The Dark Knight Rises
(20 July 2012) 164 min.
Director Christopher Nolan
This movie delivered on many of my Action Movie Essentials. The script was good, with a lot of the lines are meaningful and quotable, but I thought the storyline was a little tortured. A five-month 'fuse' on a bomb?! It's one thing to have it take five months but to announce it and then have to wait. It would have been better if it was just the 12-hour timeline. It's just a bit implausible to me and makes it hard to create excitement. Also, I think Detective Blake is the main character of the movie (has the most screen time), and that was unexpected. I couldn't help but wonder what it would have been like if the story was told from his point of view, and narrated!
"There's a storm coming, Mr. Wayne."
The MIDDLE MIDDLE MIDDLE
and more MIDDLE
VEHICLES! Loved seeing the Batpod. The cool side-spinning tires brake and make a 90º turn so fast you hardly have time for the Wow! it deserves. The way you sit on the cycle, how fat the tires are, the dark grey metal, just the whole thing is way beyond cool. The new "Bat" (the coolest yet 'Batmobile' although the Tumbler is wicked cool as well). When the Bat makes its first appearance it's some serious bass that shakes the whole theater! Loved the line "Sure it was him?" [According to Wikipedia: "The final version of the Bat takes its design cues from the Harrier Jump Jet, Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey, and the Boeing AH-64 Apache."] I think the preview should not have shown it. The surprise was gone. I wished the surprise and the rumble went together . . .
This movie is a worshipful take on Batman to be sure, and they work in all the things we love Batman for. "So that's what that feels like" is a very cool line when Catwoman disappears on Batman instead of the other way around.
The great variety of things in this movie also reminded me of Live and Let Die. When Morgan Freeman says "Please keep your hands and feet inside the car at all times" as the floor descends and it turns out the trailer exterior was just a front for another underground facility, we just can't get enough. If, like me, you were raised on a starvation diet of one Action Movie spectacular a year with all the early Bond movies, we love us some secret lairs. The idea that underneath our everyday lives are doors that open to hidden worlds is so intriguing. The Matrix knew that and took it to its ultimate end. The Batman movies make great use of lairs and gadgets, and that is also a great part of the appeal.
ALL YOU NEED IS
You can't deny the appeal of "Gotham". The City itself is a huge part of the appeal of the comics and the mystique of Batman in general. We know it's New York but it's just so damn cool to call it Gotham and to see "GPD" (Gotham Police Department) and the Gotham name on the "Rogues" football jerseys.
You know you went just to see this scene. Had to see this! There were quite a few real football players on the field. [Ryan Clark, Willie Colon, James Farrior, Casey Hampton, Heath Miller, Troy Polamalu, Maurkice Pouncey, Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Smith, Mike Wallace, Hines Ward, , and LaMarr Woodley from the Pittsburgh Steelers (Pittsburgh was used for Gotham)].
"Every cop in the City's
down in those tunnels."
Although the 5-month 'pause' (so to speak) was a little off-putting to me, it rounded out the background of the character of Miranda and gave some punch to the ending. The punishment of Bruce Wayne by Bain in prison is more like therapy to make him want to live again. Alfred warned him that he wanted to fail (and he did). It was difficult to see a hero beaten down like Bain beat him (and breaking the mask! they should not have showed that in the preview either). It's always a little disappointing to me when these larger-than-life characters simply fist fight. Since he lost the first fist fight, I didn't expect him to go back for more of the same.
When Bain beats Batman and takes over the stash of defense prototype equipment (Tumblers in cammo and black, etc.) he promotes anarchy. I have to say it was a little surprising to see in these times and made me marvel that we live in such a free society that they could promote a scenario where "the powerful will be ripped form their decadent lairs" on the heels of the Occupy movement to a movie audience crowd of the 99%. In the movie, they were just pushed into the streets. I think in real life, they would be beaten and killed. The movie glossed over what the general public was doing in these five months.
And Bruce Wayne is ripped from his decadent lair as well. And what a lair it is! The magnificent house used was Wollaton Hall in Nottingham, England.
I was VERY kind to this movie. Screen Junkies' HONEST TRAILERS rip it up—it's funny, because it's true!
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