A lot has been written about the Dark Knight Rises online till date; we thought we would come up with a review that works for both the casual movie watcher and geeks (love the way we categorise people nowadays). We have tried very hard to keep the review spoiler free, but a few are mentioned so I suggest you read the same at your own risk. Before we get into the review, it is important to know that Christopher Nolan was hesitant about returning to the series for a third time, but agreed to come back after developing a story with his brother Jonathan and David S. Goyer. Thank God he did because it is a fitting end to the trilogy.
The Mrs and I decided to go for the Dark Knight Rises on Saturday; unfortunately all theatres we looked at were packed to capacity. Finally, the Mrs. found the Ebony Lounge at Metro where 2 tickets were available. We both had never been to the lounge so decided to give it a try. The show was an early morning show at 9:45 am the very next day; as with most Saturdays, we slept in and then there was a mad rush to reach the movies. Cutting to the chase, we made it in time watched the Superman trailer and got into our very comfortable recliners 🙂 for all those who missed it check the trailer below
The movie starts off with a bang, introducing Bane as one of the major characters in the scheme of things to come. As you have heard by now the events of the movie take place 8 years after the events of the Dark Knight. Batman has retired and Gotham believes he is the reason that they lost their beloved son, Harvey Dent. The good part is Nolan has kept the story around events in Gotham rather than just Batman, this enable him to introduce and build certain characters at the start of the movie. Catwoman and Miranda Tayte are the most notable characters introduced at the start of the movie, played by the gorgeous Anne Hathaway and Marion Cottilard. Both the leading ladies look stunning and will have you asking for more throughout the movie. The action scene where Catwoman fights goons while Gotham PD breaks in and she switches characters to play the victim is crazy, similarly Cottilard has an aura around her which a few will immediately recognise; suffice to say she breezes through her scenes with the ease of a knife through butter. Moving on, the plot also moves at a crazy pace, one incident leads to another and Batman is forced out of retirement – this basis Bane trying to steal data from the Gotham Stock exchange. The Batpod is his vehicle of choice and the sequence where the cops eventually start chasing the Batman instead of Bane is crazy; Nolan known for not using CGI has shot over 100 cars driving across the streets of Gotham. Batman escapes the Gotham PD and also introduces viewers to the Bat (Batwing). Of course Alfred, Batman’s trusted butler, unable to see Batman go up against a Nemisis like Bane, decides to retire (Don’t know why Michael Cane was let off so early in the movie).
The movie’s biggest advantage is the fact that it is driven forward not by Batman but by Bane, something you don’t see nowadays. The character is brutal and almost demigod like, much like in the comics; the script masterfully builds his character to match Batman who already has 2 movies under his belt, his plan through the movie will keep you guessing and his voice will terrorize you whenever you hear it, be it on the iconic football field shot featuring Hines Ward, wherein the entire ground collapses and Bane introduces himself to Gotham, or in his first hand to hand encounter with Batman, in which, I must say, he dominates. “So you think the dark is your ally? I was born in it. Moulded by it. The first time I saw the light I was already a man. And it was nothing but bright. The shadows betray you. Because they belong to me!” writing like this will keep you glued to your seats. The movie then takes on the task of back-stories and the faith of Gotham, I do believe Nolan has been inspired by Bane’s origin – “Bane spends his childhood in the hellish prison of Pena Duro on the corrupt South American island nation of Santa Prisca. He develops superhuman strength through a forced experiment involving the drug Venom”. Taking from here, Nolan puts up the spectacular prison sequence shot in India and takes you through Batman’s resurgence (This after Bane breaks his back) as well as key plots towards the end of the movie. I really wished they had shown more of the prison, it is truly spectacular. A special mention goes to the character of the blind prisoner (or who appears to be blind) played by Uri Gavriel.
The end of the movie is where the Darkness and Chaos really shine bringing Gotham to life like fans of the comic know it; hell breaks loose and here is where the supporting crew also work their magic, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt share substantial screen time in Batman’s absence and give you a view of the madness that Gotham has become. I especially liked the makeshift courtroom which is judged by Scarecrow, Gordon Levitt stands out in his performance as the detective trying to do right – he is portrayed as being intelligent enough to deduce Batman’s identity, and near the end of the film, Blake reveals his legal name is Robin John Blake (Hint). Again the sequence where Gotham PD take on Bane is spectacular. What surprised me towards the end was the tag team that Batman formed with Catwoman, we always know there was something there but fighting together was a bit farfetched.
Before we call it wraps – the music of the movie – it matches each and every scene. Hans Zimmer has done an outstanding job of providing a top notch score for both the smallest of small scenes and epic battles. What you will remember once you finish the movie is “The chant” – the chant that the prisoners shout in unison when someone is trying to climb out of the dreaded prison – Zimmer mentions, “The Chant became a very complicated thing because I wanted hundreds of thousands of voices, and it’s not so easy to get hundreds of thousands of voices. So, we Tweeted and we posted on the internet, for people who wanted to be part of it.” It seemed like an interesting thing. The two worded chant, “deshi basara” translates to “he rises” in Moroccan, exhibiting Ra’s al Ghul’s (Hint) Arabian nationality, as well as coinciding with the title of the film, The Dark Knight Rises.
To conclude, the movie finishes like it starts….. with a bang. I stood up and clapped as the credits rolled. Purists may argue this movie is not like Nolan, he has gone the commercial way and all that crap. I don’t think so; Nolan has taken the best from comic books, interpreted it into his world and portrayed Batman as close to his comic book avatar as possible. This movie is an absolute must watch especially for Tom Hardy’s portrayal of Bane. Don’t miss highlights of the world premiere in the video below.