Friday, July 20, 2012
The Dark Knight Rises
Now that the dam has broken, here come the flash floods, so let’s get right to it: “The real world threats of terrorism, political anarchy and economic instability make deep incursions into the cinematic comic book domain in The Dark Knight Rises,” begins Todd McCarthy in the Hollywood Reporter. “Big-time Hollywood filmmaking at its most massively accomplished, this last installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy makes everything in the rival Marvel universe look thoroughly silly and childish. Entirely enveloping and at times unnerving in a relevant way one would never have imagined, as a cohesive whole this ranks as the best of Nolan’s trio, even if it lacks—how could it not?—an element as unique as Heath Ledger’s immortal turn in The Dark Knight. It’s a blockbuster by any standard.”
“If viewers were wanting a corrective to the jumpsuit antics of The Avengers, or the noodling high-school angst of The Amazing Spider-Man, then rest assured that Batman delivers in spades,” writes the Guardian‘s Xan Brooks. “Here is a film of granite, monolithic intensity; a superhero romp so serious that it borders on the comical, like a children’s fancy-dress party scripted by Victor Hugo and scored by Wagner…. ‘I’m still a believer in the Batman,’ murmurs Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s rookie cop at one point. Arm-twisted, senses reeling, I am forced to concede that I am too.”
“Running an exhilarating, exhausting 164 minutes, Nolan’s trilogy-capping epic sends Batman to a literal pit of despair, restoring him to the core of a legend that questions, and powerfully affirms, the need for heroism in a fallen world,” writes Variety‘s Justin Chang. “If it never quite matches the brilliance of 2008′s The Dark Knight, this hugely ambitious action-drama nonetheless retains the moral urgency and serious-minded pulp instincts that have made the Warners franchise a beacon of integrity in an increasingly comicbook-driven Hollywood universe.”
“Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has become a recluse, limping around his estate because of injuries sustained as Batman, while the public speculates about his sanity.” Todd Gilchrist for the Playlist: “But when a masked, monolithic terrorist named Bane (Tom Hardy) empties the Wayne coffers and launches a populist uprising using an underworld of thieves and criminals, Bruce is forced to don the cape and cowl again to try and restore order… Looking piecemeal at The Dark Knight Rises, it feels like a movie of profound disillusionment about America that could only be objectively told by someone who’s not a native: Nolan dissects our current financial woes, our clash of cultures, even one-percent-versus-99-percent-style class warfare with a scalpel, assigning culpability to all involved and condemning the whole system as a sort of demagogue-exchange program. From the corporate fat cats to the mouth breathers scraping by on pennies, everyone aspires to change their situation, to triumph over the forces of (sometimes rightful) opposition, or to wipe the slate clean and start again, and their motives are almost unilaterally unclean – either in origin or execution. The film should have its own Faustian bargain counter in the corner of the screen, ticking off bad decisions and foolhardy expectations.”
“Anne Hathaway’s interpretation of Selina Kyle, known best as Catwoman to most fans, is indelible, a strong and savvy match for Bruce Wayne,” writes Drew McWeeney at HitFix. “Nolan uses her as one part of the thesis of the movie, with Bane, the strange terrorist played by Tom Hardy, as the blunt instrument that drives the point home. Bane’s plan to bring Gotham to its knees is elaborate and, once revealed, somewhat horrifying. He is not simply a rehash of the Joker, who was more of a force of chaos than anything. Bane is evil. He is unrelenting, unquestioning, destructive evil…. Whoever Warner Bros hires to reboot the Batman films a few years from now, I wish you luck. The bar is as high as it could possibly be.”
For More, and for the links to the original reviews, visit FANDOR.