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Friday, October 24, 2014

Movie Review:The Dark Knight Rises


Premise:After years of hiding, Batman is drawn out for one more fight for Gotham.

Cast:Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Tom Hardy as Bane, Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle, Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake, Michael Caine as Alfred, Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon, Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, Ben Mendelsohn as Daggett, Matthew Modine as Foley, Burn Gorman as Stryver

Director:Christopher Nolan

MPAA Rating:PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality, and language

Genres:Action, sci-fi

Notes:The final film in the Dark Knight trilogy. Images taken from Rotten Tomatoes and belong to Warner Brothers.

Pros:The bad guys. Good acting. Human nature.

Cons:More plot holes. The protagonist. The ending.


Eight years. Eight years since the Joker ravaged Gotham, since he drove Harvey Dent mad. Eight years after the White Knight of Gotham lost any goodness he had left. And since that time, it was decided Dent's reputation must live. No one can know the truth. But hiding the truth will have consequences, among them the disappearance of Batman.

In a way, this film is darker than its predecessor was. Dark Knight showed that even in desperate situations, people can make the right choice. Here, no such optimism exists. Everything goes south and people turn on each other, kill because of hatred between classes.

I don't really see Christian Bale's Batman as the kind of hero you sympathize because he seems like an angry kid. He dwells on the past, hides from anything he is unwilling to hear, and stops caring whether he lives or dies. He doesn't even appear onscreen for a while into it.

Bane might not measure up to the Joker, but I liked him as a bad guy. He was more physically imposing as a villain. Anne Hathaway has gotten flak for not being like Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns. Honestly, this is pretty unfair. Pfeiffer's Catwoman was dark and vengeful, which was cool to watch, but unconventional for the character. Hathaway's version was closer to how I typically imagine Catwoman. She's kind of cocky and not sure which side she should be on.


Since the beginning, the films in this series have suffered from plot holes. This one has it the worst. The ending also has some problems, making you ask questions and wondering how in the world things happened the way they did.

Spoilers
How does the underground prison have a TV getting a signal? How does the device not result in nuclear fallout? How did Batman escape it so quickly? How did he get out of that prison and back to Gotham in just a few days? Why does he appear in a public place after his supposed death (assuming it's not Alfred's imagination)? Although on Batman and Bruce Wayne dying at about the same time, people probably assuming the latter got killed in the riots.
End spoilers


Overall, it has some problems, but I enjoyed it and would recommend it.


Sex:Standard cleavage-showing women and shirtless men. A couple kisses and is then shown post-sex in just blankets. A man remarks to a woman that no one will miss her "even in that dress." It's implied a woman in a prison is raped before she is killed. Selina remarks to Bruce he might be unrealistic about what's inside his pants. When a man asks to "get some girls in here," Catwoman appears and tells him to be careful what he wishes for.
When Bruce wonders why he's being fixed up with a jewel thief, Alfred replies he'd fix Bruce up with a chimpanzee if he'd go back into the world. Later, Lucius calls Miranda Tate lovely, suggesting Bruce go out with her. Speaking of Tate, Wayne's business rival thinks she must be sleeping with him (she isn't at the time, though).
Catwoman seduces men to get what she wants and wears a rather tight-fitting suit. As she walks past male prisoners, they make catcalls at her (pun intended). When she climbs into a car and asks "Can I have a ride?", a man replies "You read my mind." Catwoman and Batman kiss a few times. When she climbs into his new ride, she says her mother warned her about getting into cars with strange men.


Violence:A plane is ripped apart and most of its passengers are killed. One has his blood forcibly transfused into a corpse to make it appear he died in the crash. A man is badly injured, and the doctors who work on it fail to properly heal him. Meanwhile, a doctor gives a few details on how badly Bruce's body has been damaged thanks to his nighttime activities.
A boy is found dead in the sewers. Characters beat people up. A child stabs an attacker. Bane and Batman get into a fight that ends painfully when the former breaks the latter's back. Catwoman knocks over an injured man, wounds another guy's leg with her heel, and injures the hands of a man hitting on her. Batman tells her no guns or killing. She snaps "Where's the fun in that?" Someone stabs a man. A man's vertebrae is painfully snapped back into place.
After Batman gets back in the game, a friend remarks his taste for wanton destruction is back as well. People use guns. Naturally, stuff blows up. During a football game, the field caves in and presumably kills the people on it. A man's neck is snapped publicly. Bane kills several others using the same method. A riot results in the deaths of many formerly privileged people. A cave-in traps hundreds. There's a huge motorcycle chase. The bodies of dead cops are hung out where everyone can see them.


Drugs/Alcohol:A couple scenes take place in bars. People are shown drinking. A guy tells his lackey to open the champagne. A man is mentioned to be a morphine addict. Another uses painkillers to stop his injuries from crippling him.

Language/Insults:Multiple uses of "h*ll", "b**ch", and "d**n". Also a couple uses of "g*dd**n", "bas**rd", and "J*sus". A man says "You f-" before he's cut off.

Spiritual:Mainly metaphors. Bruce has a vision of a deceased enemy returning to taunt him (though this could very well be a hallucination), who says immortality comes in many forms. A particularly bad prison is called hell on earth. At a party, Bruce Wayne is said to be there in spirit if not in body. A priest serves a minor role. Boys are gathered to pray before their deaths. The power of belief is mentioned, as is the expression "speak of the devil." Bane speaks of torturing Bruce's soul, and poisoning the peoples' souls by giving them hope. Harvey Dent is called a false and a fallen idol. A few other references to spirits and souls are made.


So what was your opinion? Did it rise above your expectations? Or fall like its hero?

© 2014 by M.R.R.

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