Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dark Knight Rises

Didn't I just review a superhero movie??? Seems like every time I turn around, another one is released. Why can't we have one summer filled with heart-warming, touching stories about two people hopelessly in love but somehow never able to connect. Maybe one of them could be dying from an incurable disease. Either that, or another Rob Schneider movie.

HA! Sorry, I can't continue like that after tasting the bile in my mouth. The truth is, the last few years have been Nerd Mecca in theaters, and I wouldn't want it any other way. And this year, maybe the ultimate in Nerd-vana, is the final chapter in the Christopher Nolan version of Batman: The Dark Knight Rises.

I'm trying to figure out what to say about this movie, because I keep my reviews spoiler-free. But 90% of this movie is spoilers! So... it's got Batman/Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), Bane (Tom Hardy), and Catwoman (Anne Hathaway). That's about all I can tell you.

Yes, I've enjoyed all three of Nolan's Batman movies, and maybe this is the best of them but...

Just so I'm clear, I don't hate director Christopher Nolan. I want to, but I can't. He's like that annoying kid in school that always tries to get attention by eating paste. It's fun, but is it unique? Nolan is very good at telling a story, and I like the way I can see most of the action (unlike other directors I hate *COUGH*j.j. abrams*COUGH*michael bay*COUGH*). However, he tries to make a movie set in the 'real world'. Some people like this. It's just not for me. I always feel like I'm watching an episode of CSI: Gotham City, or Law and Order CGD (Commissioner Gordon District).

At the risk of getting pelted by fan Batarangs, for me, none of Nolan's Batmen, were very epic. I personally never had a moment where I looked at his style and said, “Wow!”. Yes, they've had some very good stories, and amazing acting, (particularly Heath Ledger as Joker from 2008's The Dark Knight), but I had no interest in seeing this in IMAX, because he didn't do anything spectacular. I could save a few bucks and enjoy it equally on a smaller screen.

Speaking of acting... How about that Michael Caine as Alfred! He was seriously underused in the previous Batmans, and I'm very happy to see them take advantage of his talents here. I genuinely felt for Alfred, and I appreciated every moment he was on screen.

Also very noteworthy was Tom Hardy as Bane. If you ignore how he sounds like Darth Vader with a bad accent, and if you ignore that his storyline is much different than the original comic book, he really does a great job with the role. Even when he just stood there, he felt very imposing. He truly made this character come to life!

Everyone else did as expected by the caliber of their talents. Morgan Freeman is always good as Morgan Freeman (Lucius Fox), Gary Oldman was very Commissioner Gordon-y, and Christian Bale made a great Bruce Wayne, but still too gravely and stiff as Batman. And did I mention Anne Hathaway as Catwoman? I wouldn't mind watching a movie with her for three hours... in slow motion.

Yes, Dark Knight Rises is almost three hours long, but it does move along very nicely. It is fun and has some exciting moments with great acting, (and an extra wow to Hans Zimmer for an amazing musical score). But try to forget what you know about the comic books. Try to forget that Batman has many gadgets he never uses here. Try to forget how horrible Christian Bale sounds when talking as Batman. And try to forget everything you may know about the medical profession.

And did I mention Anne Hathaway as Catwoman?

There are some things you never want to forget...