Sunday, July 22, 2012

Review of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises

This is a spoiler-free review

The tragedy that occurred in Aurora Colorado during the July 20th opening weekend midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises is understandably in everyone's thoughts.

Had i not been gifted with tickets from Fandango via Swaylo prior to the actions of a real-life villain, i might have resisted seeing this film. And while i with the rest of the nation mourn for the wounded and the loss of life in Aurora, i'm glad i did not give in to fear or morbidity. 

If i had, to borrow a phrase that has become all too necessary to say "then the terrorists win". And even though there was as far as evidence indicates only one assailant and we don't know the motive, make no mistake, the actions that took 12 lives and wounded 58 others is, by the nature of it, an act of terror.


"Oh boy, you are in for a show tonight, son." ~ Gotham City veteran cop to a rookie cop in director/co-screenwriter Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises

With that line, Mr.Nolan could have easily been giving a wink to the movie going audience.

Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth is everything the fans expect of the character and then some. A gentleman's gentleman to the marrow, as well as a friend. The kind of friend who will tell you not just what you want to hear but what you need to be told.

Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox is also enjoyable. Doing as best he can to protect the assets of Wayne Enterprises while maintaining the secrecy of it's namesake's extra-curricular activities.

i really liked the shot of the back of Anne Hathaway's head when we first see her. i don't know if it was Mr.Nolan's intent but the angle from which we see her, Ms Hathaway's nape reminds me of Katie Holmes' and Maggie Gyllenhaal's nape & just for a split second i thought it might have been one or the other of them. A nice nod to the first two female leads of the trilogy.

Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle aka Catwoman [although she is not referred by that alias in this film] for my taste does not generate as much heat as actresses who preceded in giving life to that character but her performance is a good one none the less. She is fun, clever, and does not shy away from danger or kicking ass. Also [as Elaine of Seinfeld said of one of her friends] Ms Hathaway has brows that most women covet.

If OWS had been lead by a buff charismatic sociopath Tom Hardy's Bane would be the prototype. A commanding screen presence.

Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon, Matthew Modine as Deputy Commissioner Foley are good bookends. The former an honorable but troubled man, the latter a decorated police officer but paradoxically, not so much an honorable man.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt as officer and subsequently detective Blake respects and admires Bruce Wayne and instinctively knows what manner of man Wayne truly is.

Christian Bale is easy on the eyes and does a great job as both the dark knight and Bruce Wayne. There is a subtle yet notable distinction between the philanthropist and the caped crusader embodied by the same man.

There are good cameos that got strong positive reactions from the crowd at the screening i attended. Except for a reveal given by one character [and to remain spoiler free i will not say which or what] the outcome in the final scenes did not come as a surprise to me as i was already speculating what they would be given the previous action and implications but i was not any less entertained. Even when i can figure something out before it happens it does not necessarily translate as a negative for me. Plus there is that reveal that did surprise so there is that. Good job Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan [co-screenwriter] and all involved in this action packed thrilling spectacular.

The Dark Knight Rises rated PG-13 is in theaters now.

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