Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Movie Talk: The Dark Knight Rises

They should rename it "Why the hell can't I hear anyone speak?: The Movie" and who gave Deckard Cain (of Diablo fame) a role in this movie? Does Chris Nolan finish his trilogy story with the intended bang or does  The Dark Knight fail to get a rise? Minor spoilers to follow.

As a huge Batman fan and a big fan of Nolan's Batman movies I had high hopes for this movie but I went in open minded. One theme that definitely continues from the previous movies is the idea of 'escalation' - everything in this movie is bigger and more impressive than the last.

Come stay awhile and listen.

Begins we had the story very much focused solely on Bruce, Dark Knight was all about his psychological battles with the Joker and this movie is Batman being challenged physically, he's a man at his limit and, after enjoying a brief time of peace, he has to put on the cape and cowl again and needs to decide whether he can to make the ultimate sacrifice for his city.

Going to be looking a few things in this movie: Bruce Wayne's Evolution, The Villain, The Toys.

Bruce Wayne's Evolution

In the first two movies Bruce Wayne's role has always just been a mask to the true face of the character, in TDKR we see more to the Bruce Wayne side of the character. He isn't just the spoiled eccentric billionaire, we see him take a bigger role in the movie which sadly cuts into the Batman time, but sees him evolve into a more likeable person with more than just his emotional past to prop him up. At least when you see him throw on the suit you know there's definitely going to be some ass-kicking.

Catwoman? Is that your stripper name?

His growth as a character is interesting, he goes from a recluse to going back into Batman being at his prime but there's a long journey between these points that often seems frustratingly slow. Thankfully he has Anne Hathaway's Catwoman to appear at certain points to inject a little bit of fun to his trapezing around and gives him the kick up the arse that he needs at times. Hathaway does a good job of kicking ass and working alongside Batman to give a refreshing new element to the character - in many ways she's almost his sidekick in this film.

The Villain

Bane plays a worthy villain in this film. More often than not, Bane is a laughable character and frequently little more than hired muscle - occasionally he is depicted as a gang leader but hardly to this level of menace and intelligence. He is Batman's match in every way and seeing the two lock-horns is a harrowing experience - you feel every desperate punch and Bane really exhibits a certain invincibility.

Deckard Bane. Too easy.

Unfortunately Bane's voice is something I could never get over, his digitally enhanced voice is so very far apart from his look that sometimes it is just plain hilarious. The voice has actually been revised, the first trailer showcasing his voice was hit hard by fans and Nolan decided to change the voice. For the better? I'm not so sure.

Sound seems to be a serious issue with this film, there are just so many moments where its hard to hear anything a person is saying, whether it is a lot of background noise or if their situation compromises their ability to speak somehow. A scene from the trailer in which Gordon is hospitalised, its hard to pick up all the words that Gordon is uttering from behind his pulled-down oxygen mask - intentional? Hopefully not.

Up, up and away!

The Toys

'The Bat' makes his debut in this film and makes it much harder to suspend your belief. All the other technology in this Batman universe seems to gel quite nicely together then this magical flying hover beast arrives and slaps you in the face. I understand it is a story mechanic and allows Batman to outwit people and gives him the means to combat the new challenges, but it feels very out of place.

Overall it's not a terrible movie by any stroke of the imagination, I urge everyone to give it a chance if you've enjoyed either of the other two Nolan Batman movies - but chances are you've already seen it. There are some fun reveals during the course of the movie, but Batman fans won't be fooled and will appreciate the constant sneaky hints that are shoved in your face.

tl;dr: Deckard Bane. Bruce Wayne Nice Guy. Broken Bat. Flying Car.

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