I might have mentioned this in previous reviews, but I’m not particularly a “superhero” type of gal. I generally find the idea of a person who wears spandex and a cape yet is still somehow tough enough to beat the snot out of someone, kind of—-weird. So when I agreed to take my son to the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises, I felt I was a prime candidate for “Mother of the Year” by #1) staying up past 9:30 p.m., and #2) sitting through a 2½ + hour movie about a man with an extreme case of fashion faux pas.
THE GOOD: Several years after District Attorney Harvey Dent’s untimely death, Gotham has been somewhat successful in cleaning up it’s streets, but it’s those who are in charge that have become corrupt—and the citizens are growing uneasy. There are only the rich and the poor, so clearly what we need is a revolution. As if on cue, a new villain emerges, by the name of Bane—-so named, I would assume, because that is exactly what he ends up being to society. His charming suggestion is to put an end to class inequality through tyranny and destruction. Things begin spiraling out of control as normal law abiding citizens begin taking what they believe is rightfully theirs, and chaos abounds. The entire city of Gotham seems to be on the brink of self-annihilation, so where is Batman when you need him?! Well, he’s lying in a giant pit of a prison with a broken back, watching all of it happen before his eyes on the evening news—it’s the final piece to Bane’s plan, letting Bruce Wayne suffer, both physically and mentally, while Bane and his minions systematically destroy everything.
Christian Bale’s sometimes stony performance in previous films is exceptional in this concluding chapter, and he is joined by Joseph Gordon Levitt who plays the rookie cop, John Blake, with a childhood connection to Batman (DC comic buffs will know exactly where this is headed), along with the talented Anne Hathaway who plays cat burglar Salina Kyle. Although she is never referred to SPECIFICALLY as “Catwoman”, except in an allusion by a newspaper headline, she does so much justice to the character—–and that bodysuit—-that you may never be able to imagine anyone else playing the part. On a side note, I came home and immediately googled what diet and exercise plan she followed to fit into that costume. I am not ashamed to admit that I now have a picture of Catwoman on my diet motivation board on Pinterest.
THE BAD: It’s tempting to compare Bane’s character to that of the late Heath Ledger’s “Joker”, and if you do, be prepared to be disappointed. There certainly isn’t the depth or charisma, but clearly Bane (Tom Hardy) is a force to be reckoned with, and kind of reminded me of my Russian hot yoga instructor when he was in a foul mood. The man is obviously pissed off about something, and we come to learn that it’s mostly about his crappy childhood. Clad in his “Silence of the Lambs/”worst-orthodontic-headgear-nightmare-you’ve ever seen” mask, Hardy is a great actor, but is at times difficult to understand. I will be the first to admit that there were moments in the film when, after he uttered a line meant to incite panic or terror, I fully expected some of the characters to look around at each other and shrug. “I don’t know WHAT he’s trying to say dude—-what did YOU hear?”
If you’re going to be a fearsome villain, you have to ENUNCIATE.
THE UGLY: Yes, the movie is dark and brutal. And yes, it’s almost excruciatingly painful listening to people hypothesize that this movie is CLEARLY an analogy of certain political parties involved in this year’s election. (For the record—give me a break. How about it’s simply a story of really bad things happening to a society when greed and lawlessness takes over? Do we REALLY want to pull at the string of WHICH political party that best describes?) But let’s talk about what is the most unsavory part of the film—-and that is how you can take a looker like Tom Hardy and make him virtually unrecognizable—and icky. Please see my previous review for ‘This Means War’ to get a complete understanding of just how far of a leap this is. If nothing else, this film should get an award for makeup and special effects.
‘The Dark Knight Rises’ will undoubtedly go down in history as one of Christopher Nolan’s greatest achievements, and will definitely please even the diehard fans who felt the Dark Knight didn’t get the credit it was due during the 2008 awards season. It even made me reconsider my view of men who wear latex—–I still draw the line at capes though.
The Trophy Wife gives this movie 4 trophies.
The Dark Knight Rises has a running time of 2 hrs 45 minutes and is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality and language. (No F words)
Source by Crista White