"The Dark Knight Rises" was released on July 20th.
By Steve Long
For: Red Dirt Report
Posted: July 20, 2012
Last night, or technically this morning, at midnight I took my oldest daughter and my costumed son to the opening showing of what has very possibly been the most highly anticipated film in the last two years, The Dark Knight Rises.
Ever since its 2008 predecessor, The Dark Knight wrapped up, there have been rumors upon rumors about this film. The Internet has been rampant with speculation and gossip and this film and its director, Christopher Nolan, did not disappoint in keeping the details of this film as close to the chest and away from the media as possible.
This movie was well worth the wait.
While I am not ready to come right out and say that this movie was overall better than The Dark Knight, it definitely did not disappoint. Personally, I felt like the wait for this movie was eternal and the anticipation in the last few days of finally being able to see how Nolan ends his trilogy was quite overwhelming. Fortunately, this final chapter in Nolan’s franchise was not inadequate or below expectations in the very least.
Trying to compete with the Heath Ledger Joker is near unfeasible because his interpretation brought so much to the saga. Despite that fact, I will say that the story itself in this one was much better than The Dark Knight. As a movie in and of itself, not even taking into account the whole this is a Batman movie; it was quite an enjoyable film. The story was just brilliant and it was one of those one of those pictures that can lead you to enjoy a barrage of emotions. At points the movie made you laugh. At another made you cry. At another made you angry. And yet at another overwhelmed you with joy. It was, all in all, a great viewing experience.
It is my intention to refrain from revealing too much about the film itself. After all, I don’t want to pull a David Letterman and spoil the thing for anybody. However, I will say that there were plenty of those little moments in the film guaranteed to blow you away. From the beginning all the way to the very last frame Nolan keeps you in suspense and spends the entire movie revealing a little bit here and a little bit there until at the end, you are almost out of breath because of what you just went through. In fact, in a way, watching this movie was exhausting.
The only shortcoming of the film to me was Anne Hathaway’s performance as Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman. Even then, there were certain points during the film where she wasn’t so disappointing. Luckily, I went into this film with brutally low expectations about her being Catwoman. When Anne Hathaway was announced for this role, I was extremely underwhelmed. Since she did not necessarily do a huge injustice to this iconic character, the Catwoman character was not a huge downfall in the film.
The great thing I have always thought about Christopher Nolan’s interpretation of the Batman legend is that he is so adept at injecting realism into it. The thing about the Nolan fable is that his version of Gotham and Batman and its surrounding archetypes could actually happen. Nothing is too far-fetched. There really aren’t any characters in the films that would make you think that it could never happen.
The difference between Christopher Nolan’s Batman franchise and every other super hero film is, quite simply, realism. The whole dynamic of Nolan’s Batman franchise is almost based on a premise of what if Batman and this environment were real? He always seems to go right to the edge of taking something too far without crossing the edge. The origins of the characters, the gadgets, the plot pieces, and especially the villains, are all pieces of the story that could actually happen in real life and I think that is where Nolan’s vision of Batman shines where others have failed.
Additionally, the way that Nolan can weave meaning into a film in such a way that it can make you think I have always found fascinating. This newest, and presumably last, entry into his Batman franchise is no exception. In an almost political allegory, Nolan seems to be almost telling, probably unintentionally, the story of the Occupy Wall Street movement, with Bane representing the movement and Bruce Wayne representing the 1%. While this is not something that automatically jumps out at you during the film because there is so much going on you almost don’t even recognize it, but it makes for some good water cooler chat about how class warfare has become a fundamental element in our system.
Comic book geeks and film lovers alike will certainly appreciate this film.
Nolan has said that this is his last Batman film and that is very unfortunate because this movie really leaves you with a sense of wanting more. It ends on a note that almost certainly sets up a sequel so one can only guess if the story will continue under somebody else’s vision or if Nolan will take up the chronicle of the man with the cape and cowl for another go at it. This writer would certainly not be disappointed with another entry into this series.
Steve Long runs The Otter Limits blog and lives in Edmond.
Copyright 2012 Red Dirt Report