Here are a few of my favorite things: Nintendo, Penny Arcade, The Legend of Zelda, Mario, Pokemon, Harvest Moon, Fallout, Dungeons and Dragons, books, dice, Professor Layton, Shadow of the Colossus, Minecraft, and so much more. I'm going to talk a lot about video games, I sincerely hope you don't mind.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises: spoiler-free review!

Christian Bale as Batman in The Dark Knight Rises. source.

The Dark Knight Rises, Christopher Nolan’s final entry in his Batman trilogy, has arrived, and is arguably the biggest movie of the summer. With the amount of anticipation surrounding the film it is easy to imagine fans could end up disappointed, but I believe that Nolan tied things up nicely while including quite a few twists along the way.

One of the most exciting aspects of Nolan’s take on Batman is the way he incorporates multiple storylines and characters. Fans familiar with the many existing Batman arcs will notice storylines blended together to create new and intriguing tales. Nolan’s Batman has been a more grounded and realistic take, as evidenced by the previous film’s villains (Scarecrow, Two-Face, and The Joker) and in this iteration by Catwoman, the “cat burglar”. While unlikely, these villains could potentially exist in the real world, as could a technologically advanced and rich playboy ala Bruce Wayne.

The Dark Knight Rises has an interesting formula, one where the audience learns a great deal about the enemy, and the film shows less of Batman and Bruce Wayne than one might anticipate. The acting was superb, and the additions of Anne Hathaway and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were well cast.

Running at a little over two hours and forty-five minutes, one might think that the film is overlong. I would have to disagree, as every moment feels important and interesting. That said, some of the choreographed fight scenes went on just a touch too long, and some of the dialogue seemed cheesy and a little bit forced. And near the beginning of the film there were some scene cuts that felt jumpy and abrupt, but perhaps it was an intentional choice, as the overall feel of those scenes was anticipatory and leading up to the first exciting event of the movie.

It’s difficult to say exactly why the film was great without revealing too much; Nolan intentionally made teasers, trailers, and posters vague. This made a  film that was much more interesting, because I knew so little about what the story was going to hold. Most movie trailers these days reveal the majority of the plot, including major twists and sometimes even the ending!

There are deep emotional connections with the characters that build up during the movie, and all of the characters had amazing chemistry with one another. I will never tire of Michael Caine as Alfred, Bruce Wayne’s ever-loving housekeeper and life-long friend. I’m also very glad that Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman have continued their roles throughout the trilogy.

Whether someone is a fan of Batman or not, The Dark Knight Rises provides an exciting, engaging and highly entertaining spectacle. Fans will enjoy their favorite elements from the comics, while those unfamiliar with storylines will enjoy total surprise at the reveals (like me!).

I give The Dark Knight Rises nine out of ten apples. The fight scenes really did bore me after a while, and the times when the dialogue slipped it was almost laughable and a little distracting. The cinematography, acting, and story are all aces though.

Who else has seen it? What did you think? I know some people have been disappointed and I’d really love to hear why!



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