Watched Jul 21, 2012
Gregory Ashman’s review:
The Dark Knight Rises represents an ambitious, sometimes muddled but completely engaging cinematic entertainment that not only helps to flesh out the mythology and philosophy of the trilogy but also stands on its own as a muscular, stakes-driven war film whose spectacle does not compromise on the pathos of its characters and universe.
I think the thing I like the most about the film was the fact that while watching it I felt like there was a feeling of purpose that was driving the entire story forward- like this tale had to be told- and it only builds on the brilliance on a series that has managed to keep things fresh and even morph from genre to genre. "Batman Begins" gave us a taut and relevant post 9/11 rumination on the superhero origin story , The Dark Knight was a superb crime drama and now we have a balls-out war film that keeps the heart pumping and brings a satisfying and definitive close to the Dark Knight saga, bookends and all. Batman Begins introduced the whole concept of Batman being a symbol to battle corruption, The Dark Knight saw the Joker forcing Gotham to confront its true face , using White Knight Harvey as his ace in the hole and The Dark Knight Rises brings a nice sense of closure to all those plot points and themes.
Love the addition of Tom Hardy as the villain Bane- he was a genuinely frightening adversary and the hellscape he creates in Gotham was truly disturbing. Anne Hathaway brings a lot of moralistic grey to the Selina Kyle character but I feel that she fit in really well in this world of shifting allegiances and the film did a fun job at tackling the romantic tension that has always existed between Catwoman and Batman. I wasn't so much a fan of all the retroactive continuity that was involved in the background of the Miranda Tate character but in the end it all makes sense and bookends in some elegant ways with Batman Begins. Unfortunately, as great an actress as Cottilard is, I just didn't buy the two of them being lovers with so little screen time shared by the two. Gordon-Levitt was fantastic as patrol cop turned detective John Blake- bringing a down-to-earthiness and I liked his dynamics with Comissioner Fordon (the always amazing Gary Oldman). Very likely in my Top 10 this year :)