Monday, 3 December 2012

The Dark Knight Rises.

The Dark Knight Rises.

This is it. The ending of the Nolan-Bale Batman legacy which has surpassed all expectations, from its birth and to its now unfortunate but timely resting. The beginning of the series in 2005 has resulted in them becoming the best superhero films of all time and that can be said without even a shadow of doubt in your mind. What Nolan has achieved is making his Batman not some ludicrously cheesy guardian but rather an actual possibility to reign over the crime syndicates of this made-up metropolis. The villains may be exaggerated with costumes but it’s no bigger fear than the real terrorists who unfortunately exist. The previous incarnations of Burton and Schumacher were instantly forgotten after Begins and further fossilised and buried once The Dark Knight was released. Thanks to Nolan and Bale’s excellent work we can now conclude that Batman is real – or at least possible.

The trilogy can be simplified as such: he begins, he falls, he rises. With this final instalment, Batman must be resurrected because it has been eight years since that infamous night in Gotham where The Joker got to Gotham’s unmasked hero, Harvey Dent. Since then, Bruce Wayne recluses himself and lives in a locked room with no interaction bar good, old faithful Alfred. Meaning that Batman also lives in this room, as a memory, a regret, an idea; lurking in the shadows of the room and Bruce’s subconscious. The masked vigilante that had done so much for Gotham is now nothing but a memory and a bitter one at that with him being blamed for the murder of Two-Face Harvey Dent. Thanks to the Harvey Dent act which followed, Gotham is now at peace with thousands of people behind bars leaving this city without organised crime.

Batman is not needed any more because justice has prevailed because one unjust lie and story of that night. It is there to protect the people and Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) wishes everyone knew that Batman was the real hero of that night, and not the maniacal hostage-taker of “fairness”. The state of turmoil is soon returning though as a new man claims to be “Gotham’s reckoning”, this villain is the almightily huge Bane (Tom Hardy).Being massive is his literal power, but it is not his only one, he uses the power of his own genius to plan and to manipulate. It may be true that his intelligence may be scarier than his physical prowess, he is the epitome of intimidation while he stands there as one giant muscle, mechanical mask fitted on his scarred and bald head with a twisted look in his eyes. Bane’s voice was already under criticism from the prologue and trailers and although at times it can sound like Graham Norton having a stroke whilst gargling mayonnaise it isn’t hard to adjust to it and in a weird way it’s oddly affecting.

It isn’t all focused on Bane, in fact, it isn’t really focused on anyone and it can feel a bit bloated and a tad muddled on first viewing though clarity will ensue on multiple viewings. There is the addition of Anne Hathaway’s Selina Kyle, if there was any scepticism in your mind about her playing this role then you can safely put them to bed as she may even surpass Michelle Pfeiffer’s interpretation of the villainess. She is sultry, sexy, shady, sneaky, sly, selfish and ravenous. It is played fantastically with her introduction summing her up perfectly, leading to many more great scenes with her and her complicated, conflicting arc. Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s John Blake has sounded like such a simple character from his early descriptions as an incorruptible beat cop who works under Commissioner Jim Gordon. Though he seems simple, he is far from it. The Nolans prove again that they have a talent for characters.

As Batman begins his rise, it is from obligation more than passion, it’s clear that he has matured and has to have his wits about him. Christian Bale makes this Batman a dutiful, clever head that knows what has to be done and how it has to be him rather than let Gotham sink into the wrong hands. Though the newcomers are all notable, none surpass the usually brilliant Alfred (Michael Caine) who manages to steal every single scene he accompanies. He may even bring a tear to your eye in a couple of scenes as the frail, loyal servant who can’t cope any more. It’s a chest-tightening performance that suitably wraps up his character for the trilogy.

This film trilogy is insatiable, it is trying to go out on a high but it feels like such a shame to let it all go so simply when it could go on for a while longer. It is a selfish thought but another Batman fix is necessary and something that the reboot will struggle to do successfully. Nolan’s Batman should be regarded as the film Batman now, he was imperfect yet the perfect interpretation of the Dark Knight that solely serves as a protector. It clearly wraps up the series and though it has sparked great debate about which Batman film is your favourite, it does manage to surpass Batman Begins but fall just a bit short of the darkness that encapsulated The Dark Knight and made it so special. Needless to say, that is not an insult to the film.

The Dark Knight Rises firmly bites into your neck infecting you with a fever for more making the next 164 minutes, making you feel like it’s over just as quickly as it began. It transfixes you, leaving you in a state of pure concentration and of pure delirium when it ends. It feels as you have tumbled through Gotham with all the characters that you know so well, being sucked into this devilishly perfect end to a great series. A perfect way to end a film with so many things unfinished and so many things left to explore, it leaves you wanting more of something you can’t have. The Dark Knight Rises still shocks and awes as a twisted blockbuster and the Nolans have impeccably written another story and more brilliant characters, leaving you tapping your arm to get the veins showing for another injection of the Nolan Batverse.


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