We’ve waited 4 years for this movie since they announced about making it. Was it worth the wait? Well, I will give my thoughts on the film, while discussing the spoilers in full detail so please leave if you don’t want to read about them.
First of all, let me begin by saying that this is a very beautifully shot film and hats off to Wally Pfister (who started out making low-budget erotic thrillers and is now one of the most sought-after cinematographers out there and lets hope he won’t disappoint with his own feature film either). The dark places are very dark, the lights are “blinding”, as Bane would say and in the middle of all the despairingly grey Gotham we get big fires and explosions of bright red, orange and yellow, which create an interesting visual sense of contrast, which tells us about one of the many themes of the film: mirrors (be they psychological, thematical or otherwise).
From the first scene where Bane kidna’s a scientist and then crashes a plane the message given waas: escape is impossible and bane is totally in control.The pit scenes were brilliant and reminder of batman begins at the same time and show that Bruce Wayne actually has to grow up and best the fear he never had: the fear of dying because, ultimately, the idea of batman is a deathwish: the legend that can go on without the man implies that the end of the individual is something that Bruce Wayne is totally comfortable about. He has to learn to fear dying (=appreciate living) in order to lay down his life for others so that it feels like a proper sacrifice and Nolan understands that difference.
This film is much closer to Batman Begins than the Dark Knight where theme is concerned as Bruce wayne is the main focus and the entity of batman creeps in as a sort of afterthought. Nolan gives the events of TDK enough momentum to have a lasting impact on the everyone including Batman and whoever is around him and the story works. Bruce wayne lost the love of his life but had no time to really let that affect him in the previous film. now the threat of the Joker and Two-face has been defeated at least superficially and batman has retired. That choice did not seem odd in the least bit, especially in a world of “heightened reality”, as the hero has been physically and emotionally crippled and the city has tasted the first breath of fresh air since…probably ever. but that air may just be poisonous because Bane recognizes the lies by reading a kidnapped Gordon’s speech the latter had originally prepared for Harvey Dent Day, decides it’s an undeserved achievement and does everything he can to bring down the lie and burn the city down. So batman obviously has to come back. The fact that the final fight takes place during daylight seems important enough to be mentioned: the night is over and dawn is finally upon us.
Coming to the cast Hardy is phenomenal and intimidating as Bane and it’s all in his eyes and body language. the way he looks, the way he holds his vest, the almost casual way in which he snaps Ben Middleson’s face. Tom hardy presents a very different form of terror: he is a sympathetic villain. Audience feel connected to him and feel bad fr his condition. Bane is the anti-batman, both mentally and physically. But it’s not just that: this version of Bane has a link to the League of Shadows, he does everything he does to prove his love and devotion to someone else (very much a motivation that Bruce embraced in Batman Begins to show Rachel his good nature, albeit with an objective that considers also the happiness of others) and even his voice is rough and grumbling (I could understand him perfectly by the way). Bane just wants to show how evil he can be so he can be loved, and maybe save the innocence of a young child born in hell. Which is totally in line with how that relationship was approached in the comics. Does this character suffer if one compares him to the joker? Yes but ONLY because peope expected a similar kind of villain, when bane and the joker could not be any more different.
Miranda Tate, as played by marion Cotillard, is a nice addition and does bring everything full circle and there was very little that made you see the big twist at the end unless you had been on the nternet beforehand and seen pictures of her in the Talia outfit.
Anne Hathaway is good but still no closer to her comic book counterpart. I hardly recall if she was called Catwoman in the movie,I my opinion she was just added to fill in too many non comic book lesser casts in the movie. Her outfit was solid but still no tail no cat eyes mean no Catwoman for me. She was just a feline theif who wanted to start a new life.
Michael Caine as Alfred got some of the best emotional depth out of the character and it is an understandable reaction that Alfred would, eventually, leave Bruce because that’s what people do in real life and John blake says so as well: they want you to get over your problems and they’re understanding until they see that the problem doesn’t get fixed, at which point they leave you. John “Robin” Blake (JGL) is a character that was another forced addition to the film adding the Robin reference in the film sounded forced and out of context. He was one of the most useless character in the entire trilogy just to be part of a cliched ending. Morgan freeman and Gary Oldman all have their moment to shine and now cannot imagine the characters looking any different in teh comics because that’s what this review inevitably boils down to: Nolan “gets” batman and his supporting characters, be they friend or foe.
Now some of the negative points (and they are few): the film is a bit rushed (some scenes could have been improved by devoting more time to them and it would have fleshed out the characters even more. The way Bruce wayne’s broken back gets fixed asks us to suspend our disbelief almost to the breaking point but Bale’s and Tom Hardy’s acting save it. The villain’s death is not all that spectacular but in this world of hard truths and inevitable consequences it’s easy to believe that people die in rather stupid ways sometimes. Also, since anne Hathaway is so good you miss her whenever she’s not on screen but that’s just a testament to the incredible character Hathaway and Nolan have created. Some minor continuity issues and moments of suspension of diselief were also there but had i not read about them before going into the film i wouldn’t have noticed so take that with a grain of salt. A good movie is one that makes you forget about this sort of stuff.
Not the best of the series yet an awesome movie. That’s why I give The Dark Knight Rises a well-deserved 8.0/10.