The finale has happened, Dark Knight Rises is out and strutting the streets but has it lived up to the EPIC expectation we all had?
With being a finale and having the masterpiece of Dark Knight before it, it seems that the actors, directors, writers and indeed everyone had a lot on their plate.
Dark Knight established a lot, it established what Batman really is, how far he would go himself and for the people of Gotham. The Joker really got under his skin and the movie provided Batman with some sick twisted person he couldn’t deal with.
The best thing the Joker said was “you have nothing, nothing to threaten me with” and this is true, the Joker just wanted to watch chaos develop. The Joker didn’t have any alternative motives to the destruction of Gotham; he picked Gotham because Batman was there and knew he would be fun to play with. Batman knew this, thus he made it so personal to himself to stop the Joker. However the lack of motive should be feared more than someone with a purpose, as you can always track them away from that purpose, but someone who has no purpose or motive can’t be deterred because there’s nothing else for them to do.
The Joker presented a mental threat, yes there was a lot of carnage but it’s clear that Batman can kill Joker if he so chose to. With the introduction of Bane, we have a physical threat, someone Batman may not be able to physically beat. Though he tries mentally to beat Bane, it seems Banes’ hold is so tight that he achieves more than the Joker ever could. This is a theme, this year in superhero movies, brute strength, as Spiderman faced off with the Lizard and the Avengers with Lokis super metal army.
This is what it most interesting about the trilogy. Typically the first movie is a starter; the second has an immense amount of carnage and then third reverts back to the original movie. With this trilogy we had the starter, the second was somewhat similar to the first in terms of destruction, but the mental load that the Joker brought was more intense, but this, the trilogy has ridiculous amounts of damage!
It seems apt though, as the Joker set up something that Bane finished. It also follows the rules that the main character can die, the past does not count, it is not at rest and this proves AMAZING in the final battle scene. Though it perverts the trilogy rules slightly, the trilogy rules for comic books seems to do this, compared to horrors; Spiderman 3, X-Men, Blade. They are all building up to this final point, the final battle, which seems to mean everything. This follows the rules of most sci-fi trilogies including LOTR, Original Star Wars, Matrix, New Star Wars, and Indiana Jones. All had an epic, world ending conclusion and once that was over with, what else is there to go to?
Sci-fi and fantasy trilogies seem more real in their purpose, as they are building up to something, it’s hard to watch movies like Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean, where it seems kind of obvious that they did it for the money, as most of the action was established in the second movie, thus the reverting back to the original in the trilogy is to save their asses.
However Batman follows all this and more.
The seven year gap from Harvey Dents’ death to Bane coming is convenient and interesting. Bruce Wayne has never gotten past the events; Batman is still a public menace. Gordon cannot get past what happened to his family and Gotham is a new city because of it.
Bruce has become older and bitter. He has his families’ mansion back, regaining his family respect, but he has no family of his own to fill the rooms with, instead everything stands like ghosts with white clothes thrown over them. Bruce needs Batman, but Gotham does not need him; so he is left with a sort of unfinished business. The world has moved on faster than he can.
The seven year gap is also good, when considering Bane. It would seem too intense and dark that right after the effect the Joker and Harvey Dent had on everyone; all of a sudden a new menace would appear. Bane had to stew under the surface to let the city re-grow; making the attack so much more unexpected. The new generation of children, cops, doctors, workers are not familiar with Batman, so their confusion when they’re bitter superiors force them to catch someone they see as new, crazy and amazing is somewhat comical.
It seems that Banes plan was all the more plausible at the end. He wished to give Gotham back to the people, though decent people were living in fear, the criminals were throwing parties in the decadent houses, meaning that Gotham was less progressive. His plan to ruin Gotham was better received, and glad it was established!
The releasing of the prisoners is always something to be feared, you have murders, rapists, fraudsters, all roaming the streets again, there was even a bit of fear when Cat Woman was released.
We see that Bane did not go to Arkham Asylum and release the inmates there. Arkham Asylum is always a place to be reckoned with! It is shown and mentioned in Batman Begins, as being in the Narrows, a far off suburb, just part of Gotham. However Arkham has mostly been associated with forests surrounding it, on its own island. This Arkham is surrounded by the poorest part of the city, and access to it is literally impossible as the whole island is heavily guarded.
It seems that our lovely Scarecrow, Cillian Murphy has made the most impact in the movie; popping up again as our mad hatter, sentencing people to death. He’s a strange character, as at the end of Batman Begins he is institutionalised in Arkham. However he pops up at the start of Dark Knight, so we accept he is arrested, thus being part of the movie makes sense. If he was still in Arkham Asylum we would assume that the Joker would have popped up as well. Bane was probably not bothered to make the trip all the way to the Narrows to Arkham, so no Joker, fair enough.
When looking at Bane though, and Tom Hardy, we assumed a mighty performance. The performance was amazing, as Hardy does put his all in to acting, but that dam mask! It seems that good or bad cinema surround sound, Bane was inaudible in parts. When he took his time and pulled his words out, in his extremely posh manner, we understood him. However when he was rushed, the only way you knew what he was feeling was if he killed someone or not.
This wasn’t helped so much by the epic music!
Yes this is the finale, yes this is the trilogy, the scale of everything was pumped up to 100%, but it was hard to hear people sometimes. The score was amazing, as it was designed specifically to keep you on edge, as it did with Inception and partly with the Dark Knight. When cars and trucks crashed together you had the daunting bass boom for effect. This all carried on from the Dark Knight, but it seemed almost annoying in this movie.
It was essentially three hours of trying to strain your ears to hear. The score wanted the movie to be so epic, that it took away from it and the script. Yes the scene in Dark Knight when Harvey Dent is being taken away to prison in the police van and the Joker attacks them on the highway; the manipulation of sound, bass, concentrating oncertain noises was AMAZING. But the dialogue in that scene was also minimal. When you did have dialogue it was audible, which in turn made the movie better.
Batmans’ voice was the same gruffness that it has always been. Some have complained about his voice, but if you’re trying very hard to seal your identity, you would put on another voice.
The way Batman worked seemed like he had never been gone. Bruce Wayne eased in to Batman so well that it seemed like it hadn’t been seven years.
However Batman is the same man, Bruce Wayne is not. He is crippled, has grown a beard and became a complete shut in. Batman was able to get back on the horse easily, it seems when it is time to suffer, it was constantly Bruce Wayne that was suffering. This shows the man behind the mask, Bane does not lead a double life; he is Bane all hours of the day and night. With Bruce and Batman it is harder, as they switch between the two, so one is always going to be vulnerable to the other.
This in turn made the scene in the pit exactly what it should have been. It was drawn out, it was long, and we felt fed up by the end of it, so how do you think Bruce Wayne felt? It made the point that you could either live your life like all those old men in the pit, or take a leap of faith and see where it takes you. Ultimately Bruce did not go back to a loving Gotham, he went from destruction to destruction, but he went back to being what he loves best, Batman.
Our lovely Jospeh Gordon Levitt proved to be a vital role in all aspects. He plays a cop turned detective under Commissioner Gordon and rightly so, as these two seem to be the pillar in justice, especially as Batman is not around. We see a new version, or really realistic version of what would happen to a city if this should happen. No superheroes or gadgets, just realistic planning and underground fighting. Ultimately we did need Batman, but he was more of a distraction, as the cops were led by their leader and the bomb was taken care of by Gordon.
Batman did make the ultimate self-sacrifice with the bomb, but Alfred’s assuring nod at the end gave us hope. Though they should have only shown Alfred’s nod, as we know what it means, that’s Hollywood for you.
Overall the film was a success! If you were a fan of Dark Knight you’d love this. It was more of everything, but it didn’t lose its meaning and we ended with a brilliant trilogy!