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Review: The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises

Released July 20, 2012

Rated PG-13

Directed By Christopher Nolan

Starring Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, and Anne Hathaway

165 Minutes

The Dark Knight Rises is one of the most anticipated films of 2012. It has a lot to live up to after the stellar “Dark Knight” releases back in 2008. This is the third and final film of the Christopher Nolan Batman Trilogy. Christian Bale is back as the Dark Knight, Tom Hardy plays the vicious villain known as Bane, and Anne Hathaway is here as Catwoman. Also appearing are Morgan Freeman as Fox, Joseph Gordon Levitt as Blake, Marion Cotillard as Miranda, Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon, and of course, Michael Caine as Alfred. Does The Dark Knight Rises live up to all the hype?

The answer to that last question is an emphatic “Yes”. The Dark Knight Rises delivers on nearly every level and hits on all eight cylinders at all times. There is never a dull moment. Every single scene contributes to the overall production and that’s what makes it so great. It manages to do this, even while having a staggering 165-minute runtime. This is an extremely difficult thing to do. Christian Bale is stellar as always as Batman, and Anne Hathaway proves a welcome addition as Catwoman. She does a great job embracing the character, doing a lot better than most would expect. The cast is filled with talent. Bane is one of the most menacing characters in the Batman universe, and Tom Hardy cements that idea here. His voice, at first, may sound laughable, but as you learn Bane’s evil intentions and see what he is capable of, the voice goes from funny to terrifying. It’s one of the most unique you will hear from a villain or any other character. Bane ranks near the top, falling short of only the Joker as one of the most acclaimed Batman villains of all time. All of the characters also seem to mesh together extremely well.

Aside from the fabulous cast and performances, The Dark Knight Rises succeeds in brilliantly mixing quality entertainment with fanfare and is consistent in nearly every category. It manages to keep you on the edge of your seat and most of all, cheering on one of our all time favorite super heroes. The film’s storyline is sculpted with precision and told wonderfully. Every bit and piece is significant to the story arch. The film also packs a significant emotional punch, making for a wonderful viewing experience.

The special effects in The Dark Knight Rises are simply remarkable. From a transforming motorcycle to a futuristic-looking aircraft piloted by Batman, it’s all beautiful and just plain cool. There’s also plenty of action, face-offs, and drama. Gunfights are intense, seeing Batman and Bane go toe to toe is exhilarating, and watching the drama of Gotham City unfold is pure entertainment.

The Dark Knight Rises doesn’t get much wrong. It goes down as one of the best Batman movies of all time, alongside 2008’s “The Dark Knight”.  The film is entertaining, emotional, and extravagant. It boasts a spectacular cast, remarkable directing, a deep story, solid special effects, and profound emotional depth. Christopher Nolan has created a gem in The Dark Knight Rises, but also in the series as a whole. It easily ranks as one of the best film trilogies of all time. Until we see the caped crusader on the big screen again, we will continue to bask in the glory of his last three marvelous adventures.

Score:

4.5 out of 5

Contributor Austin Winkler’s Review

The Dark Knight Rises is the conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. The film was named one of the most anticipated movies of the year by tons of critics and movie-goers, including me. It hit theaters on July 20th, 2012.

Set eight years after the events of the previous movie, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has retired for his work as the masked vigilante known as Batman. He has grown old and contracted a couple physical issues, like losing cartilage in his knees. Bane (Tom Hardy) arises as Gotham’s newest criminal and hatches a maniacal plot to blow up the city with a nuclear bomb. Now, Batman must arise from his hibernation and put an end to his reign of terror.

In the manner I just displayed the story, it sounds like there isn’t much to it, but I didn’t want any spoilers in this review. The story goes much deeper than what I just described. If you’ve seen the other movies of Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, you should know what I’m talking about. This one in particular took us deeper than any of its predecessors. For example, The Dark Knight never showed The Joker before he was The Joker, but in The Dark Knight Rises, it goes through almost all of the character’s personal lives and what molded them into what they are now. Each cast member played their part effectively and Nolan’s directing along with the special effects were evenly great.

There are only a couple of things that are making this movie run short of perfection. One of them is the pacing. There were a few moments in the movie that weren’t needed and were unnecessarily drug out. Another thing was that while the script was great, there were a couple lines that were just absolutely cheesy. It provided the audience a laugh, but it throws the actors out of character. Also, this may sound like a bit of an opinion rather than a con, but Bane’s voice needed more “bass” to it. Bane is this monstrous brute of a human being. His voice in the movie sounded more like a maniac than a brute. However, this did match his character in some aspects. He was a combination of brawn and brain. He had a genius level of intellect which came into play in a lot of the scenes in the film. However, it’s a little awkward looking at a brute talking with a higher-octave voice.

Bottom line, this movie is absolutely great. Despite its flaws that can easily be overlooked, this movie delivers and makes for a fantastic end to the trilogy. It left me wanting more! Everyone needs to make it a priority to see it in theaters and buy it on Blu-ray! It’s a movie that just can’t be missed!

Austin’s Score:

4.5 out of 5