Entertainment Now with T.M. Powell

Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises

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"The Dark Knight Rises" New York Premiere - Inside Arrivals
CW44_TMPowell_4x3 T.M. Powell
I'm CW44's Media Critic & '44 on the Town' Co-Host. I make...
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Before I begin this review I want to state that what happened in Colorado was a tragedy.  There are so many things in life that are more important than a movie or a review for a movie but my job is to write about the world of entertainment and I’m not going to let some psycho ruin my everyday life.  So hopefully when you read my review you can think about the movie and not the horrible act that will forever be associated with The Dark Knight Rises. My thoughts go out to the families that were effected by this terrible act.

Four years ago director Christopher Nolan gave us the end all be all when it comes to superhero movies with The Dark Knight.  Nolan managed to mix one part superhero and one part crime thriller to create the standard for not only superhero films but movies in general.  The Dark Knight changed the system for how the Academy votes for Best Picture after it was wrongly snubbed from the Best Picture category and the late Heath Ledger won the Oscar for his role of the Joker. Unfortunately with Ledger’s passing and the immense popularity of the film, most people were expecting a let down with the third and final installment of Nolan’s Batman saga.  Can you blame the public with third movie stinkers like Spiderman 3 and X-Men:  The Last Stand.  Luckily for movie lovers everywhere Christopher Nolan has given us a great film and a perfect end to this trilogy.

The Dark Knight Rises takes place eight years after the chaos caused by the Joker that led to the cover up of Harvey Dent’s murderous actions.  Haunted by the events of The Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne is playing the billionaire recluse card with a scruffy beard and has hung up his cape for good.  That is until the calculated and cold-blooded Bane shows up ready to upend the social system of Gotham.  Tom Hardy plays the masked villain and does a terrific job overtaking Gotham with brute force and evil charisma.

You have to give it up to Hardy.  The guy had impossible shoes to fill after Ledger’s performance in The Dark Knight but he lives up to the role as the unstoppable Bane.  I have heard some people complain about Bane’s muffled voice but I understood him fine.  For those haters who complained about not being able to understand Bane I would like to point out some other popular characters on film that we can’t understand that we love, R2-D2 and Chewbacca.  Those two never spoke a word of english through any of the Star Wars films but we always got the gist of what they were communicating. So all the haters need to clean out their ears and read between the lines.  Even if you couldn’t understand two-thirds of what Bane was saying I still think you will able to understand this terrorist’s plan.

The real scene stealer of The Dark Knight Rises is Anne Hathaway’s Selina Kyle, otherwise know as Catwoman.  Catwoman is the great anti-hero of the movie playing Bruce Wayne and Batman’s romantic nemesis.  I have not been the biggest fan of Hathaway in the past but after this movie I may have to take all those old sour feeling towards her back.  Catwoman is a good girl who does bad things to get her chance at redemption.  I may seem like I’m jumping the gun early in the Oscar race for Supporting Actress but I believe Hathaway deserves to be in the final five come Oscar time.  I will not back off that statement,  she’s that good as Catwoman.

Hathaway gives us the best performance but her other cast mates shine as well.  Christain Bale fresh off his Oscar win for The Fighter is great as a beat up, down and out billionaire with his best crime fighting days in the rear view mirror of the batmobile.  Gary Oldman and Micheal Caine give solid supporting performances as well Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the hot-headed Detective Blake who wants to make a difference in a city under siege.  None of these great performances would have been possible if it wasn’t for the genius filmmaker Christopher Nolan.

Christopher Nolan is the best and brightest director in Hollywood right now hands down.  Nolan manages to get great performances out of his cast blending the superb acting with heart pounding action and boy is there a lot of action in The Dark Knight Rises.  The last thirty minutes of the film are incredible and will have the whole theater on the edge of their seats until the last scene.  Nolan has done what Lucas, Raimi, and other directors have not been able carry out in the past.  Nolan has made the perfect movie trilogy with The Dark Knight Rises.  I still prefer The Dark Knight but The Dark Knight Rises is a close second earning three and half potatoes from the old Couch Potato Commentater.  In Nolan we trust.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @CW44CouchPotato and become a fan on Facebook.

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