Sunday, July 15, 2012

Dark Knight Rises (2012)

The highly anticipated conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s epic Dark Knight Trilogy certainly lived up to its towering expectations. Each film of the trilogy has a central theme: fear for “Batman Begins”, chaos for “The Dark Knight”, and pain for “The Dark Knight Rises”. Earning around $90 million on the release date, this film is set to make an estimated $160 million this weekend, the second highest weekend gross compared to The Avengers’ $207 million.

It has been 8 years since the events in “The Dark Knight”. Meeting his match physically and mentally, Batman comes out of hiding to prevent Bane (Tom Hardy), leader of the League of Shadows, from overthrowing Gotham and taking control of a massive nuclear weapon. Several new characters are introduced such as Selina Kyle a.k.a. Catwoman (Anne Hathaway), John Blake a.k.a. Robin (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), and Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard). An additional vehicle to the Batmobile was introduced as well: The Bat, an aircraft designed by Fox (Morgan Freeman).

One of my favorite things about this film is the sound track by Hans Zimmer. The deep pounding rhythm of the drums blasting in my ears combined with the fierce chanting of the people of Gotham tremendously intensifies the cinematic experience. Christopher Nolan usually co-writes the scripts for his films and, once again, he was quite secretive about the story, revealing the conclusion to the cast verbally to prevent any leaks. I love that Christopher Nolan provides a darker and more realistic tone to the film, despite the fact that it’s a superhero story.

With a 165-minute duration, I believe they could have spent more time on extending action scenes. Since this massive crowd was assembled for the final fight scene between cops and inmates, the fight sequence could have lasted an extra few minutes. Though, I loved the lingering wide shots of Gotham City’s demise because it allows the audience to absorb the magnitude of the crisis from an outside perspective as it’s being cut off from the rest of the world. They also could have spent time to explain why Bane wears the mask for those who haven’t read the comic books. However, I read that the mask provides him with gas that serves as an anesthetic for a previous injury to alleviate his constant chronic pain, hence the theme of the film.

This film was well casted with most of the actors from Christopher Nolan’s previous film Inception including Marion Cotillard, Michael Caine, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Cillian Murphy. Each villain of the previous films made an appearance with the exception of The Joker, out of respect to Heath Ledger. Tom Hardy is a brilliant choice for the villain and gained 30 pounds for the role of Bane, a massive, imposing character with immense strength donning a mask and a bulletproof vest. What’s odd is that his voice in the first scene is different than in the rest of the film; though, I find it quite menacing and well done.

 Christian Bale will not be reprising his role as Bruce Wayne unless Christopher Nolan approaches him with a script. However, this is unlikely since the director is putting the Dark Knight films behind him to work on other projects. He also co-wrote and will produce “Man of Steel” coming out next summer, which will be directed by Zack Snyder. This is a great team because Christopher Nolan adds depth to the film while Zack Snyder will create stunning action scenes and special effects. I look forward to this Superman reboot, and I encourage you to go see “The Dark Knight Rises” in theaters if you haven’t already!

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