Like a Phoenix From The Ashes, The Dark Knight RisesJuly 17th, 2012 | Posted by in Featured Movies | Movies
2012 has been the year of the blockbuster Superhero film.
The Avengers left fans raving while breaking revenue records.
The Amazing Spider-Man wowed critics as it spun its way to the top of the box office.
And, on July 20th, the Dark Knight will rise.
The hype is bigger than ever.
When Christopher Nolan rebooted the Batman franchise in 2005, we weren’t sure what to expect.
But, we knew that if it was coming from the guy who gave us Memento, it was going to be good.
Christian Bale proved to be the best Batman ever.
Sorry Michael Keaton. Sorry Val Kilmer. Sorry George Clooney (I know, right?).
But, Christian Bale is to Batman what Daniel Craig was to the Bond franchise: Fresh and kind of kick-ass.
The guy who seemingly has no end to his acting range (he was in Newsies. Yes, the Disney movie that is now a musical hit on Broadway. Newsies. Christian Bale. Same guy. For reals…) did not disappoint.
The only disappointment in Batman Begins? Katie Holmes.
Nolan followed with 2008’s The Dark Knight, creating a film that only disappointed after the final credits, when the screen dipped to black.
Heath Ledger’s portrayal of The Joker was a career making role, even though the success was sadly posthumous.
Still, the film was grittier and darker, just like Nolan’s Gotham. And, with Ledger as the villain, we were reminded why the late 1980′s Batman films kicked off by Tim Burton, while enjoyable, were cartoons.
Heath Ledger’s Joker versus Jim Carrey’s Riddler? That’s like comparing filet mignon to beef jerky.
The bonus of The Dark Knight? No Katie Holmes.
The Dark Knight ended with Batman as an outlaw.
Not because he was guilty of murder, but because by taking the blame for one, Harvey Dent would remain a symbol of hope for Gotham.
Commissioner Gordon said:
Batman is the hero Gotham deserves but not the one it needs right now.
Based on this, Gotham City put forth new laws that put criminals away and drove them away from the city.
Our story picks up eight years later, when it seems that Batman and Commissioner Gordon have succeeded—the Dark Knight is no longer needed in Gotham. In that regard, Bruce Wayne has won the battle, but he is traumatized by what happened and doesn’t know how to move on from being the figure of Batman. ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ very much deals with the consequences of his and other characters’ actions in the previous films.
The question is: Can Nolan top The Dark Knight sans Ledger, who was arguably the most delectable villain in comic book movie history?
Enter Tom Hardy.
We can say one thing about Christopher Nolan: He likes his actors.
In The Dark Knight Rises, Nolan reaches back into his Inception casting book for Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard.
Hardy, who most will remember from his role as Eames in Inception, doesn’t seem like the villain type.
But by this point, can we really doubt Christopher Nolan?
In deciding on who the next villain would be, it was imperative that it was someone completely different from the Joker—that he be a brute force. The physical component of what Bruce Wayne does as Batman is of extraordinary importance, and we had not truly challenged that in the first two films. I really wanted to see Batman meet his match physically, as well as intellectually. Bane is raw strength with a fanatical devotion to duty, and that combination makes him unstoppable.
So we have our villain, and we’ll also have Catwoman aka Selina Kyle.
Fear not: Still no Katie Holmes. The leading lady for The Dark Knight Rises is Anne Hathaway.
Comparing Hathaway to Katie Holmes is…well, like comparing filet mignon to beef jerky.
Bale gives us a little insight into the Batman/Catwoman dynamic:
What really impacts Bruce is that, after years of isolation, he’s meeting this woman he finds fascinating and funny. He suddenly recognizes he’s been seeking something, even unconsciously…that he’s lost all the color in his life and needs some human contact.
Not a bad way to reinstate human contact, Batman.
But, will Bale and Hathaway have chemistry?
This snippet of dialogue makes us think they do.
That’s a brazen costume for a cat burglar.
Yeah? Who are you pretending to be?
So, will The Dark Knight Rises bring a close to the arc that started with Batman Begins?
We were all very excited to bring this tale full circle; that was our chief inspiration for returning to Gotham. We also felt a tremendous sense of responsibility to fulfill expectations based on the first two movies while giving the audience something they hadn’t seen before…
We can’t wait to find out.