The Dark Knight Rises Movie Review

By Cher Cabula-Mendoza - Friday, July 20, 2012

I was fortunate enough to get invited to the press screening for The Dark Knight Rises at the IMAX theater last Wednesday, one day before the official release of the movie here in the Philippines. For an epic conclusion of a highly anticipated movie trilogy, Christopher Nolan sure knows how to go out with a bang. He did it. For an epic conclusion, it was very fitting indeed and yes for the first time EPIC is the right word.

For those of you not in the know, The Dark Knight rises looks and feels like the unofficial reunion of the Inception cast. All of Christopher Nolan's favorites were there. I'm not well-versed with the Batman storyline but I do have to advice you to re-watch the first two films especially the first one just to re-orient yourself with the trilogy storyline. I'll try to write the review too with as little to no spoilers as possible (although it's very tempting to!).


The movie picks up from the last movie with the aftermath of Harvey Dent's death to which Batman had publicly taken the blame. With that and the death of Rachel plaguing Bruce Wayne, he retreated to Wayne manor, hung the Batsuit away and pretty much isolated himself from what's happening in Gotham City.

For a while, Gotham City didn't need Batman anymore. However months after, a new threat comes to Gotham City in the form of Bane, a hulk of a man who was making Gotham into a city of fear with his chaotic ideals and a twisted sense of what's right and wrong.

With extreme plotting, he managed to bring down and transfer leadership of Wayne Enterprises through a series of unfortunate circumstances and he also managed to get his hands on the arsenal of weapons of gadgets and weaponry that Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) was working in secret for Batman. Gotham City soon finds itself facing a countdown before being blown to bits by a nuclear weapon. Batman needs to resurface again and save the city.



Bane (Tom Hardy)
I had feared that his voice and dialogues won't be easily understandable because of the mask. Having seen the first few minutes of the film months before, I couldn't understand anything. It's good to know that they've cleaned up the audio for Bane's lines. Tom Hardy himself was lost in the character of Bane, meaning that he's almost unrecognizable. Visually, Bane was formidable and physically imposing. You'll instantly snap to attention when he's on-screen. My impression is that he's the kind of villain with that unpredictability that's so unlike the recklessness of Joker's ploys. He was brooding and menacing. His backstory makes him almost admirable because of his blind loyalty to the cause.

Batman/Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale)
The movie was meant to be Batman's comeback to glory and for the redemption of Gotham City. It was climactic to see him fall and try to get back on his feet again. The Batsuit looked great and the "toys" were of course a fair cause of gadget envy but still the off thing for me was his voice. When Batman speaks in that gruff voice, I just can't connect it with Christian Bale's face, who is of course behind the mask. My favorite Batman scene was when he joined the police chase and was using darkness for a grand entrance.

Catwoman/ Selena Kyle (Anne Hathaway)
I was pretty impressed when Anne Hathaway flawlessly transformed her facial expression and demeanor from being a helpless doe-eyed maid to a seductive jewel thief. She looked really stunning in her costume and her visor was an awesome touch. I think she did alright with her portrayal of Catwoman without overdoing it the way Halle Berry had in the movie spinoff. Despite being a little off from what Catwoman was in the comics, Anne Hathaway made this version of the character all her own and she must be commended for that. For me, she was a welcome ally for Batman.

John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt)
Finally the mystery is solved. I had initially thought that he would just have very little screen time in this movie. Rejoice JGL fans! His character actually had a very important role in the important plot points of the movie. His character was like a shining beacon of hope amidst the threatening doom of Gotham City. In terms of acting, expect the intense kind from JGL, he really holds up against the other actors in the film.



I loved how the series ended. I'm sure there'll be a clamor for more of Christopher Nolan's directing for more Batman films even if it was already announced that this would be the last. The Dark Knight Rises is a good movie that I wouldn't mind watching again as surely as the hardcore Batman fans would. The story might be different from the comics but in essence, it still maintained what made Batman one of the longest and most-read comic book storylines of all time. Christopher Nolan has indeed set the bar high for future Batman films.
The Dark Knight Rises is now showing in IMAX, 3d and 2d theaters nationwide. Make sure not to miss it!
photo credits: Warner Bros. Philippines
Oh and here’s a shot of me and my friends at the IMAX theater before the premiere. (Left to right: Lara, Me, Az and Tim in his Batman costume)
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