[Last Film I Saw] The Dark Knight Rises (2012) (revised after a second viewing)

Title: The Dark Knight Rises
Year: 2012
Country: USA
Language: English
Genre: Action, Crime
Director: Christopher Nolan
Jonathan Nolan
Christopher Nolan
David S. Goyer
Bob Kane
Christian Bale
Anne Hathaway
Gary Oldman
Tom Hardy
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Marion Cotillard
Michael Caine
Morgan Freeman
Matthew Modine
Ben Mendelsohn
Juno Temple
Aidan Gillen
Tom Conti
Nestor Carbonell
Alon Aboutboul
Burn Gorman
Daniel Sunjata
Brett Cullen
Reggie Lee
Liam Neeson
Josh Pence
Cillian Murphy
Linus Roache
Rating: 8.1/10

Watched it in front of an IMAX screen in the cinema, and as the curtain call of Nolan’s Batman trilogy, the film has maintained the superiority of its precedents THE DARK KNIGHT (2008) and BATMAN BEGINS (2005). While it is not my most anticipated film of the year, but undeniably other superhero cash-burners let’s say THE AVENGERS (2012) could shamefully pale in comparison.

The CGI-generated SFXs are remaining as the trilogy’s strong suit, the plane-on-plane hijacking and the subsidence of the football field (both are hyped in the trailers) are the apotheoses, but on account of the fact that perceptibly the visual pinnacle has been unsurpassably accomplished in INCEPTION (2010), I cannot help but feeling a little surprised that the film hasn’t flooded us with more, but on the other hand, it is also a wise decision since it could have also prompted an opposite side affect, which THE AVENGERS has achieved, too much meaningless bombarding would also make one feel nonchalant and numb about what is really going on. So admittedly TDKR does a decent balance not to let the SFXs kill off the potency of the narrative.

To conclude the final chapter, Nolan puts Batman through the wringer of more physical destruction (by the enormously bulky Bane), but no one would fret over it, as soon or later he would rise like a phoenix from the ashes (which is banal but the only option left), meanwhile during his recovery an anarchic society has been founded, and being a Chinese, it does evoke a sensitive resonance of China’s culture revolution in 1970s (which I have fortunately not experienced), the public verdicts of the rich and the powerful are under the name of the collective decision of all the people. Which is rarely seen in a mainstream Superhero flicks, and it earns Nolan the “NO GUTS NO GLORY” medal. But the plot itself also undermines the film a bit, the major hindrance is the villain’s motivation, they kick off a suicidal nuclear bomb and decide to die with it, not to mention the arbitrary twist which gives Bane the gigantic bathos.

The stellar cast is solid but there is no standout like Heath Ledger in TDK, if I have to name my favorites, it has to be Anne Hathaway, an ambiguous Catwoman with more undertone beneath, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, it seems that he has come to the time when he could reboot the serials on his own shoulder.

The long and the short of it, TDKR is an enjoyable, ambitious film which can eclipse most films of its peer, but sadly it is not the crowning glory among Nolan’s chef d’oeuvre, and his crowning time has yet to come.


A second viewing of the BluRay version, this time, noticing more of its details in the plot, a self-destructive Gotham-wrecking plan seems to radical for Miranda and Bane pair, and the former is too underdeveloped to take on the chief villain’s cape since she is the only one could escape the hell’s pit (before Batman), her entire revengeful plan sounds and seems too arbitrary.

But the epic momentum of Nolan’s juggernaut is still overpowering and vigorous for the second viewing, the film certainly has its responsibility-first backbone to support Batman and edify its audience (throughout Nolan’s trilogy and culminating in this self-sacrifice coda), moreover, another patent tenet is to face (and respect) the primal fear of death, which could transmit potent power and it will assist oneself to overcome all the seeming-unsurmountable barriers, so it is safe to confirm that the film has his indisputable edgy over those entertainment-first superhero exploitations along with its eye-popping visual stunts.

A pitiful thing is the stellar cast fails to standout this time (no Heath Ledger this time), everyone is in his or her comfort zone except Cotillard is quite a spoilsport (mis-cast) and Caine is too over-acting this time.

So the rating still remains 8 out 10 but with an improving nuance (from 7.8 up to 8.3), and currently sustains as my No.5 film of the year.



6 thoughts on “[Last Film I Saw] The Dark Knight Rises (2012) (revised after a second viewing)

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