Reel Freak

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Reel Review – The Dark Knight Rises (2012)


How do you make a follow-up to a film with as much success as The Dark Knight?  It’s simple; just by letting Christopher Nolan do his thing in order to bring a close to his historical Batman trilogy.  One of my favorite films of 2012, The Dark Knight Rises is just as riveting, pulse-pounding and beautiful as its two predecessors, and it doesn’t hesitate to aim high.

Eight years after the events in The Dar Knight, Gotham City has experienced a very low rate of crime, even though the Batman has gone into hiding.  When a new threat comes to light in the name of Bane (Tom Hardy), billionaire Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) must show his face again, and once again put on the Batman suit in order to stop the imminent fall of Gotham.

Returning are a handful of the trilogy’s major cast, including Gary Oldman, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman; as well as a handful of A-list newcomers, such as Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy and Marion Cotillard.  Nolan is always great at delivering a great film paired with a great ensemble cast, and is at an all-time high here.


Hathaway delivers a performance as Selina Kyle, with traits very similar to that of Michelle Pfeiffer, who originally starred as the character in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns.  Hardy brings to the table a performance that, while not just as menacing as Heath Ledger’s Joker character, is still a sight to behold and very vicious.

The thing that I love about Nolan’s Batman trilogy is that even if you’re not a fan of Batman or superhero movies, that will not (or shouldn’t) have any effect on the way this movie can be watched.  This series focuses on realism; a city struggling from corruption, crime, and the greed of power.

A very cool addition to the trilogy is ‘the Bat’ (Batman’s vehicle of flight) which is introduced just when you thought Nolan had shown us all the cool gadgets.  I also enjoyed the return of Hans Zimmer’s familiar but epic score of the film.

Dark Knight Rises

As per usual, Nolan’s long-time collaborating cinematographer Wally Pfister delivers yet another visually gorgeous picture.  Nolan filmed a lot of The Dark Knight Rises with IMAX cameras, giving it a bigger, broader overall view.  The opening sequence of the film is a major thrill to watch.  Everything from the tone, color and scenery were all top-notch here.

The Dark Knight Rises is a must-see for anyone who appreciates great filmmaking.  While it may not be just as special as The Dark Knight, it’s still one of the more perfect ways a trilogy could end.  The film holds an impressive 88% on Rotten Tomatoes, and an 8.6/10 on IMDB.  Nolan really knows what he’s doing when he delivers us films, and continues to prove he’s at the top of his game.

My Reel Rating – 8.8/10

Written by Josh Sazin on January 11th, 2014


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