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Old July 22 2012, 05:01 AM   #224
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Re: "The Dark Knight Rises" Review and Discussion Thread (spoilers)

I saw The Dark Knight Rises today and thought it was excellent. Although critics say that The Dark Knight, starring Heath Ledger as the Joker was undoubtedly the best in Nolan's trilogy, I feel that I liked this one the best. The story was much more coherent and more cohesive; TDK to me was like watching a miniseries condensed into a single movie. The storytelling was all over the place and overshadowed by the Joker's presence.

Christian Bale carries himself as a tormented and isolated soul. As billionaire Bruce Wayne, who has lived in seclusion for a long time, he also bemoans the long absence of his alter-ego, the Batman, who is accused of murdering Harvey Dent, Gotham City's golden boy-turned-psychotic criminal. It's not until the appearance of a professional thief named Selina Kyle and the threat of a vicious masked villain named Bane, who's intent on destroying Gotham City, that Bruce Wayne springs back into action as the Dark Knight.

"There's a storm coming, Mr. Wayne. ... When it hits, you're all going to wonder how you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us," warns Ms. Kyle.

Anne Hathaway does a very good job as Catwoman, although she's never called that during the movie. I only wish her character had been more fleshed out. She sees herself as a bit of a modern-day Robin Hood, and yet she doesn't really give to the poor after stealing from the rich. She has her own agenda, and yet there are some redeeming qualities about her.

Tom Hardy, who transformed himself into a husky, menacing figure, Bane, is a different kind of villain from the Joker in The Dark Knight. Bane's plans are more politically motivated, although no less sinister, while Joker's psychotic character was the personification of evil.

Michael Caine's performance as Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne's faithful butler and only family, was among my favorite in the movie. He's a fatherly gentleman figure who provides wisdom and guidance to Bruce. "Gotham City needs Bruce Wayne, not Batman." And he reminds me a lot of an old friend I have in real life.

Overall, the movie makes a social commentary on the haves and have-nots, telling a good story of social injustice, although we know that in the real world, not everything is black-and-white. Growing up poor or having had a tough childhood doesn't necessarily turn one into a deranged criminal; in fact, it turns others into heroes like Bruce Wayne ... and Detective John Blake.

Overall Rating: A
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
--Bilbo Baggins, LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring
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