Ok, finally I got down to watch this movie, the second highest grossing movie of 2012 (and currently the 7th highest grossing of all time). The Dark Knight Rises is the 3rd and final installment in the Chris Nolan Batman trilogy and sees a conclusion to the story that started off with 2005’s Batman Begins. Nolan not only directed but also co-wrote the script with his brother Jonathan Nolan. The movie visually is a stunning treat, really awesome production and it’s worth seeing a few times in the theatres if you could do so (I ofcourse watched it on my laptop). The actors do a fine job and score is great too.
Joining Christian Bale, who reprises the lead role of Bruce Wayne/Batman, are a returning cast of his allies: Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth, Gary Oldman as James Gordon, and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox. The film introduces the characters of Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), a cunning cat burglar in search of a way to escape her past, and Bane (Tom Hardy), a militant revolutionary out to destroy Gotham City. Also new are Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake & Matthew Modine as Deputy Commissioner Peter Foley. Now for my thoughts on the film and the cast:
- Batman is a bit sidelined in this film what with the film needing more screen time for the added supporting cast as well as the established allies. I would have loved to have more focus on Bale as Batman but that’s just my opinion. After all it’s not Batman and friends but a Batman movie. Having said that I loved the “retired” Batman look and the scenes in the underground prison. The close relationship between Alfred and Bruce is shown to be a bit tensed but it all works out in the end. I would have loved to see Bale in a couple of Batman flicks before he gave it up but c’est la cinema!
- Tom Hardy as Bane – I only know Tom Hardy from his role as Shinzon in Star Trek Nemesis and therefore it is hard for me to reconcile the much slimmer looking Tom from this beefed up version. Plus that voice – it’s irritating to say the least! I read that it is deliberate to have such a contraction between his physicality and his voice. He sounds almost British high class but attacks like a gorilla! Physically & stylistically, Bane is a very different villain for Batman and it works. In their first fight Bane proves to be too much for Batman and manhandles him towards the end, breaking his back and dumping him in the underground prison.
- Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle – a cunning cat burglar who is looking to get er past wiped clean so she can get a fresh start. The beautiful Hathaway is just graceful & sexy in her role. Selina is an associate of Bane’s and double crosses Batman by leading him to a trap but soon regrets her decisions. She later goes to Batman’s aid and ends up killing Bane. She also falls for Bruce Wayne/ Batman.
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake – in a way I felt that the movie was a lot about him. For the longest time I felt that thwy were prepping him up to be Robin in this series but the young, recently promoted detective, who will provide some inspiration for a disillusioned Bruce & Commissioner Gordon, ends up inheriting Batman’s gadgets and Batcave. Good work by JGL!
- Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate: Tate, a member of the Wayne Enterprises executive board who seemingly is an ally, confidant and briefly Wayne’s lover, turns out to be the real villain! Tate intervenes when Batman is about to defeat Baneand stabs Batman, revealing herself to be Talia, Ra’s al Ghul’s child, who escaped the prison aided by her fellow prisoner, Bane. She plans to complete her father’s work by detonating the bomb and destroying Gotham. She is killed in a crash but not before detonating the bomb.
- The rest of the cast are awesome – Gary Oldman as a good guy is such a change, Modine is good too. Cillian Murphy has two short scenes as a kind of judge who’s sentencing is sure death no matter which way it goes. Liam Neeson has a short cameo as does Desmond Harrington and Josh Stewart has a small role as Bane’s right hand man. Juno Temple plays Selina’s friend Jen and Christopher Judge has a blink and you miss it tiny role as a Bane henchmen who gets beaten by Blake!
- I loved the movie all the way until the very end. Bruce Wayne retires for good, faking his death and that of Batman by escaping the detonation. Bruce is given a memorial and Batman is finally honoured as a hero again and he is immortalized in a bronzed statute. The Wayne estate is made into a orphanage while Bruce moves to Europe and starts a life with Selina. The mantle of Batman is to be passed onto to Blake – what is this? The Phantom? Will we have multiple Batman’s? Only time will tell.
8.5 outta 10 for me! Solid movie, except for the ending which left me unsatisfied but stunning overall.