Thursday, July 19, 2012

Review: The Dark Knight Rises [2012]

Release Date: 19 July 2012 (Malaysia), 20 July 2012 (USA)
Directed By: Christopher Nolan
Written By: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer
Starring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Matthew Modine, Juno Temple
Duration: 164 minutes
In A Nutshell:
Eight years after the death of Harvey Dent, Batman who has been blamed for that very event has disappeared while Bruce Wayne (played by Christian Bale) has gone into reclusive. Gotham City seems to be at peace by declining crime rates as a result of the anti-crime Dent Act. Things start to change with arrival of a cunning burglar, Selina Kyle (played by Anne Hathaway). Wayne Enterprise starts to face problems which leads to Lucius Fox (played by Morgon Freeman) to seek the help of philanthropist Miranda Tate (played by Marion Cotillard). The emergence of a terrorist group lead by a masked maniac, Bane (played by Tom Hardy) has Police Commisioner, Jim Gordon (played by Gary Oldman) and Officer John Blake (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) wishing for Batman's return.

Thumbs Up:
+ Engaging story that fittingly concludes the Batman legend
+ Thrilling action sequences which are taken to epic proportions with IMAX
+ Filled with great performances all-around
+ Wonderfully developed supporting characters
+ Haunting score by Hans Zimmer which amplifies the feel of every scene
+ Shocks and twists to the story
+ Ending that will wet the appetite of fan-boys
Thumbs Down:
- Hate to compare it (although inevitable) to its predesessor, The Dark Knight [2008], but its missing a maverick character like The Joker
- The dialogue isn't as impactful
- I miss the awesomeness of the Bat-Tumbler (emphasis on the word Bat)

The Verdict Is In:
So it is finally here. The epic conclusion to the Batman legend. There will be no in-depth analysis in this review, especially since it is still early days. That is better saved for another day, and not just by dissecting this movie alone, but the trilogy as a whole. Because that is exactly what this is: the final chapter of a story and Christopher Nolan brings things full-circle. The events in Batman Begins [2005] and The Dark Knight [2008] are put in a better light here. That isn't saying though that people need to see those previous two films to enjoy this. This is a very solid feature by itself. Once again this an very engaging story which has a lot of it rooted in realism. The threat of terrorism and economic meltdown isn't out of place in the world today.

Just as Iron Man [2008] was more the story Tony Stark than his alter-ego, The Dark Knight Rises is more the story of Bruce Wayne. Here the billionaire faces issues of destiny, moving-on and fear while Christian Bale provides an impeccable performance of man rotting from with-in. The other characters are also well-developed and backed by solid performances. John Blake and Miranda Tate play more important roles than initially expected while fears of Anne Hathaway playing Selina Kyle (never officially referred to as Catwoman in the film) to crash and burn are way of the mark. Tom Hardy as Bane is a truly imposing villain and possible the biggest threat Batman has ever had to encounter. However I can't shake off the feeling that the film needed a character as magnetic as Heath Ledger's Joker though. Just goes to show how good he was.

At the end of it all, we will get to see why both Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale have stated they will be leaving the franchise. But comic book fans will still be hungry for more by the ending. Although Nolan has closed the chapter for his tale, he has created the possibility for a future director to continue Gotham's story. We haven't heard the last of the city.
8.5 out of 10


  1. Great review! And yes, that ending is going to have me trawling the darkest depths of the interwebs looking for any rumours of another flick :)

    1. That ending was kinda clever... closure for Nolan, but an opening for some one else.

  2. I am going to wait til I see the movie before I read any reviews but I love your pic of Anne Hathaway in her Catwoman outfit. MEOW indeed

    1. I tried to stay spoiler-free as possible but yeah, that outfit does flaunt her curves!

  3. bagus review nih...sumpah...xda spoiler langsung..tapi aku nak Anne Hathaway did?

  4. Nice review! Love that pic of Anne in the hat, she looks more badass in trailer without her costume which is a bit too cartoonish.

    1. That picture does look lovely. I like her performance here without the costume when she's trying to deceive everyone. She's never really referred to as Catwoman.

  5. I hope you don't mind that i just skim your review, Asrap. I'm gonna see this tomorrow and I'll come back to read it.

    I didn't know there'll be a scene w/ JGL w/ Marion Cotillard, it's like an Inception reunion all around :)

    1. Have fun tomorrow! Both JGL and Marion Cotillard have integral roles in the movie.

  6. I didn't want to see your review until I've seen the movie. Nice write-up. It's an awesome movie but I felt it was a bit too long on climax (esp. when they were chasing the truck), so it felt overdone and could use a bit of editing. But I guess the comic and Nolan fans wouldn't mind.

    I won't review it until my monthly recap, because I can't even remember if I have watched Batman Begins. And I think I'll get better view if I have a second viewing.

    Strong performances from the cast. And good news for JGL! *you know what, right?

    1. I also think I'll get a better view of this after a second viewing. After so much anticipation, my first was bound to be influenced by emotion (good/bad). A second viewing will give a much better perspective. And let's face it, as a fanboy, I knew along time ago I'll have multiple viewings.

  7. Liked your review, didn't like the movie.

    I think the shadow of Ledger looms large over the entire production.

    TDKR just can't compete with its predecessor. And I wanted it to do the impossible, that is, be better.

  8. I agree, The Dark Knight and Ledger did cast a huge shadow. That's why the anticipation was huge for this.

  9. Thanks for sharing this informative article. bane coat


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