Friday, August 10, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

  I've always liked Batman. Well actually, I've always liked Christian Bale. So he was really the only reason I went in to see the first two movies.

   The first one was exceptionally well done with a strong storyline.

   The second one was nothing short of creepy and it was more or less about Heath Ledger's performance as the joker than anything else (don't get me wrong, he did a great job, but so did a lot of other people in the movie.)

   This one blew me away. Almost three solid hrs. of not moving from my seat and afraid of blinking for fear I would miss something. Most of the storyline develops around the falling government of Gotham and its usually corrupt society. The poor are fed up with having to give over to the rich, revolution is in the air (and smoke) and everyone is caught between believing what is right for themselves and what is right for others around them.

~ ~ ~

Bruce Wayne/Batman
Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman
   Now Batman has been portrayed by many different actors over the years. From Adam West to Michael Keaton. Like James Bond, every generation is going to remember their own Batman. And I'm glad to say that Christian Bale will always be Batman to me.

  Eight years after his battle with the Joker and his defeat of Harvey Dent/Two Face, Bruce Wayne has become a recluse in his parent's rebuilt home. Having hung up the batsuit, he has completely given up on Batman and has let the rest of Gotham turn their backs on the Dark Knight.

   Instead they worship the memory of Harvey Dent, Gothem's 'White Knight' never knowing the truth to who he really became in the end.

  When corruption begins to take over the city, Bruce takes one last chance and puts on the suit, only to realize that he is up against the greatest adversary he has ever had to face. For the first time, Bruce is beaten and left to die in a pit of hell. 

  And yet...there is hope; like that of a child waiting for his father to return to him. 

  Hope turns to courage and courage fuels Bruce to return to his home, knowing that it may be his last time, but not without the consistent hope that his city is safe from any evil that may dare threaten it again.

~ ~ ~

Selina Kyle/Catwoman
Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle/Catwoman

   Anne Hathaway did a wonderful job as Catwoman. Beautiful, witty, charming, and ever so sultry, but at the same time she also portrayed a hurting and broken young woman who is caught between victim and villain. 

  Selina is a master thief who does what she must (not what she wants) to survive. Yet, she has a strong sense of justice and will protect the helpless to whatever end it might take her.

  Like her mask disguises her face, Selina tries to disguise her true character as a woman desperate for love and respect. My heart broke for her several times when I was able to see that there was a good heart and soul in her, and that she wanted redemption and a new life.

  Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle were totally made for one another and their on/off flirtatious affair quickly turns to deep respect for each other, despite what side they might be on.

~ ~ ~

Tom Hardy as Bane

  This guy scared the everliving hell out of me just about everytime he appeared on the screen. He also has that annoying habit of just showing up out of nowhere, like Batman does, and that got really annoying.

  Anyway, Bane's character was more political than criminal (did that make sense?). Born and raised in prison, he sees himself as a savior for the corrupt society of Gotham. His sense of justice comes in the forms of violence, lawlessness, and terror.

  After his defeat of Batman, Bane takes over the city and the world of Gotham changes almost overnight. Innocent people are made to suffer and the law enforcement is imprisoned while former prisoners take over the city. Gotham really becomes a city of hell thanks to Bane and his 'justice.'

~ ~ ~

Commissioner Jim Gordon
Gary Oldman as Commissioner Jim Gordon
  Gotham's top cop and ever stalwart warrior is, as always, on the case.

  Well, not so in this one, for a while at least. A pretty bad shooting leaves him confined to a hospital bed and so he gives instructions to an up and coming detective. Yet, convalescence doesn't last long and pretty soon he's back to work, and at a time when the city needs him the most.

  Gordon is the typical, run of the mill, everyday man, who has moral beliefs and is not afraid to carry them out. His ever calm reassurance and unwavering belief in Batman (as well as Bruce Wayne) is a bind for everyone who doubts the hope of Gotham and its people.

~ ~ ~

Alfred Pennyworth
Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth

  Bruce's childhood guardian, best friend, counselor, disciplinarian, and voice of reason, who occasionally answers the door and serves him breakfast. Alfred has been Bruce's only father figure since his own father died when he was a little boy. And like most father/son relationships, they have their breaking points.

  Alfred doesn't just respect Bruce, he loves him unconditionally. He wants to protect him and let him live a normal average life. A life that doesn't have Batman on the edge of all things. For Bruce though, it's either he is Batman or he is not.

  An act that was made out of protection in the sequel ends up causing a detrimental effect on Alfred and Bruce's relationship. Now alone, Bruce has only his memories and Alfred's words of wisdom to carry him through Gotham's darkest hours.

~ ~ ~

Lucius Foxx
Morgan Freeman as Lucius Foxx
  The weapons, machines and gadgets manufacturer for Wayne Enterprises doesn't fail to impress the audience with more incredible weapons, machines and gadgets. Although, as the CEO of Wayne Enterprises, Lucius also has his hands full trying to keep the company alive.

  As impressive as his machines are, if fallen into the wrong hands, they become weapons of destruction. Lucius is on the the fragile line between his moral beliefs and Bane's political agenda of violence that might cost him his life.

~ ~ ~

Officer John Blake
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Officer John Blake

  This guy was awesome and it seems like every girl in America has fallen in love with him. Well, seems I have too and for obvious reasons. John, like Gordon, has almost a childlike trust and faith in Batman. It's constant and unwavering. John's own confidence, not necessarily in himself, is scarily similar to Jim Gordon's.

  Orphaned as a child, he understands the pain and agony that Bruce went through. The difference was, John was able to overcome his anger and fuel it into becoming an officer and eventually a detective. 

  The first time Bruce and John meet, John tells him his life story and his first time seeing him in the boys orphanage where he grew up (a place he fights to protect). Bruce is overcome with emotion and it ends up being the first step in bringing the Dark Knight out of the shadows.

  When Gotham goes under, John is one of a handful of cops who isn't imprisoned. He fights endlessly to stop Bane and believes unconditionally that Batman will return.

~ ~ ~

Miranda Tate
Marion Cottilard as Miranda Tate
  A lovely and feisty socialite who keeps Wayne Enterprises from falling and has Bruce Wayne falling for her. Miranda is charming and lively, and her own personal past and secrets have defined her and made her the woman that she is.

  Of course...I don't want to say too much.

~ ~ ~

The Dark Knight Rises
  No surprise that this movie was definitely the most violent out of all of them. There were times when even I was shocked by some of the extremities of it. 

  In spite of that, the movie was great and well worth the three hours. The story becomes so dark and tense that you really begin to wonder if there really is any hope in saving Gotham at all. 

  Seeing this franchise end is somewhat saddening though. I mean in terms that Christian Bale is no longer Batman, but the story did end on a somewhat...lets say hopeful note. 

  A new story, a new day, a (possibly) new hero...maybe it doesn't really end at all.

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