The Dark Knight Rises Review

I have never been more excited for a movie than I was for The Dark Knight Rises. I loved every single solitary second of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. The Dark Knight Rises was the sequel to my favorite movie and the definitive end to what I could easily call my favorite series. My wild expectations were exceeded with the masterpiece that is The Dark Knight Rises, because with this epic Christopher Nolan has crafted the perfect ending for the perfect story.

The endings of both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight offered resolution, but Gotham wasn’t saved the way Bruce Wayne had set out to save it as the symbol for good, Batman. They weren’t happy endings, but they did offer hope for brighter days. Hope is a large undertone of The Dark Knight Rises mainly because all of it is dashed with the emergence of a new threat against Gotham, Bane.

Bane is an intelligent brute force and he is the most intimidating presence I’ve ever seen depicted. He’s a revolutionary tyrant (although there’s more to his agenda), he’s his own General and he’s his own greatest soldier. Bane has never been more appropriately titled than he was in The Dark Knight Rises because what Christopher Nolan and Tom Hardy have created is the bane of Batman’s existence and the good he’s meant to inspire. There is a poetic and constant battle between a symbol for good and a symbol for evil in The Dark Knight, but unlike The Joker, Bane has a plan and it involves destroying Batman and everything he cares for. However, The Dark Knight Rises isn’t just simply about Batman’s struggle against Bane, a story like that had already been told.

Batman Begins told the perfect hero’s journey, it was a tale about one man, Bruce Wayne and his journey to becoming a true hero, Batman. The Dark Knight was about good and evil and the balance the two offer, Batman and The Joker. The Dark Knight Rises, however, is about the beating heart of a city. It is a sweeping epic that utilizes every character we’ve come to know and love and manages to introduce a few more incredibly fundamental pieces to the puzzle in order to tell a story of hope, triumph and the heroism that can only be described as legendary.

The Dark Knight Rises was filled with talent on and off the screen. Tom Hardy who gave a magnificent and very physical performance as Bane wasn’t the only new cast member. There was the always brilliant Marion Cottillard, the extraordinary Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anne Hathaway who offers the flawless performance of what should be considered the greatest and definitive Catwoman. Wally Pfister, again takes to the camera (apparently for the last time) and Hans Zimmer finishes what he started in the first two and with The Dark Knight Rises, Zimmer offers in The Dark Knight Legend the greatest score in film. Every recurring actor offers easily their best performance of the series, including Christian Bale as a Batman past his prime.

The Dark Knight Rises accomplishes the monumental task of beginning flawlessly and only getting better as the film progresses. As the stakes and tension rise so to does your involvement in the story and then the ending is fully realized. The Dark Knight Rises offers nothing short of the greatest ending in film. The word epic was never fully understood until I was able to finish watching The Dark Knight Rises. With this film, you’re being thrust into so many different events and characters it’s almost hard to take it all in, but when put in the hands of a story teller of this caliber, you can’t expect anything less than a miracle.

Christopher Nolan, with the help of his cast and crew, did exactly what he set out to do. He masterfully weaved together what he had done with Batman Begins and The Dark Knight and told the ending his story deserved and needed. And that is nothing short of miraculous. The heroic character that Nolan and Bale have slaved over has gone through quite the journey and every journey has to come to an end.

The Dark Knight Rises is that end. Ever since I was able to witness The Dark Knight four years ago, I called it my favorite movie, but upon seeing The Dark Knight Rises I realized that the two are right on par with each other. Batman Begins is just as flawless, but because it is a simple origin story that absolutely needed to be told the exact way it was told it wasn’t able to touch on the complexities, themes and emotions that The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises are able to delve into. My favorite word to describe a movie that I love is, and I don’t use it lightly, masterpiece. However, that doesn’t seem like enough for this trilogy. The Dark Knight Legend is not only the greatest movie ever created, it’s the greatest story ever told.

Grade: A+

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Top Ten Reasons I Can’t Wait to See The Dark Knight Rises

To preface this list, I think it would be best to explain exactly why I felt the need to make this list in the first place. The reason is pretty simple, because The Dark Knight Rises deserves it. The film easily finds its way at the top of my Top Ten Most Anticipated Movies of 2012 and to put it as bluntly as possible, I have never wanted to see a movie more than I want to see The Dark Knight Rises. I seriously doubt I ever will.

I made this list because I love movies and I’ll be watching them the rest of my life, but I sincerely doubt that I will ever have a physical need to see a movie that is as potent as my need to see The Dark Knight Rises. There are less then a hundred days left before I see my most anticipated movie of all time. These are the reasons that make even another second of waiting feel like torture. Maybe I’m being a bit dramatic, but seriously I can not WAIT for July 20th.

10. The Bat

I chose “The Bat” in particular because it’s the new vehicle and just one of the many things that will allow this film to stand as a different film than Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. With this number 10 slot, though I chose and said “The Bat”, I do also mean the tools that will help Batman accomplish his goals, such as that gadget with a blue light we see Batman holding in some images and what looks to be the Bat Cave in a select number of shots.

9. The Hans Zimmer Score

Aside from possibly Ennio Morricone, Hans Zimmer may just be my favorite Film Composer. His touch on Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Legend is magnificent. He created an illustrious score for Batman Begins, upped the ante with The Dark Knight and based on what’s been heard so far, The Dark Knight Rises may be his best work yet. Ambitiously, not only has he crafted more beautiful notes and added them to a now classic score, he’s also incorporated some haunting chanting.

8. Ra’s Al Ghul

Like The Dark Knight, I’m sure The Dark Knight Rises will stand a part from its predecessors as its own film. On top of that though, it seems The Dark Knight Rises will also be able to continue a story if only due to the fact that Ra’s Al Ghul and Talia Al Ghul are playing some part in the film. There is no way of knowing exactly how The League of Shadows will play a part in this film, but its an idea that makes me very excited.

7. Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt

The entire Dark Knight Legend has offered some of the greatest casting that a series has ever had to offer. Marion Cotillard and Joseph-Gordon Levitt are two of the greatest artists regularly working today and it only makes sense that they find themselves on the cast list of one of the most anticipated movies of all time. There are a lot of rumors surrounding both of their characters. Miranda Tate may just be Talia Al Ghul and a wilder rumor is that John Blake becomes Robin. We won’t know for another three months.

6. Anne Hathaway as Catwoman

Though Anne Hathaway was an awesome choice as Catwoman, when I first heard that there would be a Catwoman in the film at all, I wasn’t sold on the idea. I wasn’t sad because I knew that Christopher Nolan wouldn’t disappoint, but I was just very curious exactly how he would pull off the female anti-hero. As July 20th comes closer, it’s obviously not clear where Catwoman will play in all of this, but the idea of figuring that out is giving me goosebumps.

5. The Mystery

I said “The Mystery”, but I more so meant the aura of mystery. Of course there are select things that many people know about The Dark Knight Rises and there are things, based on what we’ve seen, that some people may be able to assume. Aside from that though, what do we really know? The Dark Knight Rises will be a long movie, most likely longer than The Dark Knight’s two and a half hour running time. There are only a few select people that know, story-wise, exactly where Nolan goes with The Dark Knight Rises like many I’d like to know where that is.

4. The Fights

Pictured above is the last image shown in first teaser trailer for The Dark Knight Rises. They could’ve shown the title and I would’ve been excited, but instead they showed a fantastic Commissioner Gordon monologue and ended it with an image of a confident Bane approaching a terrified Batman. That final image left me drooling in anticipation for not just the movie as whole, but that fight between the antagonist and the protagonist. The trailers have featured other fights since and I’m ecstatic about those as well. I still can’t help but look forward to the scene in Nolan’s Dark Knight Legend where Bane may just break the Bat.

3. The Returning Artists

The original plan was to make one of the reasons “The Returning Actors” and then another reason “Christopher Nolan in the Director’s Chair”. I decided to combine these two into this one reason. Both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight offer two of the most incredible casts in film and most of both of those casts are found in The Dark Knight Rises. All of the cast and characters you’d expect to find are all there, Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, even Liam Neeson is making a small appearance (presumably in a flashback). They will again be directed by Christopher Nolan, a director who has never even come close to letting me down with the masterpieces he’s crafted. I can’t express just how much I doubt that Nolan will let me down with The Dark Knight Rises.

2. Tom Hardy as Bane

I absolutely love a good villain. If a film calls for an antagonist, your film won’t be compelling without a compelling villain. As far as the trailers and viral-campaign have established, the main antagonist and driving force of The Dark Knight Rises is Bane played by Tom Hardy. All I’ve got to work with are some images, a single quote in the full-length trailer and the first six minutes of the film and I am completely and with out a doubt in my mind, sold.

Tom Hardy as Bane looks to be an amazing villain. With a lot less insanity it seems Hardy will bring the intensity he’s capable of portraying (as seen in Bronson), but with a little bit of charisma you’d expect from a Christopher Nolan character. There’s almost a kind of magic to the mythology between Batman and The Joker (Heath Ledger created my favorite villain in all of film) in the way one is pure evil and one is pure good. It looks like what Bane will bring to the table however, is the perfect opposition for Batman at this point in the legend.

1. The Legend Ends

This is it, this is the end. The Dark Knight Rises is the film that will conclude the Dark Knight Legend that Christopher Nolan had began crafting almost a decade ago. It is my favorite series of film and The Dark Knight is far and away my favorite movie of all time. That makes The Dark Knight Rises, not only, the sequel to my favorite movie, but the end of my favorite series of films. From the looks of the bleak and haunting posters, The Dark Knight Rises looks like it will turn out to be one epic ending.

I’ve always had a thing for endings. While I can admit the first films of the Pirates and Matrix series’ are the better films I personally garner more enjoyment out of The Matrix Revolutions and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. Even Revenge of the Sith is my favorite Star Wars. And though I consider The Lord of the Rings one story, my favorite of the three chapters is The Return of the King. That’s not to say that I believe I’ll find The Dark Knight Rises to be my favorite, I’m merely showing proof that, for me, there are a lot of assurances that The Dark Knight Rises is going to be amazing.

The Dark Knight Rises is the end. Combined with the endless list of other reasons, that reason alone makes the idea of walking out of the theater after seeing The Dark Knight Rises, a bittersweet moment. All of that waiting, anticipation, and expectations will have culminated into one film viewing experience. I simply can not wait to see The Dark Knight Rises for many reasons, but most of all because it is the ending to my favorite cinematic story ever told on film and if the ending is anywhere near as good as its predecessors, the legend as a whole may just be a step above perfection.

The Dark Knight Rises Countdown

There are absolutely no words to express exactly how badly I want to see the film, The Dark Knight Rises. I could write a best-selling book series on all the reasons that make me completely ecstatic about seeing this movie, but for now I’ll just give you the two most important reasons: The Dark Knight Rises is the sequel to my favorite movie and it is the final film in what could very well be the greatest series of films ever created.

My 100th post on this site was a The Dark Knight Countdown and I was planning on this being my 300th, but I’ve been posting a lot of reviews and just lost track so in honor of 303 posts here’s the countdown for my second most anticipated movie of all time (first of course being The Dark Knight), The Dark Knight Rises.

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES COUNTDOWN

Top Ten Dark Knight Characters

I think by now most of us agree that The Dark Knight is a spectacular movie. One might ask the question, What makes The Dark Knight spectacular? Well, you can find my opinion to that question here. This list is dedicated to one of the many big reasons why The Dark Knight is an incredible movie, and that reason is the ell-acted characters behind the movie. Here’s my ten favorite.

!!! SPOILERS !!!

10. The Bank Manager

This aggressive bank manager runs a mob bank with an iron fist. He’s not afraid to kill any clowns (literally) who try to steal from him and his bosses. 

 

9. Coleman Reese

The Wayne Enterprises executive who knows who Batman is and eventually releases that the world needs him, luckily before he spills the beans.

 

8. Sal Maroni

The heir to the Falcone crime syndicate became too power hungry when he and his friends unwittingly hired The Joker to do their dirty work, not knowing what he was actually getting him self into.

 

7. Rachel Dawes

A  much more arresting Rachel Dawes than the first. Instead of just being a damsel in distress, she was able to hold her own when needed.

 

6. Lucius Fox

He is a comic relief character who plays a lot bigger part than in in the first. He can help Batman with any toy he needs and knows better than most the rue meaning of right and wrong.

 

5. Batman/Bruce Wayne

The ultimate good in a cruel world. So good that he’s will ing to take the blame for multiple murders in order to save the the people who hate him.

 

4. Jim Gordan

Commissioner Gordan is a brave and good officer, one of the few. He faked his death in order to stop the plaque that was spreading in gotham. A good man who would give his life to save the people he loves.

 

3. Alfred Pennyworth

A kind and intelligent butler whose always there to help the people he loves when they’re down. He’s played to perfection by Michael Caine and he is like a father to Bruce when he most certainly needs one.

 

2. Harvey “Two-Face” Dent

Mr. Dent represents the ultimate representation of man vs. self. In the beginning he is the definition of good, knowing farwell that Batman is more than just a vigilante, but a hero among men. Half way through he becomes a murderer in search of revenge who by the end of it all has Joker’s words coming out of his mouth.

 

1. (This must’ve been surprising) The Joker

The Joker is not just the greatest Dark Knight Character, but also the greatest character in film history. No explanation I give here will do the character so just go here. All I can say is that he’s intense and comically evil. He’s brilliantly made into the most iconic villain of all time in my opinion by the genius of an actor Heath Ledger. He’s pure evil, a masterpiece of a performance by a brilliant actor.