30 June 2014

Movie Review: "The Dark Knight Rises"

Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality, and language
Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, and Anne Hathaway
Released: July 20, 2012 (US theaters)
It has been eight years since the events of The Dark Knight.  The Dent Act has almost completely eradicated organized crime in Gotham; what the people don't know is the truth behind Harvey Dent's death.  Batman hasn't been since since then, and Bruce Wayne has been mostly keeping to himself.  Just when things seem to be going well, a masked criminal mastermind named Bane arrives, who is bent on destroying both Bruce Wayne and Gotham.  Bruce has no choice but to bring Batman back...but will the Bat be enough to defeat Bane?
Directed by Christopher Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight).

The Good
The action sequences in this movie were excellent! Whether they were one-on-one fights or mass shootouts, they had my rapt attention.  Also, Batman, despite his flaws, made for an admirable hero; he knows he must either save Gotham or die trying, but he doesn't back away from the challenge.  Anne Hathaway's portrayal of Selina Kyle--aka Catwoman--was spot-on, as was the rest of the cast; I didn't even realize that the actor who played Commissioner Gordon was the same one who played Sirius Black in the Harry Potter films! Marion Cotillard was annoying in Inception, but not so here.  Even the overall story--with its various twists and turns--drew me in, especially the nail-biter climax.

The Bad
There was some profanity, though the action sequences made it less noticeable.  What was rather noticeable was a brief sex scene, which isn't the norm for superhero flicks; some parents and discerning viewers may quibble with that.  As for the violence, not only is it rather intense--though rarely bloody--but it feels all too real, after terrorist attacks and shootings have happened all over the US and throughout the world for about a decade and a half.  That may make this film too much for some viewers.

I love a good action story, and this is definitely a great one.  Between the acting, the sets, and the action sequences, everything artistic-wise was well-done.  Fans of superhero flicks who have yet to see this one are missing out, for sure.  Some unnecessary bits--especially the sexual scene--found their way into the mix, but, as a whole, this is one for the ages.

Score: 4.5/5

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