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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Movie Review - Batman: The Dark Knight Rises

Batman: The Dark Knight Rises  $$$$ 1/2 


164 Minutes
Starring: Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Director: Christopher Nolan.

            A good understanding of the rules about story crafting can be a detriment to enjoying your Movie-going experience. While my wife laughs, cries, and flinches at all the appropriate spots I’m groaning at the orphaned plot fragments, weak character development, and gaping holes in the story.
            On the other hand, there is an exquisite beauty to a play, movie, or novel that weaves all of the complex elements of story-telling into a masterpiece that feeds our minds as well as our hearts. This is the case with The Dark Knight Rises.
            Originally, I didn’t plan to see this movie because I thought it would be too dark for my tastes. How wrong I was. While the overall look of the film is dark, I feel that this is one of those rare circumstances where it works to bring out the right atmosphere for the story that is being told. And it does this without being morbid or depressing.

            The story takes place eight years after the death of Harvey Dent. Batman (Christian Bale) has taken the fall for the crimes that Dent’s alter ego – Two Face. He did this so that the people of Gotham could rally around the anti-crime plan that Dent supposedly put together.
            Bruce Wayne has fared no better during this time, he is a man broken both physically and spiritually. But when a cat burglar (Anne Hathaway) steals a string of pearls from his home, it snaps the lethargic hero out of his funk. And none too soon, as he discovers. Gotham is once again under attack. This time it is from a villain named Bane (Tom Hardy).
            The rest of movie I leave for you to explore on your own.

            I happened to catch Batman on one of the biggest screens in Arizona. It sure didn’t hurt the experience any by doing so; however, I think that this movie does not require a big screen or state-of-the-art sound system to enjoy the outstanding story that it offers. That being said, seeing it big and dark and with all the accompanying mood music really made the setting come alive. I could feel the dread the citizens of Gotham were feeling as their city came under siege.
            There were great performances all around. This version of Bane has become one of my top five villains of all time. Veteran actor Michael Caine shows us why he’s probably made more movies than anyone in Hollywood. Morgan Freeman is charismatic as ever. And young Joseph Gordon-Levitt steals a good portion of limelight in this film with an extremely solid performance that has convinced me to expect good things from him in the future.
            Of course, the real star of this film is the writing and directing which make this one of the best films I’ve seen in long time. In saying that I know that I gave high praise, and justly so, to Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows and The Avengers. Nothing has changed my enthusiastic endorsement of those two films, but this final chapter of the Batman trilogy demonstrates a mastery over character arcs and interwoven plots that places it even higher in my esteem. I have to go back and watch it again so I can allow more of the story’s details soak into my brain.
            I give this film my highest rating. Just like my rating indicates, pay full price to see this movie right away because it’s worth it. Then plan to go back and see it a second time.

            Randy’s Rating System

$$$$   = Full Price    See this movie right away and pay full price, it’s worth it.
$$$     = Matinee      Catch this as a matinee or other discounted showing.
$$        = Discount     Wait until this movie reaches a discount theater near you.
$          = Rental         Wait until this movie reaches your local video rental outlet.
0          = No Sale       Don’t see this movie at any price.


  1. I usually don't watch this type of movie either, and I wondered if I could even watch it at all after the Colorado incident. ...not that I'm afraid to go to the theatre. I just think it would weigh heavy on my mind if I did.

    But thanks for the thorough review. I'm sure my daughter will be going to see it soon. :)

  2. Going to see this on tomorrow on YOUR recommendation!
    Thanks Randy

    1. You are welcome. Feel free to post any comments about it after you see the movie.