Saturday, July 21, 2012

'The Dark Knight Rises' is beyond expectations despite flaws

Christopher Nolan is very good at giving messages through his films.               

That said “The Dark Knight Rises” is thematically very light, sure it touches on the diminishing middle class and the war against the “wealthy” but really it doesn’t pose the questions or answers that one has grown to demand from Nolan. That’s not to say that it was a bad movie. Far from it, it was a phenomenal movie that just didn’t quite live up to its predecessor. And that’s ok, it didn’t have to.

The hype surrounding this film wouldn’t have allowed it to live up to the expectations anyway, so it’s good that it doesn’t try to.

Set eight years after the events of the previous film, we find Bruce Wayne a broken and battered recluse at the outset of this film, but it’s not long before he is convinced to don the cape and cowl once again and take up arms against the forces of evil.

Story wise there were some plot holes and editing mistakes that made me question a few things more than I have come to expect from a Nolan film, such as with the time winding down, yes there is a digital readout on a bomb, Batman (Christian Bale) flies all around the city avoiding missiles all-the-while less than three minutes ticks off the display.

Many of the twists at the end were predictable, not just to a fan of the comics’ arcs this movie borrows from, but to anyone that is perceptive. Rather than subtlety hint at things to come it all but tells you in some scenes what will happen in the final ten minutes.

That said I still very much enjoyed the movie, the pacing was right on and the story flowed smoothly between action set pieces. All of the acting performances were on par with what you would expect from such a talent laden cast, and the action scenes were magnificent to see on the big screen.

While 2008’s “The Dark Knight” added in humor from Heath Ledger’s OSCAR winning take on The Joker, this movie just packs on violence and more violence as Bane ratchets up the stakes. Bane is just one of a plethora of villains that while fun to see pop up on screen leave some wanted development in others.

Talia and Ra’s Al Ghul, Two-Face, The Scarecrow, Catwoman and Bane are among the villainous characters that all have to split screen time throughout the movie. It might have done well to cut back on the quantity a bit and focus slightly more on the development of some characters.

Overall I give the film an A- because despite its flaws it overcomes with solid character and story elements that are just numerous to bring down the rating any further.

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