Wednesday, 25 July 2012
The Dark Knight Rises: Spoiler-free Review
Okay, going into this I suppose I had to think about how I felt about the first two instalments: overall, I really liked them but Christian Bale is almost always unlikable so I wasn't keen on his Batman, but the realistic depiction and quality of the film making carried the movies through. Both were more cerebral, attempting to be taken seriously as cinematic art rather than celluloid entertainment.
While the trailer for DKRises was underwhelming, I'm not keen on Anne Hathaway (avoiding everything she's been in: don't think I've seen any of her films) and I hate Bane, I was intrigued by the chances this story could take. Batman could have his back broken or even die. Who was this new character John Blake? Could he be a Jean Paul Valley-like replacement Batman?
So, how was DKR? Other than being surprisingly daylit compared to the shadowy previous episodes?
Well, I warmed to Bane. Tom Hardy bulked up sufficiently so that Batman actually looked ludicrous trying to punch him out. The odd manner of his speech made Bane more than a one-note villain. There's a new female character called Tate: I figured out her true purpose within a few minutes but wasn't prepared for the switcheroo coming towards the end, that was well done. In fact, the whole movie worked very well: not sure it needed to be so long and feature so little Batman but the plot threads, reaching back through the last two movies and pointing towards a fateful conclusion, tied together well.
While Avengers was a feel good entertainment ride, DKR was far more gloomy but did reach a few moments of triumphant emotion: the final scene, the police marching in unison and a certain escape all built to emotional crescendos, helped by that booming Hanzs Zimmer music.
Anne Hathaway was a revelation as Catwoman, instantly becoming my favourite screen depiction. This was the comic version finally done right on the screen. Her fluid moods, slightly kinky aggressive side, femme fatale allure and elegant sexuality made her the epitome of the character. There's one scene where she fights alongside batman, and that just felt like the comic vibe all over.
And John Blake? Well, I thought it was odd that a certain character addressed him in a certain way, leading to a nice moment later on and in a way, I feel cheated as the film's climax hints at great opportunities for future instalments that we'll never see...