I went into this film with a very high expectation of this not just being another summer blockbuster but one that is of an epic conclusion to a trilogy that director Christopher Nolan has created. For me the first two films were two of the best films that I have seen in a long time. They were nicely put together with a very strong cast, and so was this one. Do not worry, I will not be putting in any spoilers here.
This really was a good film which did have that epic feel I was looking for. The cast is brought back and with the additions of Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard and Anne Hathaway. Christian Bale is very good as both Batman and Bruce Wayne and we see a side of him that I personally havent seen before. I am a big comic book movie fan but I have never read any of the actual comics. A friend once said to me that I’m one of those comic book geeks that never read comic books! He has a point 😀 So I do not really know much of the histories of the characters. For example all I knew of Bane was what I saw of him in the earlier Batman film and in that he seemed like a mindless, clumsy clown. Not even very menacing in my opinion. In The Dark Knight Rises Bane was not just muscle but a calculating muscle. He knew his strengths and that there were few that could match his strength and speed, he was not as sinister as Heath Ledger’s Joker but I think any actor would struggle to match what Ledger did with the joker. Tom Hardy plays Bane in this movie and he had his mouth and half his face covered for the majority of the movie and he still pulled off a very impressive performance shows his talent and the directors ability as well. Anne Hathaway as Catwomen does not fail to disappoint either.
There are two things that bothered me about this movie, one of which is a fair bit of it felt rushed. There are large periods of the movie where I NEEDED to know more about what was happening but so much was, I’m reluctant to say ignored but I think cut out because otherwise this would have been a five-hour movie (why not do it in two parts?) and the other thing that bothered me is something that came across all three movies and that is Gotham city looked different in each film. In the first film it looked like it was loosely based on New York but it had its own, kind of gothic feel to it. Wayne Tower especially looked amazing. In the second film it is quite clearly set in Chicago and Wayne Tower just looks like another skyscraper and not the heart of Gotham. In the third movie it looks like New York once more but a tidied up New York that no longer has a criminal element eating away at its underbelly. It’s a continuity failure which does not ruin the film, but it’s noticeable. Aside from that it is a cracking movie which gives the viewer the epic film that I mentioned. There is the odd surprise in it and bearing in mind both director and lead actor have said this is their last Batman film, well see for yourself 😉
I just want to say quickly that for me Heath Ledger was the most sinister movie villain I have seen. When I first heard that he had been cast I was sceptical, not because I disliked him. I think he was a once in a generation talent and I thought that before he died. I was sceptical because I only knew the Joker from the old TV series and the Tim Burton movie where Jack Nickleson played him, but Ledger was born to play the Joker. He took a character who was a little slapstick and made him sinister. He took the character and made it the nightmare that we needed to see. Not once during The Dark Knight did I look at the Joker and see Heath Ledger, all I saw was Batman’s deadliest foe.