Written by Cheng Hui Jie
The painful 4-year wait is finally over. Inception Director Christopher Nolan brought Christian Bale back for his final instalment to his epic Batman trilogy – The Dark Knight Rises. Batman lovers look out, for it may just be your best Batman movie yet!
Director Nolan never fails to work his magic and made sure that The Dark Night Rises had a well-thought out plot with an awesome cast that put every one of his Batman movies on par, if not, better than the antecedent(s).
A good example of Nolan’s great choice of actors would be how Australian actor Heath Ledger’s legendary portrayal of the Batman villain, the Joker, left a deep impression on us for the second Batman movie and many reckoned that this sequel can never beat that. I was one of those who thought so but I changed my mind and still cannot decide which one I liked more.
How about a refresh from the top on how our Dark Knight came about?
(Skip to the last movie if you are a well-read avid Batman fan)
In the first movie:
Bruce Wayne, the orphan billionaire, was trained with all the skills he needed (maybe more than needed) to avenge his parents’ death by a mysterious organisation called League of Shadows, which, he later found out, was aimed at ‘restoring balance’ by destroying the ‘evil Gotham city’. Hence, Batman was born as Wayne tried to destroy the League by killing their leader, Ra’s al Ghul, but later discovered who he killed was only a decoy.
In the second movie:
Batman continued saving Gotham from Harvey Dent, a well-loved district attorney activist, who was crippled by the Joker and turned into murderous lunatic known as ‘Two-face’. Instead of breaking the citizens’ hearts with the truth that their ‘White Knight’ became evil, Batman convinced commissioner Jim Gordon (played by Gary Oldman) to tell the people that he murdered their noble hero, Harvey Dent. Batman was hence hated and named the ‘Dark Knight’.
Now, for the last movie:
The Dark Knight Rises was based on the lie the Gotham citizens lived with, still believing that Harvey Dent was the man who made organised crime impossible and hating Batman for his murder even after 8 years have passed. It was quite disappointing yet refreshing to see how Bruce Wayne has become all wasted and shaggy for the period that fugitive Batman went missing. It is not everyday that you get to see a superhero looking so weak and helpless! Will he be able to make a comeback as Batman from his self-imposed exile and save Gotham from the real leader of the League of Shadows this time? Hope seems bleak.
For a movie that was supposed to wrap things up, it sure brought up quite a few new characters to be introduced. Firstly, we have the supposedly new ultimate villain, Bane, played by yet another wonderful actor -Tom Hardy (Inception). I must applaud how Hardy managed to make this ferocious character work even when he was unencumbered by the mask on his face for the whole time. However, that huge mask covered so much of his face that you could put any other muscular dude for the role! I also found it irritating how his lines were pretty much inaudible with the mask amplifying his muffled voice unnecessarily.
We could have seen more of him! Did I mention that he is a cutie in real life?
“ This is the first time Batman has come across anybody that is superior, physically.” – Christian Bale
“I remember seeing Christian in a make-up chair. There was a 3 year-old boy in me that (said) that’s Batman!” Tom Hardy showed his adorable fan boy side in an extensive featurette released and also warned Batman cheekily, “There’s a new kid in town!”
Leave it to Anne Hathaway (The Princess Diaries & The Devil Wears Prada) who plays the slinky and sexy Cat woman to spice things up. To be honest, I have never been a huge fan of Cat Woman nor Anne Hathaway’s and I did not expect this great performance from her this time. Not only did she look purr-fect in her feline suit, she made Cat Woman a dangerous character that men cannot decide whether to love or fear. As a glammed up lesbian ass-kicking cat burglar, she easily caught Wayne’s attention. Do bats and cats go along well? We will have to see about that! Hathaway impressed Director Nolan so much that he might consider her for a solo Cat woman spin-off,
“ It’s just a delight to watch her perform. … She’s an incredible character and we’re very excited to see her and hopefully we’ll leave people wanting more.”
Sharing the role of femme fatale is Miranda Tate (played by Marion Cotillard), a philanthropist who supported Wayne’s return to society. The French actress is yet another outstanding cast member from Inception and I must say, her accent was pretty hard to decipher, yet, it was elegant. The adorable child actress, Joey King, was chosen to play the young Miranda.
We also have Inception eye candy Joseph Gordon Levitt as the hotheaded Detective John Robin Blake. He bedazzled us with his boyish good looks and was depicted as an idealistic orphan who believes in what he does and most importantly, he believes in Bruce Wayne and Batman. He was responsible for rescuing commissioner Jim Gordon and putting the cunning Selina Kyle (Cat Woman) behind bars. He might just be the next big hero of Gotham City!
Next up, we have Morgan Freeman back as the technology genius Lucius Fox. And yes, the Bat mobile can now fly! Witty as ever, Fox’s lines include “ I’d prefer to call it the Bat. And yes Mr. Wayne, it does come in black,” for the scene that he presented Batman with his new toys. Need I say more?
Gary Oldman reprises his role as commissioner Jim Gordon. I loved his performance as Sirius Black in Harry Potter and admired his efforts in making the boring commissioner character stand out in this film. Michael Caine is also back as Wayne’s butler, Alfred. Both fantastic actors did not make many appearances in the film but for the few scenes that they were in, they certainly wowed audiences. Look out for Alfred’s tear-jerking emotional scenes with Wayne!
Ever wondered if Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne is richer? The handsome Christian Bale suits up once again for Batman in the same suit from the previous instalment but this time, with a much fragile body and a stronger mind and soul. Blamed for a fraud he never committed, Batman turned from Billionaire to Bum. His poor health and shocking physical appearance (he needs a cane now) worries us even more though. Check out this hilarious conversation he made with his doctor!
(Cameo by Thomas Lennon)
“I have seen worse cartilage on knees,” says the doctor.
” That’s good!” Batman replied in delight before he was told,
“No, that’s because there is no cartilage in your knee. (With) Scar tissue on your kidneys (and) concussive damage to your brain tissue, I cannot recommend that you go heli-skiing.”
Nonetheless, there were still some tiny loopholes in this portentous masterpiece film. Certain areas of the film were quite ridiculous and there were romance scenes coming out from nowhere. Parts of it were a little long-winded with slow progression in scenes but did involve many action-packed fast moments that can make your heart skip a beat!
No offence, but I personally felt that this was more amazing than The Amazing Spider-Man. Let’s hear what our purr-retty and talented Cat woman (Sorry, Halle Berry! ) has to say about this:
“ I’m not saying this as a cast member. I’m saying this as a member of the academy. So far, it’s the best film I’ve seen all year.” – Anne Hathaway
Since the made-to-impress trilogy fitted perfectly, here’s an awesome ultimate trilogy trailer Nolan released to feast your eyes on.
Catch this incredible film in cinemas island-wide now! (Not shown in 3D format)