The Liner Notes

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

“The Legend Ends”

Most of you know that I am a self proclaimed Batman fanatic, so I am of the disposition to like this film. Just like most of you, I have been eagerly anticipating the final installment in The Dark Knight Trilogy wondering how the opus that is The Dark Knight could be matched or even topped.  This is a mindset that must be left at the door. You must consider this film on its own merit, just as the previous two have. Now, with this said…the film, in my humble opinion, topped The Dark Knight in several ways. As a whole, I consider this in the pantheon of great film trilogies.

Early reviews have had some negative things to say about the film. One being that the exposition is crammed with new characters and too information. There is a lot of information to take in, meaning you HAVE to pay attention as soon as the first frame rolls. The Dark Knight had a lot of story to absorb in the first hour, but no one complained about that, did they? Being that there is a lot to understand, it may need multiple viewings, but it’s not required by any means. Also, Bane has caused a lot controversy with his voice and being able to compare to Ledger’s anarchic Joker. The voice can be hard to discern at times, but it did not take me out of the experience. You can’t focus on trying to figure out what he’s saying or you may miss something. If you don’t understand one of his lines, the visuals or another line from an actor will help make sense of if it. Bane is an excellent adversary to pit against Bruce/Batman. Nolan has said that Batman has not been matched physically or tactically before and Bane fills that 100%. The fight sequences between them (shot gorgeously in IMAX) are stellar and mesmerizing. Perhaps Tom Hardy’s performance is not as groundbreaking as Ledger’s, but you should not expect it to. His physical performance and presence are excitedly chilling. Bane fits and serves this story and that is what is key.

My only big quibble is the first scene between John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale). John Blake reveals some information to Bruce that almost seems out of left field, but it really doesn’t necessitate one to dwell on it much.

I could go on and on about the positives of this EPIC film. There is not a single bad performance throughout it. Most notably are two new cast members added to the ensemble. Anne Hathaway brought a new wonderfully enthralling take on Selina Kyle (Catwoman), Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the rookie optimistic cop wishes the viewer to have the best outcome possible for the story.  Of course the veterans actors: Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and, lest we forget, Christian Bale show their A game in this finale. In terms of scope, scale and action, this tops The Dark Knight. It is masterfully shot and put together to make a fitting swan song to Christopher Nolan’s Batverse.

What I love best about this film is that it ties everything together perfectly that was set up in the first two films. Nothing was retconned or ignored. If possible, watch the first two films first. It makes the experience much richer. They do have flashbacks for those who don’t, so don’t worry.  Also, there is plenty of fan service throughout the movie! People may not like or appreciate this film as much as I did, but that’s going to boil down to personal tastes and preferences. This is a good film, which is something I don’t say often. It absolutely merits a theater viewing and in IMAX, if you are able (over an hour of it was shot on IMAX cameras).  I hope you enjoy what I consider the best film of the summer! It is the film we deserved and needed.

If you’d like to know more about what I thought shoot me a message!


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