Saturday, August 11, 2012

Movie Review: THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, a Review by Frank Venuto

Title: The Dark Knight Rises
Director: Christopher Nolan
Actor(s): Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Rated: PG-13
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
Runtime: 2 hr. 45 min.
Release Date: 20 July 2012 (Theaters)

Synopsis: It has been eight years since Batman vanished into the night, turning, in that instant, from hero to fugitive. Assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon both hoped was the greater good. For a time the lie worked, as criminal activity in Gotham City was crushed under the weight of the anti-crime Dent Act. But everything will change with the arrival of a cunning cat burglar with a mysterious agenda. Far more dangerous, however, is the emergence of Bane, a masked terrorist whose ruthless plans for Gotham drive Bruce out of his self-imposed exile. But even if he dons the cape and cowl again, Batman may be no match for Bane...

Frank's Rating: 

Frank's Review: Well it's finally time for my review of The Dark Knight Rises.... Why did I wait a couple weeks? Two reasons. One, I needed to process what I saw by seeing it twice. Secondly, I wanted to give people enough time to see the movie and make up their own let's get to it!!!

I will start by saying Christopher Nolan is one of a couple directors whose name immediately causes me to want to see a movie and he has never disappointed me. He has unequivocally delivered again!!! The scope of this movie is grand. Nolan decided to set his goals high, he leaped and grasped those goals fully. This  movie for those who don't know (you must live under a rock) is the capstone of Christopher Nolan's Batman Trilogy. We have followed the character of Bruce Wayne from his childhood to who we now know is a man willing to give everything to protect his beloved Gotham City. 

The movie has 3 distinct acts. The first one might complain feels a bit jumbled. I would argue it is not jumbled but you must be an intelligent watcher. The story reintroduces the storyline where The Dark Knight left off and also deftly introduces several new, important characters to this growing encyclopedia of people we have grown to love.  

The second act finds Bruce confronting what he cannot conquer without fully understanding who and what he is. Nolan, again, gives us rich character development that after two other movies I have to admit I didn't think there was much more to Bruce. Man was I wrong!!! Bruce Wayne is an amazing character study. When you juxtapose him to the villains he is fighting throughout the story lines, you literally could write volumes of psychological debates on who is the good guy and who is the bad. 

The third act, and in my opinion the best act out of all 3 movies, is epic in scale. It at times reminded me of other great movies such as Braveheart. The battle between the police and the rebels in the streets of Gotham is what I like to refer to as organized chaos. You felt as though you were a boy in blue, fighting alongside those brave men beating back the oppression of the terrorists.

I want to stay away from spoilers as much as possible but having said that, Nolan does not disappoint when it comes to jaw dropping moments. The beginning airplane takeover scene is amazing. It truly captures something on film that I'm not sure I have ever seen before. Without giving away anymore of the spectacular moments, let me just say I found myself on at least 3 occasions reminding myself to close my mouth because it was agape in awe as to what I was seeing on the screen.

When it comes to the acting, all are pretty much spot on. Christian Bale delivers another great performance. The rest of the usual cast of characters such as Caine and Freeman deliver on their end as usual. Freeman serves up his witty banter and Caine when on the screen gives a depth to Alfred and his relationship with Bruce that makes us all wish we had our own Alfred around all the time. Anne Hathaway does a great job playfully flirting her way through the movie as Catwoman. I have had a few debates as to her needing to be in the film. I say Catwoman was done PURRFECTLY!!! Where we see her and Batman end up helps the character arc of Bruce come to fruition. Nice Job Anne! 

Now onto BANE!!! Of course at the outset of this movie I knew I, as well as everybody, would compare Tom Hardy's Bane to Heath Leadger's Joker. I feel that does a disservice to both actors but admittedly understand why it would happen. Heath was amazing and deserved every accolade he received. I stand here today calling for an Oscar for Tom Hardy as well.  If I could, I would have rewound every scene he was in to watch over and over again which I have done several times on the Internet. His ability to convey emotions in the way he did without the benefit of the audience being able to see most of his face was stunning. Some complained about his voice being hard to understand. I felt his interpretation was spot on. The way he walked, talked, and brutally destroyed those in his path were chilling. To watch him methodically break down the Batman was scary. 

I could write about this movie for hours and hours. I saw it on IMAX as well as normal digital projection. This movie played well on both as I am sure it will when I purchase the blu-ray the first day it comes out and put it on my 47 inch LCD TV.  The movie, in my opinion, is meant to be seen on IMAX at least once to see the directors true vision. 

A storm did come in the form of the Batman Trilogy. I am sad to see it over but I could not have asked for more. Mr. Nolan, Thank You for these movies.

P.S.  Please make another one!!!!

P.S.S. Thanks for reading my review. Leave a comment!!!!

Like Frank's review? Want to know more about him or have a question for him? Check out his Guest Blogger Introduction HERE! Also, check out his review for Oliver Stone's SAVAGES HERE!


  1. Great review! I have not had the chance to see this film even though I truly enjoyed the previous two. For some reason, it was Anne Hathaway as Catwoman that put me off big time but thanks to your review I have gotten excited about it once again.


    1. Well Adria I am glad that I have possibly changed your mind. I totally agree with you about Anne as Catwoman but believe me she does pull off the roll well. Nolan gets the best out of her. Thanks for the comment...check back and let me know your thoughts on other movies!!!

  2. Well Frank I must say the review was good. I fully believe in order for a trilogy to be great each movie has to be better than the one before. Dark Knight Rises was AWESOME, but when compared to Dark Knight, I think movie 2 was much better.
    I agree with you that Tom Hardy did absolutely stunning with his mannerisms and attitude with Bane. I loved it, but Dark Knight was better. Would I go to see Rises again in theatres? TOTALLY. But I don't think it was as good as Dark Knight. The bar that Nolan set with Dark Knight was way to high to beat with Dark Knight Rises.

    1. I do agree that the bar was set very high with DK but I would argue that as a whole movie DKR may be better....there is now arguing that Heath Ledger was amazing but as far as a total story and what the DKR had to do which was tie the entire story together and make us have a believable arc to the characters involved. I think there is definitely room for the argument that DKR is the best .....that's why opinions are opinions ...Right?

  3. I was dragged along to see this by my husband and I have to admit I really enjoyed it! I think drooling over Christian Bale helped!

  4. Well your husband has great taste in movies!!! I am glad that you had over two hours of eye candy for yourself as well hahaha

  5. I enjoyed this movie so much. I also watched it twice. I'm a huge fan of Christian Bale and Batman. Thanks for the great review. I totally agree with you on this.


    1. Thanks for the comment check back often I am sure we won't agree on everything. Hahaha just kidding... Thanks

  6. AHHHH, I freaking enjoyed this one, too! I really think Christopher Nolan has become my favorite director--I'd jump at a chance to watch anything he directs! Bane, apart from the Joker, has to be one of my favorite villains. I agree that watching him break down Batman was chilling and painful. The acting was truly remarkable.

    Great review! :D

  7. Everything about this movie is just so darn epic, that I honestly couldn’t wait to just stand up, cheer my head off, and show my love for the epic trilogy that Christopher Nolan has made for me, and made for me with total love and care. Great way to say bye-bye to everybody’s favorite Bat. Nice review Mia.