Breaking Down The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises gives an epic conclusion.

The Dark Knight Rises gives the epic an epic conclusion.

Yesterday was crazy for me. I woke up at 6:30am, didn’t get to nap, got to the Batman marathon at 3:30pm to have the marathon began at 6:15. I never got the chance to see Batman Begins and The Dark Knight in the theater for their first release so I thoroughly enjoyed the big screen spectacles. When 12:01 decided to come around I was eager and ready to get blown away by the conclusion. And I was.

Because it’s such a dense movie to dissect I’ll break up the different theatrical elements for you.

Plot

To me, the plot is most important in a movie; it’s the driving force that moves the viewer through the film. But if it’s too dense, full of plot lines and character, you can lose many viewers. I feel that that’s what The Dark Knight Rises did and I’m not surprised; in the first two installments had this same issue. Not to say that this is bad but a viewer like me gets frustrated when the movie gets away from my understanding. I’m not a lazy viewer but you really got to immerse yourself in the story and concentrate on each line to follow correctly. The screenplay sets itself up nicely with long exposition making me wonder where this is headed to but gives reviting pay-off in its finale.

Characters/Acting

If there is an outstanding element in TDKR it’s the characters and the actors who play them. Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne is a changed character from The Dark Knight, he has become reclusive from the events of the Joker since all of Gotham believes he was the cause of Harvey Dent’s death. We see his arc clearly, his struggles and his rise to heroism. TDKR is an ensemble piece. Most notable and surprising was Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, a thief with superb agility and ability to hoax her victims. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays John Blake, a young optimistic policemen that reflects a younger Bruce Wayne. Of course the established characters like Lucious Fox, Jim Gordon and Alfred Pennyworth and their respective actors help give moral compasses for Bruce in his journey. And I can’t conclude without mentioning Tom Hardy as the globo-terrorist Bane. He’s intimidating at best, cold and calculating. It was a hard task to top Ledger’s Joker but Bane is almost as captivating and fun to watch. Bane is a worthy villain, giving Batman a worthy match in strength.

Aesthetics/Cinematography

As I was watching the Batman Begins and The Dark Knight I was impressed on how distinguished the different movies were from each other. BB had a very orange/yellow and black palette which helped point out how corrupt Gotham was. The Dark Knight didn’t have much of set apart look but it had enough for us to become absorbed in. TDKR did have interesting visuals, especially when Gotham turns into an almost post-apocalyptic wasteland. I just wish that it had a specific color scheme as the origin story had.

Theme

Nolan’s Batmans have always had themes to drive Bruce Wayne on these ideals whether they’re psychological or societal. Batman Begins  was based on fear, that is the origin of the symbol he created. The Dark Knight is all about chaos and disorder; Joker was the spitting-image of this ideal he was objecting Gotham to. In The Dark Knight Rises there are undertones of anarchy, dystopia and a strong hint of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The whole movie doesn’t drive on these as strongly as the others but gives rationale for the events that unfold.

As I said in my Trilogy article the third installment need to have some resolution for the hero. TDKR strikes this right on the head tying up the epic in a creative and satisfying way. It really is the perfect conclusion to Nolan’s epic.

What did you think? Let me know!

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One thought on “Breaking Down The Dark Knight Rises

  1. Good review JImmy. Yeah, Bane’s no Joker, but then again, what villain really is?!? Hardy is great as Bane, and plays up his physical intimidation, as well as his intellectual one as well. However, everybody else is great here too and gave me the performances I need to hold onto when everything was all sadly said and done.

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