Friday, July 27, 2012

A Cresendoing Third Act: A week late Dark Knight Rises Review

Here at Previously Untitled we do not write our reviews hastily. We take our time to really mull the film over in order to write the fairest review possible. and if you can see through our lies well then, f*ck you! Either way here is a well thought out review. 
It's fair to say that a lot of people are going to pick this film apart because it's not exactly what they are looking for. But, it's Christopher Nolan you're never going to get what you expected. There are many layers to this film and many aspects to review and even a few spoilers. But if you haven't seen it at this point. Then you had this coming. So, empty your bladders and get real comfy. Because like the Dark Knight Rises this is going to be a long one.


This is a story of consequences and Batman taking responsibility for his actions.  Eight years of the Harvey Dent Act replacing the Batman has kept the streets of Gotham a pretty clean place. Although, Bruce Wayne never retired from the Batman mindset, he is hobbled and his cowl is hung up. The only thing that brings him out of retirement is; Bane and SPOILER! (maybe...not really) the League of Shadows. Who are quite the hydra. Because, when they lose their head they grow another more dangerous head. A head that even Ra's Al Ghul considered too dangerous and unpredictable, Bane. Bane is the most dangerous of all the villains, yet. Considering he has a clear plan for exactly what he wants to do with Gotham and the world. He's a intelligent iconoclast figure that could build a army without the League of Shadows. Although, the goal is the same goal from Begins, his methods are more dangerous and cunning.  Ra's idea was to simply poison the minds of Gothamites and let them tear each other apart. Bane saw a rip in the fabric of the society of Gotham and all he did was give it a little tug. Bruce may have created this powerful symbol of justice and applied it he never payed attention to the true problems. You see Batman never tear as Alfred Pennyworth points out.  He never made sure the balance of the classes was kept. All he cared about was the thugs that ran drugs and killed each other. But, all along the rich kept getting richer, the poorer kept getting poorer, and the fabric kept getting weaker for eight years. While, Bruce did his best Howard Hugh's impersonation letting his company and his city dwindle. All the while believing that the League of Shadows was dead and the streets we're clean as he shut himself off from the world. Then it all came back and bit him square in the ass. CHOMP! Needless to say this is what make's it a perfect cap to Nolan's trilogy because, it answers the question Bruce Wayne/Batman constantly ask himself "Is this all my fault?"

But, we don't just see the bad side. We see the good as well. We see the influence Batman has had on the certain citizen of Gotham who truly believe he is good. People that would proudly stand up and fight next to him. People that might even be worthy of the cowl. This nicely balances the story and proves to be a big help later on.


When I first heard that Anne Hathaway was Nolan's choice for Catwoman. I called him insane... to many of my friends. I never thought she had the sex appeal to play such a role. Little did I know she could be such a sex kitten. But, the role is written so perfectly( and you can read that purrrfectly if you want to) that I could have played Catwoman. Because, we all want to see a bear of a man in a skin tight leather, latex, nylon... whatever the hell that fabric was cat suit. Stretching my legs past my head as I pin bad guys to walls, sensually crack safes, or do sexy cartwheels out of windows. Where was I? Well she does all of that quite well while speaking in double entendres with a sultry voice. Maybe, that's why I couldn't play Catwoman. I don't have that come hither make your knees quiver kind of voice that Anne Hathaway uses so well.

Tom Hardy on the other hand was so good my wife thought Bane was voiced by a different actor. He proves he might just be the next big actor. Literally, he put on 50 pounds for this role and it looks intimidating on him.  One would think wearing that mask would severely limit his performance. No. His body, eyes, and even his eyebrows deliver so much expression you know just how afraid you should be of Bane at any given moment.  If you watch closely enough you can see glimpses of Brando's Col. Kurtz from Apocalypse Now.

Bale delivers his best Bruce Wayne. But, he pulls off a kind of lack luster Batman. You would figure after all of those jokes about his Batman voice from the Dark Knight he would tone back down to Begins level. No. It's still there and it's still ridiculous. Maybe, it's time for Kevin Conroy to step in and do some dubbing work.  Bale's not as natural as he used to be in this role. Which is odd and disappointing. But, luckily we don't see a lot of Batman in this film. Which is a good thing because this film is about consequences.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Michael Caine are both amazing in their respected roles. I don't need to say too much about them because they're always good in everything they do. We're all excited about Looper and if you haven't seen Harry Brown yet; do so.

Watching Gary Oldman made me want to go home and watch The Professional, again. He's such a tremendous character who can play such a wide role of characters. It saddens me that this is his last time as Gordon. His ability to blend tough guy, putz, and confidence all into one is what makes him the perfect Gordon. As a long time fan of Batman I can honestly say no one's played him better.

Cinematography and the IMAX Experience

This is a film that needs to be seen on the biggest screen availble, IMAX. Why wouldn't you. This film is immensely visual and compelling to look at. Waiting to rent this film on DVD or even Blu-Ray will be a complete and utter waste. Every shot in this film is beautiful. Spend the few extra dollars to have this film wash over you chaotically. (Expect a later article on the importance of seeing films on the big screen. It sounds like a no brainer. But, I promise it will contain many compelling points.)

Is it a Batman film?

Yes! Not just because it has Batman in it. But, because it carries the many Bat-themes ranging from doubt to remorse and everything in between. Because, Batman is forced to face his mistakes and many difficult challenges. Because, Catwoman is such a tricky character. She's a friend in one scene and a enemy in the next. Just like the comics. And just like the comics Bane yells "I will break you!" and keeps his promise. All of the characters as portrayed in Nolan's world with a few minor alterations fit in perfectly and could be swapped out for their comic counter parts. It's the kind of story you could easily find if you picked up a volume at your local comic shop. Especially, if you picked up No Man's Land, Broken Bat, Knight Fall, or War Drums.  

Why You Hate It.

Because it's been four long years of speculation and watching Inception on repeat. This is a complete curveball of what you expected. This is better and you might not know it, yet.  You wanted the riddler and you wanted a piping hot Catwoman on Batman sex scene and you got none of that. You might have expected the Lazarus Pit and maybe that teal body of water when Bruce climbs out of the hell is it.  But, we'll never know. Maybe, this is the first Batman film that needs or deserves a directors cut. Remember when we all went wild at the thought of a six plus hour cut of the film. Maybe it's because everything didn't happen like in the comics. But, that would have been boring you can make your frame by frame fan film or beg Warner Brothers for a 74 minute animated straight to DVD feature. I just want to let you know Nolan doesn't make those; he makes real films with big ideas. Maybe, you expected something better than The Dark Knight and was disappointed when it was only just as good. That's all this film really is; just as good as The Dark Knight and that's saying a lot considering how amazing that film is. But, this is a different story. This is the third and final act of a long heroic journey and it's one hell of a final act. 

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