This past weekend I finally went to go see The Dark Knight Rises. I held off going to see it for such a long time because I was never that impressed with The Dark Knight. And if TDKR was going to be more of the same, well, there was really no rush to see it.
But I had some free time and I felt like a treat so I decided to go. And what a good decision that turned out to be.
I loved Batman Begins. I still do. I love the look of it. I love Christian Bale as Batman and Liam Neeson as Ducard/Ra’s Al Ghul. But mainly I love the story. Origin stories are always my favorite because we get to see the man (or woman) become something greater than themselves. To struggle and overcome. To become good. Not perfect certainly, but good nonetheless. And that is what we get in Batman Begins. Bruce Wayne stops being the spoiled angry boy he was and takes his desire for vengeance and turns it into a lifelong need for justice.
The Dark Knight does not really have that struggle in it. Too often it falls into a stereotypical superhero movie where the villain is introduced, causes chaos and mayhem and is eventually defeated by the hero. We already know Batman here. And while nobody can deny the excellence of Heath Ledger’s Joker, there is no real character growth. I’m not trying to say that The Dark Knight isn’t a good movie but I’ve never felt that it deserved the praise it received.
So after the mild disappointment of The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises wasn’t high on my priorities. But I thought it was amazing, probably because it has more in common as a movie with Batman Begins than it does with The Dark Knight. The story here deals with the consequences of The Dark Knight but more so from Batman Begins. We get to see Batman become even stronger and push himself, physically and emotionally, more than he ever has before.
One thing that they finally get right in TDKR is the women. Katie Holmes was terrible, Maggie Gyllenhaal was alright, but Marion Cotillard is perfect. Even Anne Hathaway, who I usually don’t like more than I do, is great as Selina Kyle.
The only problem I had with the movie was the speaking. For the most part Christian Bale hit the happy medium of growling that was understandable, yet was appropriately indistinguishable as Bruce Wayne’s. Bane, however, played by the wonderful Tom Hardy, sounded a bit like a jolly English professor. That is, when I could understand him. Because most of the time I couldn’t and I’m afraid I missed a lot of the story because there were no subtitles to help me decipher his noises. He looked great though.
So those are just some thoughts about the movies. The end of TDKR was pretty exciting; it’s a shame Nolan has said that this will be the last movie. It would be especially cool to see where Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character would go.