The Dark Knight Rises
As I recall it was Spock who said, “Having is not so pleasing as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.” It implies that expectations can often hinder reality because of how open all the possibilities are. After seeing a movie like The Dark Knight, the second installment of the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy, it seems that expectations may have hindered this movie before the script was being finished. The Dark Knight Rises is a good movie. One you should see, have fun at, and talk about with friends or family on the way home. It has terrific acting, an easy to follow plot, and plenty of action.
In this, the last of Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies, he has decided that his big bad guy (literally) would be Bane, while also having Batman deal with the antics of Catwoman. After retiring the mask and the cape following the death of Harvey Dent and Rachel Dawes in the previous film, Bruce Wayne has secluded himself inside his manor home as punishment for his failure to protect them. Gotham has nearly eradicated all major crime with stricter laws and bills being passed in Dent’s name. It is during this time, that Bane is able to slip into the city and begin his own crusade against Gotham.
In the first film, the villain Ra’s al Ghul sought to destroy a city famed for its criminal element. In the second, the Joker saw rising order as something that goes against his own beliefs and sought to bring back the chaos and disorder so prevalent in the first film. In this movie, there are no crime lords. The streets are safer than they’ve ever been. Most of Gotham’s criminals are all a prison, institutionalized, or dead (except of course for Catwoman). Bane walks into a city that is succeeding in its war on crime. So who does Bane target instead? He targets the upper class, in a manner that has political commentators saying that this movie is a riff on the Occupy Wall Street movement. It isn’t an erroneous claim to say that there are strong parallels to the Occupy movement, but the way this movie plays out makes it a ridiculous assertion to compare them flat out.
One of the biggest problems with this movie is the pacing. Throughout the movie, save a few key scenes, there is always a fast tempo orchestra playing. Some scenes play much faster than others, and the music tends to be more pronounced in scenes with dialogue because there are blank spots where no one is talking or doing anything. It’s like the movie is rushing forward while it’s slowing down to examine the characters. It feels like watching a trailer for The Dark Knight Rises for the first twenty minutes of The Dark Knight Rises, before it finally snaps to a comfortable spot where everything looks to even out and the plot starts to unfold.
On its own merit this is a good movie. Everything is well thought out, though at times a little unnecessarily complex, and its entertaining throughout. Bane is exceptional and eloquent as a villain, especially when compared to the first live action attempt in Batman & Robin, a movie which is preferably never referenced again. Anne Hathaway’s performance as Selina Kyle/Catwoman is worth noting as a character that is driven more by ideals than any prospects of wealth, which all comes to a head as her ideals are realized. For all the flaws, this movie holds together well and it stands as an appropriate ending to the Nolan Trilogy. Is this movie as good as The Dark Knight? Sadly, it isn’t, but that was almost inevitable. Is it a good movie? Definitely. Go see it if you get the chance.