Friday, July 27, 2012

A Dark Knight Rises : the film

comic book

   Weighing in on the latest of the Batman movie, I can say that the third in the trilogy was a satisfying three hours of good fun.    Ann Hornaday from the Washington Post says it beautifully in the review sent along by pal, Bruce B.     "The Dark Knight Rises" by Christopher Nolan is great summer entertainment.,1208568/critic-review.html

I was especially pleased as I had NEVER before seen a batman movie!    I thought it would be too dark and violent and not my "genre" at all.

 And it is dark and it is violent but not to the extent of let's say,  the Mel Gibson's movie " The Passion of the Christ".  In that one from 2004 , if Gibson's point is that Christ was not an ordinary man , he proved it by the gallons of blood the character of Christ spilled in the various torture scenes on his way to Calvary.   The Dark Knight Rises is emotionally violent but always falling on the side of fantasy... which makes it all bearable.

Another characteristic of this genre which often keeps me away, is a sound track of body blows and impact sounds that is ever- increasingly exaggerated.  These sound tracks are always an assault on the senses, particularly in the pivotal scenes where the decibel level is off the charts.  What happens to kids who make a steady diet of this genre?  Probably deaf by 30. 

In the new Batman, the ensemble is even and even surprising, with standout's in character bits (as in the dungeon scenes) as well as the central cast.

  Ann Hathaway looks amazing in her cat suit with a killer hour glass figure that she wasn't emphasizing in  " The Devil Wears Prada".  Here she has all the quixotic attitude that is needed for comic relief in the role of Cat-woman.  She and Christian Bale ( Batman )make a quirky but believable couple .  Their relationship (if indeed it goes into the future) will be full of ambivalence and the problems of two modern strong- willed characters.  I doubt if they could last long without one strangling the other.  But we need both of them to fully enjoy the bat machines.

 There are star turns by a lot of well known actors in Dark Knight so I see that this is a respectable vehicle for the most serious players.  But it was hard to see some of my favorites acting brilliantly as usual but much older than the last time I saw them on screen.  I will so miss Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman when they go, but none of us is getting any younger.  

The thug, Bane, played by Tom Hardy, looks pumped on steroids and over-muscled to the point of real creepiness.  I wondered that the actor appeared so able to fight as most of the pumped-up guys in "real" life are more "show than go".  I wonder if he did his own stunts.

   I also question if this trained actor, Hardy,  had put on all this muscle just for the movie.  In any case he makes a more than adequate villain, half of his face covered in metal, with a scary voice box and with a shaved head.  It seems impossible that Bale's Wayne could take Bane in a physical fight at all unless he has supernatural powers.  I think we are meant to believe Batman does indeed have some of those.

And I think we are meant to believe that Gotham is our beloved NYC.   WE are primed to love this film when a hero saves our city from destruction.  The ending I will not spoil, just to say that it is ambiguous but there is enough to give us hope.  

I am ready for the next sequel.... but I guess it won't be with Christopher Nolan or alas with Christian Bale  or Ann Hathaway.   I think we will have to wait for a whole new twist and a brave director who can trump this one or go in another direction entirely.    And in the meantime , I can find the former sequences and watch them, if only on DVD.

I saw "the Dark Knight Rises" out at the Pathe cinema on route de Grenoble outside of Nice .  Nowadays you can just buy your tickets on-line and keep the confirmation in your cell phone.  The usher scans your cell phone and you're in.  The screen out at Pathe Nice: Lingostiere is the biggest in our area, I believe, and with a huge food hall full of junk food, it's a movie goers dream....American style.

Go and see it in town or out....and let me know what you think.  


  1. Gosh, Mary, I know I'm in the minority on this one, but I actually fell asleep during this movie ... ! Annie x

  2. And what put you to sleep exactly, Annie, the story, the acting....or the genre? Maybe you have seen too many modern American movies. To me it was a discovery to see what the rest of the world has been watching. xx, m