Monday, January 7, 2013

The Dark Knight Rises - Movie Review

I'm reading a lot of books right now, but nothing is even close to being finished. On the other hand, I watched a movie that surprised me with how much I enjoyed it the other day.

The Dark Knight Rises
Christian Bale, Michael Kane, Christopher Nolan
Release Date: December 4, 2012

The amazon.com product description:
It has been eight years since Batman vanished into the night, turning, in that instant, from hero to fugitive. Assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon both hoped was the greater good. For a time the lie worked, as criminal activity in Gotham City was crushed under the weight of the anti-crime Dent Act. But everything will change with the arrival of a cunning cat burglar with a mysterious agenda. Far more dangerous, however, is the emergence of Bane, a masked terrorist whose ruthless plans for Gotham drive Bruce out of his self-imposed exile. But even if he dons the cape and cowl again, Batman may be no match for Bane. 
First off, before reviewing this movie I'm going to have to admit that I've never seen any of the Batman movies before this one. So, some of my comments may seem irrelevant to anyone actually familiar with the backstory.

With that disclaimer, on with my review.

The first thing about this movie that struck me, and has stuck with me since, is the soundtrack. It is amazing, and goes very well with the story. Of course, given the composer, I wouldn't expect anything less. Hans Zimmer has done the soundtracks for two of my favourite movies: Gladiator and The Last Samurai. The score for The Dark Knight Rises is on the same level in my mind.

Visually, the movie is absolutely stunning as well. Given the kind of movie this is, the constant high level of action, with the expected fight scenes, chases and explosions were to be expected, and none of it seemed to be gratuitous just for the sake of the special effects. It all worked.

The Dark Knight Rises also kept me on the edge of my seat for a good part of it's run-time. On the other hand, I can't comment on the continuity with either the previous movies or the rest of the Batman franchise. I just don't have the knowledge, but I was watching it with someone who does know the series, and he was questioning things.

The biggest thing about the movie that I found frustrating was the backstory for the various characters that it's expected that the audience should know. On the flip side though, this is the third movie in a trilogy, so it makes sense that most of the audience will have seen the previous two, and to restate all the backstory would probably slow things down incredibly and use a lot of the time the movie could dedicate to another aspect of the current story.

There were certainly some surprising twists to the story too.

Overall, I quite liked the movie and I'm planning to watch the other two at some point in the future.
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