The Dark Knight Rises – It Rises, But only Just!

Once in a while there comes a movie that defies genres, breaks the shackles, pushes them to the next level and stands tall, taller than anybody else. A movie that becomes a beacon and an instant cult classic. Sadly guys, that movie isn’t The Dark Knight Rises, but its predecessor, The Dark Knight. The Dark Knight Rises is in equal parts engaging and thrilling but, it falls just short excellence. Had the Dark Knight not been so freakingly awesome, Rises would have been the one leading the pack.

The frenzy and craziness surrounding this movie has been something never seen before. Tickets to IMAX were sold out for the weekend in just 3 hrs. Anybody who hasn’t even seen a single Hollywood movie in their life wants to watch “BATEMANE”. I was lucky enough to grab tickets to PVR before they got sold out, but was just late to book tickets to IMAX. Something which I would sorely regret for the rest of my life!

For anybody who is a staunch follower of the caped crusader and its master director its been an agonizing time till the movie released. With the awesome trailers and posters the excitement and anticipation was sky high! The anticipation only manifold as I drew closer to watching the movie. People wearing Batman, Joker, Cat woman t-shirts, hooting and clapping as the movie started only added to the excitement. And then it started, 165 minutes of mind numbing cinema. As the end credits rolled and the final twist had been delivered, I was left with a feeling of wanting more.

Having just gotten back from the movie, it’s only fitting that I write a review while the movie is still fresh in my head. Even now, as I write, the layered plot lines and the hidden undercurrents within the movie still hit me with a bang. Hans Zimmer’s music blaring in my mind and ears as I grasp and savor each and every minute detail of the movie I experienced just a short while back.

Rises is by far the Best movie of 2012, and yes, it is even better than The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man. Well it has to, it’s directed by Chris Nolan. A master in the art of weaving compelling and thrilling dramas.

I won’t divulge much into the plot line, you have to experience it to feel the tension. It’s as complex and as layered as the dream sequences of Inception. But the writers and Nolan brothers have made it a point of linking and integrating the story lines of earlier parts to a final culmination. Every question is answered and every open plot line of the previous installments are concluded in this epic finale.

The music score or the OST by Hans Zimmer is nothing short of operatic. The loud, blaring, thumping score is essential to elevate the tension to an altogether different level, blending beautifully with the proceedings on screen. He carries on the tone set in the previous movies and raises it by a notch to complement the epic proportion of the finale.

The cinematography is top class. The IMAX cameras work their magic yet again, adding just the right amount of visual flair. The aerial scenes and the action sequences are well shot. The attention to details and the color tone of the movie is just right. The opening sequence, in particular, is a tour de force, an aerial extraction that puts The Dark Knight’s Hong Kong air lifting scene to shame. And while the movie’s other big set pieces don’t rise to the level of its predecessor, its fight sequences are a considerable upgrade—vivid, visceral, and raw. Something you would never see again from any other superhero movie.

The Gadgets ohhh the Gadgets. I dont want to spoil this for those of you who are yet to catch this movie. They would blow you away completely! With every movie the makers raise the bar just a little higher for the rest to catch up. No other super hero vehicle would stand close to the feast being laid out here.

The main Villain, Bane, is menacing, intelligent, and strong. He is no Joker, but he is as menacing and as unbeatable as the Joker. As the movie progress, you figure out that he is actually even more sinister than the Joker ever was. Nolan and his team stick to the true comic book version of Bane. Something which the makers of Batman and Robin screwed up earlier

But after the crazy and fearless Joker, they had to follow up with someone who is an exact equal to the Batman, someone who has an answer to each and every blow Batman delivers.

Tom Hardy is does well, although his acting is limited to the use of his voice or the way he emotes with his eyes. Hardy’s Bane, who, while not quite so indelible a villain as Joker, is one several times the size. He is almost implausibly immense, a mountain with a neck as thick as a normal person’s waist. With his volcanic physique and a voice that booms metallically from behind a tube-crossed facemask, Hardy commands nearly every scene he is in.

Although it is also a central weakness of “Dark Knight Rises”. Bane is a formidable presence and as evil as they come, but he has a one-note personality, without humor or nuance. Even worse, with his voice distorted by that mask, he sounds like Sean Connery speaking through Stephen Hawking’s voice machine.

Anne Hathaway is a welcome surprise as the Catwoman. She is positively catty and seductive. The chemistry she shares with Batman and Bruce Wayne is sparkling.

Marion Cotillard is another pleasant addition to Nolan’s world. She plays her part well particularly towards the end of the movie.

Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Morgan Freeman all get ample screen time and work as the much need support system for Bruce Wayne and Batman. Caine is a real standout among the cast, offering a more melancholy turn on Alfred Pennyworth than in the earlier films. Particularly moving are the scenes in which he pleads—and ultimately does more than plead—with Wayne to understand that Bane is too powerful to tackle head-on. “You’re not the Batman anymore,” he implores. “You have to find another way.”

Christian Bale too is in fine form here. In the Batman Begins, he was just getting ready for role. In TDK, Heath Ledgers iconic portrayal of Joker, stole the show. But here, he is given his due and he basks in the limelight. From the ageing Romeo + retired hero in the beginning, to the real Dark Knight back-in-action, he has done a very good job.

Writers Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer and Jonathan Nolan have not let us down. The Dark Knight Rises has elements from both the previous installments that will make all Batman/Nolan fanboys happy. Even if you haven’t followed the previous movies, the film is worth watching for the details given to each character and the apt way they’ve been rested the Batman series. Dialogues are good. However, somewhere in the movie, you do get the feeling that the writers have put too much on your plate: with Batman out of shape, Alfred’s disappearance, the nuclear bomb, Bane’s bloodthirstiness, the city brimming with criminals and more. It does get over whelming sometimes.

In my mind there are two types of characters in our movie world, Heroes and Super heroes, but the line between the two is not as clearly drawn. Men with snug costumes, anguished childhoods, flash gadgetry and cackling nemeses tend to place in the latter category, but in The Dark Knight, the British filmmaker Christopher Nolan grafted Batman, a comic book hero with all four of the above, into a lucid, sinewy, and emphatically real-world crime epic, closer in spirit to Michael Mann’s Heat than the computer-burnished exploits of Iron Men and Incredible Hulks.

In this third and final installment on his Batman trilogy, Nolan goes even further: for the most part, The Dark Knight Rises is a superhero film without a superhero. He drives home the point he has been trying to raise right from the start that, anybody and everybody can become a Hero, only and only if he or she is willing to go the extra mile! “As a man, I can be ignored and destroyed, but as a symbol I can be incorruptible, everlasting,” said Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins.  In The Dark Knight Rises, Batman is less a character than a cipher, and later, an icon; most of movie goes by without even a sight of the caped crusader.

Its Chistopher Nolans movie all the way, the movie would not have been possible without his vision and ambition. He is the only one who has dared to go beyond the normal trend of Super hero movies and he has delivered a fine finale to a cult he started. He raises the stakes mind boggling high and delivers a fine product. He plays with an enormous canvas and maintains the pace and adrenalin right till the very end.

Nolan’s visual mastery is brilliant, his mix of the real and the fantastic in his vision of the modern city, and his camera movements which somehow suggest three dimensions without 3-D. It’s the world from “Inception,” imposing and silver, dizzying and impersonal, but not without beauty.

Nolan’s finale is the finale blow to all those wannabe super hero movies out there. The bar is raised way to high now, something I am afraid even Nolan couldn’t reach again.

Although he does fail, only just. He fails to re-invent himself, something which we grown used to as he always has and as we have come to expect from him. It seems he got scared to break the boundaries this time round. The Dark Knight and the Inception were so god dammed Brilliant and fresh, that we tend to expect the same with TDKR.

It’s not a bad movie at all, all I can say is, It’s better than the rest out there, but not as great as The Dark Knight.

Nolan has managed to raise the caped crusader and let him to rest as best as he could and in process re writing the way movies are made and experienced.

As movie drew closer to its end, i was left with a feeling of nostalgia, a feeling of letting the characters go, if ever the franchise were to be brought back to life again, although i do feel it shouldn’t, Nolan and his crew would be sorely missed.

This might just be my longest review, but a movie like this and a series like this deserves every word. Just one advice before I wind up. For the uninitiated, the movie would hit them hard. But for the fan boys, the followers of the saga who have experienced the menace of Dark Knight, this might be a letdown. It’s like, you expect to be hit by a nuclear bomb, what you get is just an EMP surge! But even and EMP surge can blow you away. Just sit back, relax, forget about the predecessor and feel the The Dark Knight Rise and grow on you. Watch it!

Ratings :

Direction  :  4.5

Writing      :   4.5

Acting        :   4

Music          :   5

CGI               :   5

Action         :   4.5

Total            :   4.5

IMDB Link  :

Trailer :


19 thoughts on “The Dark Knight Rises – It Rises, But only Just!

  1. Good review. I just about loved every aspect of this movie and probably would consider it my favorite of the year, so far. It’s going to be a shame not seeing Nolan directing anymore Batman movies, but I look forward to seeing what he has in-store for us next. If they’re anything like Inception or The Prestige, then count me in.

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  3. Hi Devarsh,

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