Imagine you’re 4 years old.
You’re going to the cinema. Maybe one of your favourite TV-characters has got their own movie or you are there for the first time in your life.
Imagine the excitement, the thrill, the happiness.
I felt like this when I went into today’s (aka Friday’s) first screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” in BFI IMAX in London. I ‘d like to let the movie sink into a little bit before I go into detail, so this will be very short. There won’t be spoilers in it, well, at least no big ones. The less you know about the movie before seeing it the better. I will only mention a few scenes.
Did I like it? Hell yeah! It’s a fantastic, a wonderful movie, that excites you from the first moment on. It takes place 8 years after the events of The Dark Knight and it shows a Gotham, that has been changed to good by the lies that have been told in the last movie.
The action is great, it has got a wonderful story and the acting is good (Michael Caine as Alfred and or Anne Hatheaway as Selina Kyle/ Catwoman should be nominated for best supporting cast in my opinion, for they have both incredible character scenes, Caine in a very touching dialogue-scene with Christian Bale, and Hathaway in one scene in which she switches emotions like you’d swith on/off the light in your room, despite being in a rather rushed scene). About the other characters: Bale definitely won back his throne of a great leading actor, which he lost in 2008’s The Dark Knight, when the late Heath Ledger had acted him against the wall. He plays the broken but determined Bruce Wayne aka Batman (who would have guessed, that’s a spoiler), who apparently still has got a lot to learn.
His big opponent in this film is Bane, played by Tom Hardy. And he is a fantastic villain, he is no human but so much more, a beast, a monstrum that is superior to Batman as well as physically as well as intelectually. And he is very intimidating (I have to say I got kind of scared of him). Part of the reason is that he is wearing his weak point clearly visibal for everybody, but he does not care.
In the beginning, there is alot of very cleverly given exposition, as there are a lot of new characters to introduce, and since it takes place 8 years later, a lot of characters to follow up (what did they do, what happened to them). It’s never boring, but after about half an hour into the movie, the real action begins. I guess the following wouldn’t be considered spoiler as you know that Batman fights Bane, but the fight scenes between them are intense. And both characters/ actors go the distance.
The movie marks the end of the Nolan-Batman Trilogy, and it’s epic in almost every way. Well, for me at least. I’ve already run across some varying opinions about it, and some people would put The Avengers above it (I still have to write my Avengers review), so the tough internet question which movie is better, “Rises” or “The Avengers“, will rather be a question of personal taste I believe. I would say that you can’t (or shouldn’t) compare these two movies, for they are too different in style, story and genre.
Another popular question is whether this movie is better than The Dark Knight respectively the best movie in the trilogy. I can’t give an answer to this yet, for I will watch the whole trilogy on Tuesday, so you’ll have to wait for that. But I think it’s personal favour. A friend of mine once asked me which of the first two movies I would rather take with me on a lonely island. After a very long and thoughtful deliberation I answered him “Batman Begins” (which means that it is my personal favourite, but does not neccessarily mean it’s the best), maybe simply because it’s the more optimistic movie. (Other friends of mine were sceptical about that choice due to the fact that The Dark Knight is far superior to them) With “Rises” out now, I may have to think my decission over. We’ll see.
The movie has some flaws I admit, and some plots do not make much sense if you think about it. But so do the other to movies.
At the end of this review, I have to make a sidenote: Sadly, there has been an incident on Friday’s midnight premiere of “Rises” in Aurora, Denver: 24 year-old James Holmes entered the full cinema loaded with guns and smoke grenades and started shooting. He killed 12 people and injured many more. Among the victims were little children. He was wearing a gasmask and had dyed his hair Jokerish green (or red, I’m not sure), and when he was arrested shortly after by the police, he declared to be the Joker, Batman’s arch nemesis. I don’t want to go any further into detail, but it is a very tragic and shocking event. My condolenses go to the victims’ families and friends. My thoughts are with them. I hope they will find peace one day.