Sunday, August 03, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—The Dark Knight Rises (2012) ***

PG-13, 165 min.
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writers: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer, Bob Kane (characters)
Starring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Matthew Modine, Alon Moni Aboutboul, Ben Mendelsohn, Burn Gorman, Nestor Cabronell, Brett Cullen, Reggie Lee, Chris Ellis, Juno Temple, Thomas Lennon, Rob Brown, William Devane, Joey King, Liam Neeson, Cillian Murphy, Hines Ward

I was one of the disappointed when I originally saw the conclusion of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, “The Dark Knight Rises”. I know that much of that had to do with the tragic events that occurred in Colorado, which I found out about as soon as I got home from the screening. It was also due to the fact that the movie seemed to meander to me.

I still think it could’ve been tightened up quite a bit, but I enjoy it much better now that I’ve finally gotten around to seeing it for a second time. As with the first two films, Nolan’s atmosphere is pitch perfect for the Batman mythology. This is the first story I’ve witnessed with Bane as the villain where I actually felt Bane was a worthy villain for the Caped Crusader.

I still feel Alfred is a bit inconsistent with his support and non-support of Bruce here. But, I was able to identify the thematic elements this time around. “Batman Begins” dealt a great deal with the corruption that comes with power. “The Dark Knight” was focused on criticizing government-condoned invasion of privacy. This one is concerned mostly with our human tendency to avoid and hide the truth. The Nolan brothers do a very good job of working this theme into just about every aspect of their story, including the hypocrisy behind the League of Shadow’s objectives with Miranda finally being revealed as Ra’s Al Guhl’s daughter, Talia, in the final moments of the movie.

Although, I definitely enjoyed it better this time around, I still believe “Rises” is inferior to the previous two efforts. I think its good that Nolan and Warner Bros. have chosen to leave this trilogy as a stand-alone story in the franchise. It would be a mistake to bring the themes of Nolan’s vision into the rest of the DC Universe of characters that they are preparing to unload over the next couple of years. They would just be buried in the event nature of it all. Batman is a strong enough character to use as an entry vehicle for the rest without having to continually reference these specific story elements.  

Read my original review here.

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