Rises.

Eight years after events in The Dark Knight a new threat, Bane, overwhelms Gotham's finest and breaks the hero the city has labelled its enemy. Plus there's a mysterious and sexy cat burglar in town who may or may not side with the Batman.

Nolan's final Batman film -- and there's no doubt that this story is done -- is just as complex and gritty as The Dark Knight, weaving multiple characters and story arcs into one very grown-up take on what is an epic comic-book story. There's a lot of movie in the two-hour-and-45-minute running time, but everything moves so fast you don't notice.

Yet the film isn't all action. There's humour, heart, redemption and a morality lesson or two at play here. A good bye between Alfred and Bruce Wayne is especially moving, as is a final encounter between Batman and James Gordon. It's rare to find an action movie with an emotional core, but Nolan and company pull it off.

The Dark Knight Rises is also a statement on the recent Occupy movement and global economic climate, with Tom Hardy's Bane (Hardy is great here) representative of what many in the world are feeling, only with a vengeful heart. 

And let's not forget Anne Hathaway's Selina Kyle. We've had some great embodiments of Catwoman before, but Hathaway pulls off the performance of her career here. She's as tough as she is sexy -- and she is very sexy! I never thought anyone would make me forget Michelle Pfeiffer's spin on the character, but Hathaway is perfect in the role.

I could write about this movie forever, and mention how good Joseph Gordon-Levitt is or how awesome a Batman/Bruce Wayne Christian Bale has been --  I really could. This is at least as good as The Dark Knight, but is in some ways better. Warner Bros. will surely attempt a reboot, but I won't be seeing them. Nolan's films are the only Batman stories worth any salt. The world doesn't need any more.

Good. Damn Good!

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