Posts Tagged ‘batman’

Dark Knight Rises – Review

December 14, 2012

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Ok so maybe the slightest feeling of disappointment was preordained. Maybe nothing at all would have met our expectations developed by ‘The Dark Knight’, which in my opinion revolutionized and set the standard for films based on comic books by being creative, intelligent, hard hitting and at the same time crowd-pleasing. For many long time Batman comic fans this satisfactory feeling came earlier than 2008. Batman Begins can be quite well argued as the summit of the trilogy for many, who feel it delves into Bruce Wayne’s intrinsic core better than its predecessors. With Christian Bale as his tortured superhero starting from 2005’s Batman Begins, Nolan has explored the complicated and conflicting motivations of man as well as the possibility of greatness and redemption within society.

 

As both director and co-writer on The Dark Knight Rises, Nolan is unrelenting in hammering home the dread, the sorrow, the sense of detachment and ineffectuality of a city on the brink of collapse with no saviour in sight. Gotham is under siege in ways that tonally and visually recall 9-11; what is obviously and quite frustratingly the island of Manhattan. Rather than seeming exploitative, it was just one of many examples of the script from Nolan and his brother Jonathan, making the franchise feel like a relevant reflection of our times. Identity theft, economic collapse and an uprising of the disgruntled disenfranchised have-nots against the smug, comfy haves also come into play quite glowingly.

“Ah you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, moulded by it. I didn’t see the light until I was already a man; by then it was nothing to me but blinding!”

 

On a less than enthralling note however, The Dark Knight Rises is far too plot-heavy, obsessed with process, laden with expository dialogue and flashbacks that at times slow down the momentum. You may say the Batman world through Nolan’s eyes is supposed to be moody and introspective and I do agree and thoroughly admire the fact that he is willing to challenge his audience in this way. On the contrary I feel it takes some giant leaps with its characters which either make no sense, haven’t earned the emotions they’re seeking, or both. I personally felt it introduced too many new characters unnecessarily. I believe Catwoman although fresh and vibrant did not need to be added to this story at all and it wouldn’t have hurt the script to keep her out.

 

Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox are their usual dignified selves, but they don’t register the way they should because the film is so overstuffed.

                                 

 

The other woman in Bruce’s life, however, is woefully underdeveloped — which is a real problem because she plays a key role in the film’s climactic revelations.,  The romance that develops between Marion Cotillard’s Miranda Tate and Bruce Wayne is utterly unbelievable and one of the greatest flaws in the story.

 

 

 

As I have mentioned on more than one occasion but believe has necessary grounds for discussion – Product Placement throughout The Dark Knight Rises stands out in what I feel an unacceptable manner. Now any film maker will argue that without product placement many great films would never have the funding to be made the way they were. I can accept this to a certain degree but feel there are intelligent subtle ways to do it and there are insulting, pushy ways to do it. Wendy’s, Doritos, Under Armour, GNC, Saks Fifth and McDonalds were most notable and I have probably left out a few.

McDonalds was displayed with 3 separate stores in one sequence. This I find both dismal and feeble. Look closely in the scene towards the end, where Batman chases Miranda Tate – he in the ‘Bat’ & Miranda in the truck, and you will see two different McDonald’s stores on the right hand side of the road. Then just before Batman flies up and out of the street you will see a third McDonald’s symbol below him, which considering the moment of the scene has to be a 3rd shop in the one chase sequence. In the same sequence, the camera pans down the street for what seems a full few seconds, revealing an undamaged storefront bearing the name ‘Saks Fifth’. This takes away from the individuality and creativity I have come to enjoy and quite frankly expect from the Nolan’s.

                            http://youtu.be/wACBAu9coUU

                                         

(If you see video I need to hurt the respect given to Fincher for Fight Club by pointing out Girl With A Dragon Tattoo…Product placement ran WILD)

 

           

If you were anything like me you would have felt as though we were unfortunately left to wonder where the insane criminal mastermind ‘The Joker’ had scuttled off to when prisoners were freed from the newly constructed Blackgate Prison in Gotham City. Nolan has been quoted saying he did not want to disrespect Heath Ledger by bringing the Joker into The Dark Knight Rises in any way shape or form. Some can argue that Heath was a devoted and very talented actor that poured his life and soul into that role and it is in fact disrespectful to ignore him and the character altogether. I have heard that the novelization of “The Dark Knight Rises” may shed some light on his whereabouts.

                                   

 

The 415 page The Dark Knight Rises: The Official Novelization by author Greg Cox delves into the Nolan’s screenplay a little closer.

“Now that the Dent Act had made it all but impossible for the city’s criminals to cop an insanity plea, it (Blackgate Prison) had replaced Arkham Asylum as the preferred location for imprisoning both convicted and suspected felons. The worst of the worst were sent here, except for the Joker, who, rumor had it, was locked away as Arkham’s sole remaining inmate. Or perhaps he had escaped. Nobody was really sure. Not even Selina.”

Remember Selina Kyle (Catwoman) was held at Blackgate Prison for a short time!!

 

                             

All in all I don’t think it any way hurt the franchise. The dark Knight Rises is a film well worth seeing however it’s not flawless. I did enjoy more focus on Batman’s inner struggle and personal development. I did enjoy feeling a sense of dread and visually witnessing dismay (3 bodies dangling from a bridge a high light). I loved Nolan’s Inceptionesc scenes of grandeur – football field collapse takes the cake. I didn’t enjoy so many characters learning Bruce Wayne was Batman. I hated that GothamCity was so obviously NYC. I’m not sure Robin rising at the films conclusion is the final shot most fans would have liked. With all this in mind and after seeing it a third time I give it 7 out of 10.