Friday, July 20, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises (PG-13/164 Min.)


I took PT with me last night to see the Batman trilogy. We had so much fun during the first two. It had been a while since either of us had seen those two so there were bits and pieces we didn’t remember. So, in some instances, it was like watching three new movies. Okay, our memories weren’t THAT bad. By the time The Dark Knight Rises began we were beyond ready to see how the director was going to wrap this up. I loved the first two films. I just knew I was going to love the third. I was wrong. It was a very long 164 minutes.

TDKR continues the Dark Knight story but 8 years later. Batman/Bruce Wayne is a pariah who is showing his age. Most of Gotham still hates Batman and reveres the memory of Harvey Dent. Catwoman is introduced but is she a villain or just misunderstood? Bane appears as the head villain with a vague back-story.

There were parts of this film that I really liked but it lacked so much that we saw in the first two. Such as…Batman. How on earth can you make a Batman film and leave the title character out of most of it? And, in the words of Toby Keith, we (read, “I”) needed “A little less talk and a lot more action.” It was mostly talk talk talk. The speechifying got old. Quickly. I’m so glad I’ve never been around so many people who had so much trouble getting to the point.

Christian Bale is still one of my favorite Batman/Bruce Wayne’s. I never can decide for sure between him and Michael Keaton. Fortunately for him – unfortunately for us – he didn’t have to use his throaty Batman voice through much of this film. I always feel for him when I hear him talk. That couldn’t have felt good at the end of the day.

Tom Hardy was cast as Bane. If you’ve read previous blogs you know I’m a fan. He was a good villain but I didn’t recognize Tom in his character at all which, I guess, pretty much defines a good actor. He was bigger than I’m used to seeing him and he sounded like Sean Connery. They made him seem way taller than he really is too. The cameramen had their work cut out for them when it came to Tom. He had to come off as huge so the angles were either over his shoulder looking down or he was shot from the waist up if standing next to someone. I wonder how many boxes they had him stand on. He didn’t seem quite so big when full body shots were used. What does this have to do with the movie? Nothing. I just found it interesting. I wish Bane’s back-story hadn’t been so vague. That’s all I’m sayin’.

Anne Hathaway. The only nice things I can say about her in this movie are that she kept her clothes on, she had great hair and she was obviously chosen because she fit the costume. Since I can’t say anything else nice I’m leaving it at that.

PT loves Alfred. Well…so do I. Michael Caine continued his well-played portrayal of Bruce Wayne’s manny. When he’s happy, you’re happy. When he’s sad, you get a little teary. Okay, maybe you didn’t but PT and I did. The conflict between Alfred and Bruce was a little hard to handle.

Finally, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. While not drop-dead gorgeous or super hunky he is definitely here to stay. PT said on numerous occasions that he’s pretty so, at least he has a vote from the 14-year-olds. His acting’s not bad either. I loved him in TDKR. I wish they were going to make another film and include him in the cast.

Now that we’ve talked about some of the actors let’s talk more about what I didn’t like. This was predictable. The foreshadowing at the beginning was blatant. It completely ruined the heroism for me at the end. One of the characters seemed kind of off to me and I questioned their sincerity. It kind of stunk being right. As mentioned before I thought there was too much talk. If you like all the Batman action from the first movie you’ll probably feel the same. It was greatly missed. And so was Batman. Again…what on earth? The role of Catwoman confused me. Were we supposed to feel sorry for her? You don’t want people to know about your past as a thief? I’ll make it easy for you. Don’t become a thief.

Back to the action, the few scenes included were either highly entertaining or completely fell flat. The football stadium scene? Great! Except for the fact that it was included in the trailers. It should have been left for the film only. The underground fight scene between Bane and Batman. Meh. Super meh. I have no idea why I felt so apathetic about it. Was it over-choreographed? I just don’t know. Any idea?

Let’s head on to the break-down:

Sex/Nudity – No nudity. We know sex happened but we didn’t see it happen.

Drinking/Drugs – Drinking, yes. Drugs, no.

Cursing – I’m pretty sure there was but the audience members around us out-cussed anything that was said in the film.

Violence – Well, yeah.

Maybe I would have liked this more had I not seen it right after the first two films and was expecting more drama than action. This was an absolute waste of Bane. He could have been so much better. Judging by Facebook several people already disagree with me so you may want to take this review with a grain of salt. Although I was hoping there would be, there is nothing after the credits. Go home. Watch other superhero movies and forget that this isn’t really one.

P.S. PT and I saw this movie at the theater in Highlands Ranch, CO; 20 minutes away from the theater in Aurora. We got to go home that night (morning) and fall safely asleep in our beds. Because of one (that we know of so far) sick individual, many at the Aurora theater did not. This movie came out on my birthday. I woke up later in the day and was able to celebrate. One of the victims also had a birthday that day. He was 27 and will be forever. My thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims and their families. Justice cannot be swift enough.

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