Friday night, Michelle and I saw The Dark Knight Rises at a local IMAX theater. We figured that since Christopher Nolan went through all the trouble of filming the movie partially in IMAX, the least we can do is see it as it was meant to be seen. What follows is my spoiler free review of the movie (I hate spoilers…).
They say that a good movie sticks with you. The fact that over 24 hours after the film I still can’t stop going over the movie in my mind should tell you something. TDKR is a movie that fires on all cylinders from the opening scene to the final fade. This film picks up with Bruce Wayne in tatters, eight years after the events in the second movie (The Dark Knight), and takes him on a truly international roller coaster ride. It wraps up most every loose end from the previous two movies in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, but does it in a way that is both satisfying and not formulaic. Scenes and plot twists didn’t always go the way I expected them to, and the payoffs almost always illicited a cheer from the crowd.
The regular “hero” cast of Nolan’s Batman movies—Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, and Michael Cane, are all back and brought their “A game.” And let’s not forget the actors being introduced to Nolan’s Batman trilogy in this movie in major roles: Anne Hathaway, Thomas Hardy, and Joseph Gordon Levitt, all of whom shine. It’s as if after Heath Ledger pulled an academy award winning performance as The Joker in the previous movie, and the “regulars” themselves are all academy award winners or nominees, nobody wanted to be the “weak link.” And they succeed, this is a cast with no weak links at all.
Is this a perfect movie? No. There are little plot points that sort of get forgotten as the movie progresses. While Bane is certainly more understandable in the movie than his garbled, distorted voice was in the previews it still was at time challenging to try and figure out what his muffled, masked voice was saying. And as much as TDKR may have been an ideal wrap up for the trilogy, The Dark Knight may arguably get the nod slightly, both for the action sequences and for Ledger’s Joker.
But while it may not have been perfect, it was still excellent, and I’d recommend it not only to fans of superhero and fantasy movies, but just movie buffs in general. TDKR sticks with you and leaves you wanting more (even at 2hrs 45min). You can’t ask for much more than that.