Movie: The Dark Knight Rises

"The Dark Knight Rises"

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.

I watched it and loved it. Now, I must warn you, I may not be able to contain spoilers.

I’m not a big Batman fan, to be honest with you. I like superheroes in general, but my favorite has always been Spider-Man, closely followed by Cyclops and Storm of the X-Men. Yes, I’m a Marvel guy. But when I first saw the trailer of Batman Begins, I knew I was going to watch the film. I didn’t know if I was going to like it at the time, and I had apprehensions. But the way director Christopher Nolan recreated Gotham City–the epic nature of the film was evident in the trailer alone. And the first film did not disappoint.

The second film will always be remembered for the amazing performance given by the late Heath Ledger. Sure, there are those who thought Ledger’s Joker was a bit too over the top–but I thought his performance was very grounded in reality. Which is what Nolan’s vision of the Batman universe is. Reality.

And so we come to the final movie in the Nolan trilogy: The Dark Knight Rises.

Why do we fall? That’s a question asked by Bruce Wayne’s dad in the first movie, and it’s a question that keeps getting answered in all three movies. We fall so we can pick ourselves back up again. And I’ve recently read an article that says Nolan’s Batman movies are tied-together by the thesis of symbolism–and in a way, I do agree. But at the same time, I think Nolan’s films are, simply, about picking one’s self up. About learning which fights to fight, and which ones to let go. It’s about choice, and the things that happen because of the things we do.

In short, there are a lot of things you can latch on to Nolan’s Batman films, but it’s essentially about life. The reality of it. The existence of it.

And I feel like a college kid again, writing that. So let’s move on:

Spectacle-wise, The Dark Knight Rises was unbelievable. The explosions, the cave ins, the gadgetry–I kept trying to figure out which ones were CGI and which ones were real. There came a point when I was just terrified for the extras involved because of all the incredible effects that looked way too real.

Going back to the symbolism, the visuals were astounding. The team in charge of the sets and the location did an amazing job in showing the changes that Gotham City shows throughout the film. The film was dark–but it felt so rich.

As for the story… The film delivers in every way that, in my opinion, the Amazing Spider-Man did not. The conflict–the struggle–was clear. All of the characters were important and played a role in the shaping of the end. And nothing felt gratuitous. Not even the extended action scenes.

And the twist. The twist that isn’t a twist. You’ll know what I’m talking about when you watch the film yourself. I think that’s one spoiler that I’d do well to avoid spoiling, even if a lot of the people on the Internet have already figured it out.

I have to say Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anne Hathaway were perfect additions to the cast. John Blake, the character Levitt portrays, is a great example of a grounded good guy. In a way, he’s more of a superhero than Batman is. And Anne Hathaway’s Selina Kyle is perfect. I could be biased because I love the actress, but I thought the characterization Nolan and David Goyer gave the Catwoman was the best of all the Catwomans I’ve seen. She was sultry, scheming–but she wasn’t an all-out villain. Just like in the comic books. And Anne gives her such wisdom and vulnerability that I found myself wishing that Nolan would choose to make a Catwoman movie.

I already said it from the get go: I love this film. I love it so much that I’m buying the DVD as soon as it comes out.

But, seeing as I’m sure the theaters will be packed this weekend, why don’t you guys watch Cinemalaya films first. And then head to the cinemas next weekend for The Dark Knight Rises?

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