Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

By Sati. Sunday, July 29, 2012 , , , , , , , , ,
98/100 (2012, 164 min)
Plot: Eight years on, a new terrorist leader, Bane, overwhelms Gotham's finest, and the Dark Knight resurfaces to protect a city that has branded him an enemy.
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writers: Jonathan Nolan (screenplay), Christopher Nolan (screenplay)
Stars: Christian Bale, Michael Caine and Gary Oldman

There's a storm coming, Mr. Wayne.

If you told me a week ago that I will give The Dark Knight Rises Christopher Nolan's follow up to The Dark Knight, the movie I like but I consider to be incredibly flawed, 10 /10 I'd laugh. And if you added it will turn out to be better than Prometheus I'll probably cut off my own arm because that would make more sense to me than this statement becoming the reality.Well, fetch me the machete.

I love stories about Batman not just because he is pretty messed up hero, with all his issues and the obvious ramifications that hide behind the fact he dresses as a bat, but also because they are really entertaining - I never watch animated series on TV, but I watched Batman every time it was on. Not only did most of those stories had really cool, noir vibe to them, the villains were always my favorite part. From The Joker through Poison Ivy to Bane they were all different, unique and scary in their own way.
I really like Tim Burton's take on the stories, but let's face it, it was pure entertainment, filled with colors, quirky characters and a fairytale feel to them. Then came Schumacher and fucked things up adding even more color, less charisma and nipples on George Clooney's Batsuit. And then Nolan came along and as much as both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are well made, entertaining films with good actors I saw them and all I thought, was "that was OK". It didn't shudder me, it didn't made my jaw drop open and apart from the score and Heath Ledger's work I'd consider them on the same level as other very good crime/drama/action movies. Cause that is the thing that Nolan definitely achieved here - it's not really a comic book movie like The Avengers, it's closer to films like Heat or The Bourne identity because the story is grounded in realistic setting unlike most comic book adaptations. And when I say realistic setting I'm trying my best to pretend that sonar scene didn't happen.

As much as I consider BB and TDK to be good films I also consider them (and Inception) to be massively overrated. They are good, they are fun, they are definitely an admirable effort - bringing comic book based story to whole new level. But they are not one of the greatest movies ever made.The Dark Knight Rises is a different story. I can't believe it. When I walked into theatre to see this film I had one mission - to laugh at new plot devices like sonar and plot holes. I was on a lookout for those, being so severely disappointed by Inception. And I searched. And I think somewhere around the scene where Anne Hathaway escapes the bar and Gordon gets captured I thought to myself - Dear God. This is actually good.

The plot of the film is very intricate and it takes as to the end of the journey - Batman had been gone for 8 years after the events that happened thanks to Harvey Dent. Him and Gordon have been lying about Harvey being a hero and being killed by Batman which lead the city to the creation of Harvey Dent act - strict law that helps to lock up the criminals in jail making Gotham a safe place. Under this act criminals get captured and transported to huge prison without the chance of parole. Jim Gordon doesn't look happy though, as the lie he was keeping for 8 years is heavier on him each day.

Meanwhile Bruce Wayne is hiding in his big manor, not giving a crap about anything, leaving Wayne Enterprises to slowly fall and giving up both on his Bat and playboy personas. A series of events force Bruce to wear Batsuit again - there is a thief, Selina Kyle, who steals his fingerprints for mysterious reason and enchants him at the same time, there are reasons to save Wayne Enterprises and finally there's new villain in town - Bane, huge, ruthless and enigmatic ex apprentice of Bruce's mentor Ra's Al Ghul.
While it was clear from the first moments that Nolan directed it - the plane hijacking scene was severely reminiscent of hotel fight in Inception - it was almost like he did this movie according to new rules. In his previous films I hated the fact all those great actors are in the movie and have nothing to do. Michael Caine was in like 2 scenes in Inception. Tom Wilkinson basically disappeared halfway through Batman Begins. Aaron Eckhart's Harvey Dent story arc was incredibly rushed which was astonishing for a movie this long. But here when a character disappears from the screen, we are given a good reason for it. Furthermore, we already know most of the characters we are seeing and Nolan wastes no time - we know Lucius Fox and Jim Gordon so they are here on the screen, but we need no new family drama or fake deaths. We are given important details in short lines of dialogue and then we can just enjoy those characters interact.

This is great for two reasons - first of all whenever Nolan tried to give his characters a bit more depth in previous instalments I yawned - the whole Rachel Dawes thing - Bruce Wayne's childhood friend and his great love. It would worked but the character was so uninteresting, worse yet she was played by bland Katie Holmes and then slightly less bland Maggie Gyllenhaal. And the whole family drama Gordon faced in The Dark Knight. Here, the important things happen between important characters, between Alfred and Bruce, Jim and Blake and Bane and Bruce.
And how does new people handle themselves in Nolan's Gotham? Fantastically. I like Joseph Gordon Levitt. Ii think he is very talented and likable. And I adored his character. It is quite clear from the very first scenes he has that he will be the one to carry on Batman's myth after Bruce is gone.Blake was genuinely goodhearted character and whenever Levitt was on the screen he brought a lot of credibility to his part. He was charming, kind and friendly but he also had the courage to do the right thing or the thing that the occasion required him to do.

In fact, I like him more than Bruce - there is a scene in the movie, where Blake, in self defense and a bit by coincidence, shoots two people that wanted to harm him. Had Wayne did it he would lose his shit - figuratively and literally. I can just picture him locked in Arkham Asylum writing "Alfred, I killed a man" with his own feces on the wall. The way Wayne was whining to Alfred and everyone who would listen about his "one rule" was so tiresome. At least Blake has the balls to carry on, so it seems. When he shoots these guys he throws his gun, shocked, after all he is still human, but then calls Gordon and simply says he has two dead witnesses. No crying. No locking himself in the house. No drama.
Then we have Catwoman played by Anne Hathaway. As much as I think Hathaway is a good actress and very charming person I didn't think she can pull this off. Michelle Pfeiffer's take on Catwoman in Batman Returns is my second favorite performance in Batman movie. Was Hathaway good? You know what, there were times she was better than Pfeiffer. I liked how in the movie Selina Kyle doesn't care who knows she is Catwoman - unlike in animated series and some of the stories she is not hiding her own self. Also there were times where I thought Catwoman, cool, sultry and sexy one from the animated series was magically turned into movie character - Hathaway resembles her so much with her feminine but fun loving and brave interpretation.

Her performance was truly wonderful and she never hit the false note. Her voice was big asset here and she played wonderfully with it - the first time we see her Kyle she is pretending to be a maid in Wayne's manor and steals things from the safe as Wayne catches her. First she plays innocent and then she drops the act changing into this fascinating girl Bruce is immediately taken with. I liked that Nolan wasted no time here - we all know the story, we all know those two are attracted to each other because they both hide behind their masks and are lonely in their own unique way. We don't need scenes showing us why Bruce is attracted to Kyle. When he follows her and then forms allegiance with her, well we can't blame him and we would do the same.
The scenes those two share are fantastic - the two highlights are the scenes where Catwoman and Batman both fight with Bane's goons as Batman yells in his TB voice (slightly less annoying in this movie) "No guns" and Catwoman, yelling my own thoughts, replies "Where is the fun in that?" and the sequence in which they go into sewers to meet with Bane. Thing I adored the most, though, was that Christian Bale actually had chemistry with his leading lady. I like him and I consider him to be a great actor but the only time he had something close to chemistry on screen was with Natasha McElhone in the car scene in little known Laurel Canyon. Here sparks fly out between him and quick witted Kyle. The two also share two kisses - as Wayne and Kyle and Batman and Catwoman. What I liked here is that there is no melodramatic build up because hero kisses the girl It is Kyle who kisses him, simply because she wants to.

I also loved subtle hints thrown in here, which obviously, since it's summer blockbuster couldn't be spelled out -  there are many scenes where there are guys in Selina's apartment, around her, dancing with her, driving her back etc. It's quite clear that Selina earns her money as an escort to say it's subtly and by stealing. In other words doing things that many would consider immoral  But in her own morality it's all right - she does what she can do survive (I'm adaptable). But she is also a kind person, which Bruce instantly sees. She wears armour trying to prevent everyone, even her friend Holy, from seeing that she is vulnerable. Not only was Hathaway's Selina a joy to watch, she was also very well written and interesting character, which proved to be a match for both Wayne and Batman.
And finally we have Bane. Tom Hardy didn't have an easy task here. First, the last Batman villain was the Joker who was not only the most iconic villain in the stories - he was also played by Heath Ledger who made history winning Oscar for his work. Secondly, Bane is a character that wears a mask - the explanation for the mask in the movie is something I actually liked much more than the one in comic books, as I thought it was much more realistic. Anyways, much of Hardy's face is obscured and it doesn't take an actor to realize that it is hard to create a performance when the audience doesn't get to see most of your face. And finally because of the mask his voice is distorted. Now, even in a movie with Bale's-I'm-out-of-Malboros-cause-I-smoked-10-packs-today Batman voice it apparently proved to be a problem as I hear many people don't understand what he is saying. I have to admit it was tough to get what he said at times, as it was one of the few times I actually glanced at the subtitles at the bottom of the screen. Also at the beginning he sounded so much like Sean Connery I was convinced that when they take the hood off we will see Connery smoking the pipe.

Despite all of that, Hardy was great. Nolan made superb choice as Bane for final villain. In many ways Bane trumps the Joker. The reason the Joker is considered to be the best Batman villain is because he is complete opposite of Batman. With Bane there were some similarities. It turns out there is something and someone they care for deeply, they both got the same training and they both have purpose in life, whereas The Joker cared only about chaos. Also what the Joker did to Gotham was the series of tricks and games. Bane raises the stakes and takes entire city hostage, revealing things about them and the world they will not like. Hardy's work was really good here and I was impressed not only by his physique - he appeared to be quite average built young man in Rock'n'Rolla, here he is basically a beast - but also by how much emotion he shown only with his eyes, particularly in one of his last scenes. That is what I loved here - for the first time in Nolan's Batman I felt sympathy for the villain. I also liked that Nolan did here what he did in TDK - showed us the glimpse of the villain without his disguise.
There is huge twist regarding Bane and Miranda Tate, played by lovely Marion Cotillard. There is this story we are seeing the glimpses of throughout the film and then we hear the whole of it. I loved how all of those moments formed that whole heartbreaking tale that really gave us a lot of insight into those two people. Yes, Bruce had tough moments in his life, but those two were through hell. And honestly had I not known about that twist I don't think I'd guessed it before the movie told me exactly what is going on here. A lot of people complained about Cotillard's acting but I thought she was all right up until her last scene. Still, even there she wasn't the worst. The way people described that scene to me was as if it went on for 10 minutes and she was telling her entire life story. It wasn't nearly as bad, but I did laugh - there is this moment where as she is speaking and the timer on the bomb is showing less and less time we are seeing Batman, Catwoman and Gordon listening to her, standing still, with their mouth hanging open. That really cracked me up.

Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman provide strong support - Freeman with comedy and Oldman with drama. There are many nods to Batman Begins here (Not too many to TDK) a lot of them in the scenes with Freeman and Bale. Oldman is very good playing the cop who you can clearly see is tired by the lifetime of struggle but can't stop, because fighting is the right thing to do. Then there is Michael Caine who disappears for big part of the movie. I liked his work here and I think he was the best possible choice for Alfred Nolan could make. That said, the bit where he is crying near the end felt a bit forced for me, but his last scene was perfection and something I will never forget.
Christian Bale was good in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight and already became the best Batman ever, but that said the competition wasn't strong. Here he truly earned that title and I think for the first time during those movies I actually liked Batman more than Wayne and couldn't wait for him to appear on screen. Bale truly excels both in playing the man who has to gather all the strength, faith and will to fight to rescue the city he cares about and a hero who is willing to sacrifice himself in order to make sure evil is defeated. When Batman appears in the movie he truly seems unbeatable, not because he is a cliche hero but because he is so set on fighting with the bad people, so eager to bring the justice and he would be willing to do whatever is necessary.

And that is precisely  why the scene where Batman is broken - literally - is astonishing. I really didn't think Nolan will do that, but I'm so glad the iconic scene in which Bane holds Batman over his head and then breaks his back was in the movie. The whole sequence is absolutely astonishing and gotta be one of the best hand to hand combat scenes I've seen. What's even better is that as brilliant as Hans Zimmer's score is there is no music in this scene, we only hear the desperate punches and the heavy breathing of Batman who keeps on fighting but with every single second it is becoming more and more clear he will lose. Also - Catwoman who led him in the trap watches the fight with the guilty look on her face, in the end becoming completely horrified but what Bane - and she - did.
There are many scenes as superbly made as this one in the film - the action sequences are fantastic. I think Nolan really knows how to translate his vision into a film, but sometimes the timing is off - Inception's third act bored me to tears and certain moments in The Dark Knight felt too rushed. Here the action scenes are not too short and not too long - they are perfect. From shootouts where you feel us if the bullet where flying next to you through the astonishing flying Bat, basically a flying batmobile to the fantastic finale, the film makes you go "woah" with its grand scale and the ability to keep you on the edge of your seat. You are like a little kid, just discovering you got the toy you wanted for Christmas and it comes with things you didn't even knew it had.

And not just that - because of the superb editing and exquisite score by Hans Zimmer certain scenes are insanely powerful simply because as a movie fan I was ecstatic seeing something so well executed. The holy union of editing, perfectly timed music, acting, directing and the story. One of such scenes is when Bruce attempts to get out prison Bane has thrown him into by climbing out of the pit. As the fellow inmates cheer him on, step by step, he climbs and then jumps - as Zimmer's insanely moving "Why do we fall?" plays in the background. When he succeeds, Zimmer's Batman theme blasts in the speakers and the moment of triumph of human courage and determination simply overwhelms you.
Not just the score is one of the greatest tools in Nolan's disposal - it's silence. The scene where Alfred and Bruce part ways had no music in it, standing out from the rest of the film - it's crucial, after all as from all the relationships in the trilogy, the one between Bruce and Alfred is the most important. Also just before the big explosion on the stadium little boy is singing "Star Spangled Banner" and that's it - there is no noise, no music, nothing. Just child's voice, singing, while we fully realize something horrible is about to happen. But getting back to the score I truly don't get the backlash Zimmer is getting - for me it's definitely the best out of three. I loved new themes - the one for Catwoman and for Bane, first one being very elegant and sexy and second being wild and violent with the chant that is probably the most memorable part of the film music in The Dark Knight Rises.

I have to write few words about the ending which was absolutely mesmerizing. In a series of quick reveals we get to see what I can only describe as finest ending to any trilogy I've seen. It was moving, enthralling and superbly awesome. And the look Alfred and Bruce Wayne, almost shouting "We made it" filled with respect and joy as Hans Zimmer's Rise reached its climax with Batman's theme blasting at us again truly made my heart pound along with it. I honestly don't get how some people can think the ending is ambiguous. It's Inception all over again - with Inception I can see how some may be confused, though for me the end is clearly reality. But here? The mention of the autopilot and the string of pearls followed by that lovely scene is definite answer. The story is dark. But had it ended differently it would be pitch dark you can't see shit, and where is the joy in that?
The film uses two fantastic settings - the pit in which Bruce is battling with his weaknesses and fears trying to get out so he could go back to Gotham and save it and Gotham itself, dark, hostile city which Bane takes hostage threatening he will detonate a bomb if anyone goes in or out. Gotham falls into anarchy, chaos and crime. There are courts led by the ex prisoners where the privileged are being judged. Here we get a quick appearance from Cillian Murphy, returning as Crane, though I'm sure all of you fellow Batman: The Animated Series fans missed Heath Ledger's Joker in that moment - there is one great episode of the series when Batman is on trial and none other than the Joker is the judge.

Initially when I heard there is no mention of the Joker I was disappointed.after all The Joker with his actions forced Batman into exile and now what, no mention? While I think it worked in the movie, as Bane is totally a different villain it would be awesome to get a quick scene in Arkham Asylum showing The Joker from behind, for obvious reasons, maybe writing something on the wall or perhaps showing Harley Quinn and one of her sessions with him without showing him.
I am a bit saddened that it is the last Nolan's journey into Gotham - while I don't consider entire trilogy to be flawless Nolan really brought Gotham to life. If there was a genie who would grant me a wish that I can wish for any movie with any actors to be made I'll ask for Mad Love. For those of you who don't know - Mad Love tells us the origin of Harley Quinn, who was first Harleen Quinzel, psychiatrist working in Arkham, who was fascinated with the Joker, fell in love with him and helped him break out. She is my favorite comic book character and her relationship with the Joker is one of the most toxic and fascinating love stories in pop culture. And I'd love for the Joker to be played by Ledger and see Brittany Murphy as Harley. But sadly, there are no genies. And sadly some actors leave us all too soon.

As much as I loved the film there are two things I didn't get. Blake visits Wayne and tells him he knows that he is Batman. He proceeds to tell him that he himself is an orphan so he knows how it is to pretend to smile and hide anger inside. But all the story proves is that Blake knows Wayne is orphan. How the hell does it connect to him knowing Wayne is Batman?  Another thing is after Bruce gets out of the shithole pit. He is in a middle of nowhere. Next time we see him he is back in Gotham. Now, I can maybe see how he got back to that part of the world, using his skills and maybe hidden cash reserves, but since Gotham is cut off and there are people on the only bridge connecting to the outside world, how the hell does he get inside the Gotham? It also looks he had to be up on the bridge to set up gigantic, fiery Bat symbol....howwwwww?
The Dark Knight Rises is definitely my favorite Batman movie to date, best comic book inspired film I've seen and possibly one of the few action movies that didn't fall apart in third act and despite the long run time held my interest throughout. It is a vast improvement from Batman Begins and especially The Dark Knight and for me, so far, the best movie of the year.

47 comments:

  1. Wow okay. Surprised you loved it so much. I really really liked it, but at present, all I remember are the flaws, which is sad because I enjoyed it quite a bit. This is what happens when I read this many articles on one film. I definitely need to rewatch it.
    Loved Hathaway as Kyle. Loved JGL (minus his "big" moment at the end), Hardy was great though Bane was ruined with the final twists. It looked and sounded great. I didn't like the complete non-mention of Joker either.

    Not my favourite superhero movie ever, or even of this year, but a pretty great end to a definitely brilliant trilogy.

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    1. Sounds like you feel about TDKR as I do about TDK :)

      I thought the big moment will suck but at that point I liked his character so much I really loved the ending.

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  2. Wow. Your fave, huh? :D

    I disagree, Sati, but I'm glad you liked it. I dont think there are holes necessarily (though there are) I just think the movie tries to cover too much ground narratively. There's about 8,000 storylines in this movie and they're not all created equal. :(

    The only think I would strongly disagree with was "In many ways Bane trumps the Joker" LOL. In NO ways does Bane top the Joker.

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    1. TDK had just as many storylines, if not more. Really...did The Joker ever break the Bat? :)

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    2. Mentally he does for sure. Bane doesn't at all. I was happy that Nolan took the Knightfall story line - that was definitely my only favourite, if I can cal it that, scene - and used it here, but in relation to Batman actually 'coming back', it doesn't really work at all. Plus, that was the only 'bad-ass' thing that Bane did throughout the film. (All his other 'kills' were typical villian-like.) In the end, he was just a pawn, and a bad one at that. Plus *spoiler for people reading* is death was utterly ridiculous, as was Talia's.

      I can't say, as you know Sati, that I agree with your review - apart from when you mention the two plotholes (which are minor among many) - but I did enjoy reading it as it was really well written.

      This is the only Dark Knight Rises review I have commented on, too, since I am still raging from it and really don't want to write a post-long comment of my problems with the film and be hated by everyone hahah.

      Anyway, as said before, really well written - and on that front, I think it is your best review yet, even though I disagree with it.

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    3. Well, I thought that while Joker kills Rachel, Batman was still running around fighting him, Bane completely broke him down and erased him from Gotham so in the sense he made him unable to help while nothing joker did ever managed to accomplish that.

      I like Bane's kills particularly knee on the throat, I think he did some things that were bad ass, the whole bomb plan, blowing up Gotham, killing the mayor and those people on the field....

      I liked Bane's death it was surprising and also gave Catwoman strong argument for use of guns. I must be a hopeless romantic because i don't see helping the woman he loved as being a pawn ;) Plus he believed in things she believed, so it was really his goal too.

      Thank you so much, glad you enjoyed reading it!

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  3. Wow, pretty comprehensive review...

    *spoilers* what would have made the ending better was just Alfred looking up and smile, without showing who he was looking at.

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    1. thanks! That would be good ending, but I thought not-so ambiguous one worked best, it was really epic.

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  4. Glad you liked it.


    While I'm with you on many of your points, especially Catwoman and the bit about Bruce returning to Gotham, I feel wholeheartedly different about the ending.

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    1. It does look very controversional as I either hear people loved it or hated it :) Glad you liked Anne at least! ^^

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  5. Great review. I agree with you on pretty much everything.

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    1. Thank you! Glad you loved the film too!

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  6. Yes. Yes. Yes. This movie redefines what an EPIC conclusion is and should be, and it's my favorite superhero movie ever.

    I originally thought the ending was fiction, but, having seen the film again, I agree that it's reality. Though, I think some could argue the autopilot line was misdirection because we see Batman in the Bat with 5 seconds left on the bomb, and the pearls could have been lost when Catwoman disappeared, with Batman/Bruce dying after all. I'm certain it's reality, yet I would still call it ambiguous on the whole, in terms of how others can interpret it.

    I was slightly bothered by Bruce being able to sneak rather easily into Gotham after he breaks out of prison, but the one little thing that bothered me most was: How can Batman stand on the ice and talk to Gordon in that heavy suit without the ice breaking?

    Great review by the way! :)

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    1. So glad you liked this so much!

      I think that moment when we see Batman was already after he ejected, the setting behing him looks a bit different than the one in the Bat.

      I just figured he had some fancy toy which showed him the parts with thickest ice or allowed him to walk on it, who knows what this guy have in his cave :)

      Thanks!

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    2. Good point on the ejection. And Batman has gadgets for almost anything. Should've remembered that. :)

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    3. I'm sure Fox has entire basements of some James Bond inspired crap :)

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  7. That's one in-depth review of The Dark Knight Rises, Sati! Glad you absolutely loved this movie. To be honest, I was quite blown away by the film the first time around although my enthusiasm has receded a bit on further viewings.

    SPOILERS!!

    While you enjoyed the ending, I didn't. Mostly because Batman should have died and showing him alive was a huge Hollywood cop-out as well as a break of the suspension of disbelief (uh how does one survive a nuclear blast exactly??)

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    1. I thought the ending for TDK was more of a cop out because the whole time it seemed the Joker will - and should - win and then the ferries and sonar happened. Here we have good old fashioned hero saves the world story but I tihnk it was more about making Bruce realize that it's not about him being Batman it's about Batman being a symbol. It doesn't matter if he lives or dies it only matters what people of Gotham believe in. And they believed in sacrifice and some exceptional intervantion that saved them. I tihnk he ejected close to the mainland and then the autopilot kicked in. When we see close up of him I believe he is soemwhere else.

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  8. I'm really glad you loved it - there's actually so few of us who do. It was just so...epic.

    And yes, you can come join my TDKR fan club.

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    1. It really was! There are many 10/10 on metacritic so it looks the response is actually pretty good, but the fanboys and the haters have eternal struggle so who knows :)

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  9. I am pleased you liked it, and got moe from the film than I did Sati!! Nice!

    Miss me? I have been away!! Back Now!!

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    1. I was shocked how much I loved it, it was amazing!

      Sure I did, great to have you back!

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  10. 98/100! Woooo :) This review is huge.

    I also loved Bane as a character, his behaviour, his voice, everything!

    Agree 100% about not only the score but the silences used, was so perfect.

    It's also my favourite movie of the year so far :)

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    1. Awesome! Hope it will have longs both in box office and with the love of the fans.

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  11. Awesome review Sati. This is one of the most epic flicks I have ever seen. It's a perfect way to cap-off this amazing superhero trilogy that has not only given us so many characters to love, but three films to look forward to. Now that it's over with Batman and Nolan, it's kind of sad but at least this will most likely give him the chance to go off an do more original pieces of work like Inception or The Prestige.

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    1. Thank you! The most epic for me for sure too. I'd love for Nolan to do something like Insomnia or The Prestige again.

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  12. Splendid review, and boy I LOVE that animated GIF of Batman on top of Gotham. I'm glad you LOVE it as much as you did, and I did too, it's very entertaining overall despite some minor quibbles. However, I can't overlook some of the well, plot holes, which I have mentioned in my reviews, hence I only rated it 4/5. To me, it's not my favorite of the three and The Joker is still the one to beat in terms of a compelling villain. Still, I think the whole trilogy is ace, and that is quite a feat really, considering most trilogy usually have one that is really, really weak.

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    1. It's awesome isn't it? I think it was my favorite out of Batman looking over Gotham shots. Absolutely, usually the third one is the one that fails but this one was, well, amazing!

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  13. You've done it again, good work, another detailed review! Especially interesting the plot holes you wrote about and in comments.

    I agree that Holmes & Maggie Gyllenhaal were too bland and unmemorable, shame. At least there was more emotion in TDKR.

    Glad you loved the film. There is so much going on in Nolan's movie that I feel I need to rewatch the whole trilogy before I can give TDKR a rating. I think what is holding me back from calling it great is that the voice of Bane annoyed me, I could hear him alright, just sounded like an old man, not a sinister villian. Ha Connery smoking the pipe, funny ( :

    What Batman is doing is really outside the law, but as a citizen of Gotham, he really didn’t have any choice, because the law was so corrupt. A lot of what makes him Batman is the ability to control himself, and be disciplined, so when you write that his attitude is tiresome, I think we should instead admire that "one rule". The problem is when we start engaging those behaviours in an organized society, in a way that allows the citizens to decide who should be punished, and how, and when. We run the risk that their idea might not match the idea of the masses. Luckily for Gotham, Batman is disciplined, someone else might not be, in his place.

    And yes Bruce Wayne is messed up, maybe he is Batman to avoid thinking about himself. Probably Bruce doesn’t want to love openly with the fear that they might be lost in the same way that his parents were.

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    1. Thank you!

      nolan generally fails with interesting female characters, but he managed to do well with Memento, Inception and TDKR.

      He did sound a bit weird, but it worked for me, considering the gas in his mask and his physique. I thought it was fitting and his voice was quite intimidating.

      The problem with one rule is that it's almost as if he insisted killing someone would make him evil, while in reality, especially in tDK had he just give in not only he would be doing so for the right reasons but he would save a lot of innocent lives.

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  14. Wow, great review, Sati! Very thorough and well stated. I think it's awesome that this movie connected with you so much, especially since you aren't a huge fan of the first two. I'm still trying to figure out if I liked this or The Dark Knight more... will be seeing it again in IMAX to decide! :)

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    1. Thank you! I was really surprised I liked it, especially since I saw BB and tDK last week and still wasn't crazy about those two. I only saw it in regular cinema, this must be awesome in IMAX!

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  15. Of course, I can't agree with you on everything, meaning I can't agree with your comments on TDKR's two predecessors, but as for the final film, we definitely love it! There are a few things that you've written and that strike a chord with me, but since it's a big read, I might forget about some... One of the most significant points is that I did feel sympathy to Bane as well (I guess many people did, too, but who knows) and it totally astonished me. I also loved JGL's character, Blake is just a perfect hero of the story. However, I wouldn't say that he's my favorite because I still believe Bruce Wayne is the greatest in Gotham. I never read comic books, but when everyone was guessing who the new villain would be, I checked the list of villains and I thought Harley Quinn was particularly interesting and appealingly crazy, so I'm with you about that a film about her would be awesome.

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    1. I really felt for Bane and I can't believe people are calling him a pawn. he did what he believed in, it shouldn't matter if someone close to him believed in those things too and came up with the actual plan.

      It really would be great, what I liek about Mad Love is that actually it could be a perfect spin off since Batman is not even a lot in it, but after Ledger passing we probably won't see adaptation for a long time. Though there is very acurate adaptation into animated episode, which I really love.

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  16. I completely agree with you on Hathaway (except the expecting her to do badly). She was my favorite part of the film. I didn't love this film like you did, but I did like it.

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    1. Hathaway was so incredible. I loved all of her scenes.

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  17. Fantastically detailed review, Sati. Beautiful. I loved TDKR too, and agree with you in respect of the performances. Despite how JGL has been criticised, he's one of my favourite actors so I haven't been able to fault a performance of his to date.

    Like you, I adored Hardy (he is HUGE!) and Hathaway; the latter of which especially impressed me even though I didn't think she would.

    Ah you've made me want to go and see it again now!

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    1. Thank you! JGL was criticised? This is madness, he was awesome!

      Hardy was indeed huge in this movie, Jesus Christ I don't even want to know how much he had to train for this thing.

      You should totally see it again, I saw it yesterdya for the second time and loved it as much as first time.

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  18. I'm so glad you loved it Sati, really! I was so surprised to read the negative reviews, I think a lot of people are exaggerating when it comes to plot holes, and clearly don't know much about the original series/comics.

    I like BB and TDK more than you do, but I'll never say they're perfect. Nor is The Dark Knight Rises, but I'm okay with that. There was definitely something different about this one, much more exhilarating that the previous two. And so well executed, I agree with you 100% - it was a delight just to watch the combo of editing and sound.

    I loved how much "broken Bruce Wayne" we got on this one, for I think the human drama is what sets Nolan's trilogy apart. He and Alfred were absolutely heartbreaking. I'm not sure if they altered Batman's suit, but it looked way cooler. Hardy was pretty amazing, I'm ashamed to have doubted his acting skills... Though I didn't really had trouble hearing his voice because of the subtitles. As for Hathaway... it wasn't bad, but I didn't really buy it.

    The whole Miranda/Bruce thing... I liked them together, but it was just so fast and out of the blue (even though they knew each other, blah blah blah). And if *that* was going to be outcome, than the more reason to make their storyline more dramatic. I think Nolan needs some advice on the romantic scenes, that love triangle was weird and a bit ineffective. Though it is a superhero film, I know, I know...

    I loved the ending, but I do think it's ambiguous... I mean, five seconds to get 6km away from the bomb...? But this is why I love it - some people say he died, others say he's freaking Batman, so of course he got out. The prison to Gotham thing wasn't an issue for me, like before, he's freaking Batman, he'll find a way. I did find it strange how Blake *just knew* he was Batman, I kept thinking "did I miss the part where he explains it or what?".

    Alright, my comment is turning into a post, so in short: I was laughing and crying and couldn't keep still. I think it was a superb ending, with some nice twists (I knew NOTHING and was completely surprised by the revelations), and it really gave the closure the trilogy needed. I loved all the nods to previous films and the comebacks of many characters.

    And your review is pretty amazing Sati, it made me really excited about watching it again on Sunday!

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    1. Yeah, Nolan really doesn't do well with romantic moments in his movies. he best female characters are always femmes fatales in his films, that may be a part of the reason for it. The chemistry is always great between everyone except for romance arc, though in this one I liked sparks between Selina and Bruce. As for Cotillard, I dare say Bale had more chemistry with her in Public Enemies.

      I think he catapulted way before it was 5 seconds - that shot of him looks like he isn't in the Bat. I'm pretty sure he was just driving off and the Bat was on autopilot going ahead.

      Yeah, the worst part is that he had the whole speech but it didn't really connect to his knowledge that Wayne is Batman, I was really confused :)

      I'm so glad you liked the movie, I'm too baffled by all the negativity, this one honestly felt more thought out and deeper than previous two to me.

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  19. Nice review, Sati! This was a good movie, despite having more flaws and logic problems than the previous films put together.

    You make a good point - Joker is Batman's opposite. Here, Bane is his dark mirror-image. The real issue I have with him as a villain is that so much of his backstory is misdirection - it makes it hard to get a real sense for Bane's character and motivations. That said, Hardy did a hell of a job acting this one - you point out his eyes, and it's a good comment, but a decent actor knows how to work with what they've got; all Hardy had was his eyes...

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    1. Thank you! I don't agree about logic flaws to be honest, TDK pissed me off when I was watching it with all the ridiculous scenes, here I only noticed 2 :)

      I can see your point - we really only see real Bane when Talia is talking to Batman about their past. I agree, he was really fantastic.

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  20. I must agree that this is one of the best of the year! There are so many that I still need to watch before I make up my mind for a list but this one's definitely on it. I'm saddened though that Christopher Nolan won't continue this franchise or even dive into Nightwing. All in all, Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) was hot! and Bane (Tom Hardy) was great! And so was the rest of the cast. Great post!





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  21. ahhhh . finaly someone know how big and important this film is !!!

    there was one site that everyone attack me for telling that TDKR is so better than the TDK . heath was very good . but I think joker in that film was another gary oldman in The Professional.. with more make-up !!! don't slap me in the face please :)

    TDK and Inception is like Idol for lots of people . but for me ... noooooo

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    1. Glad you loved it too! I think The Joker was the only outstanding thing in TDK, but I liked Gary in Professional too :) I thought what Ledger did was actually pretty unique and bold for summer blockbuster.

      I'm with you on Inception, it's so insanely overrated.

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