I just got out of the first showing of The Dark Knight Rises – and here are my initial impressions;
Plot: Well done, I feel like you can see the considerable set-up from the two previous movies for this conclusion. The psychology behind the plot was the most interesting aspect. I also appreciated the curveballs in the plot to keep it from being totally predictable. I heard complaints from patrons post-viewing about inaccuracies to comic canon, but since the genre of comics is so open to alternate universes I wasn’t very bothered. The Dark Knight Rises fits the universe Nolan constructed, so as far as I’m aware it made sense.
Acting: This is the movie of badass old men. Seriously. Gary Oldman steals the show, and Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman make their minimal screen time noteworthy.
I definitely approve of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s casting in the film. The film sets up for potentially seeing Joseph Gordon-Levitt again in the Batman universe, so it’ll be interesting to see what exactly DC does. As for Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle, I thought she did a great job- she’s a surprisingly relatable Selina but there’s enough sass there to keep her Catwomanly. Christian Bale returns as Batman, and overall had a solid performance, although I am ready for him to retire the cowl. His Bruce/Selina banter was one of the better parts of his performance this time around.
Effects: Epic and gorgeous- surprise. The BatCycle is the toy everyone wants now. The scale of the destruction and action was on a grand scale. For those of you who have seen the DKR trailer where the entire football stadium blows up, it’s a lot of that type of action.
The brawler fights were also very well done- Bane’s fighting style was both elegant and brutish, which was great. I appreciated Selina Kyle’s action scenes because she had a lithe smoothness in combat that added a nice dynamic to the fighting.
Soundtrack: With composer Hans Zimmer, it was easy to predict that the soundtrack would be memorable. That prediction most certainly came true, with the music really enhancing the movie watching experience. People should really go see it in theaters because the surround sound definitely augments the viewing There’s actually an awesome iOS app called The Dark Knight Rises Z+, a free app (with pay as you go content) that provides an augmented soundtrack experience. It also includes special exclusive music, so you should really check it out.
Verdict: Within the trilogy itself, I’d say this was the second best Batman. It was good that Nolan decided to go for a different sense of fear and chaos in DKR, instead of trying to recreate his previous success with the The Dark Knight. However, Bane wasn’t as good of a dramatic foil as The Joker was in The Dark Knight, and that lack of energy is noticeable.
That said, I could only really watch The Dark Knight twice because it was so intense. The best part about this particular film is, while it has tension and devastation, it’s still re-watchable.
I’d give it a solid 9 out of 10.
Also, my condolences to the family and friends of the victims of the premier shooting in Aurora, Colorado last evening. It’s always a tragedy when random acts of violence target what should have been a fun experience, at the cost of so many precious lives.