Sunday, August 5, 2012

Picky Pagan Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises

First off, I must admit that I am a HUGE fan of the Batman movie franchise. Excluding the cheesy (albeit somewhat entertaining) Adam West versions, I can say that the Batman movies and Batman: The Animated Series had a profound effect on my life and my judgement of superhero films. This being said, the only way that I can describe the latest installment is: disappointing. My primary qualm with this movie was the depressing plotline, that plays out twice in the movie. It involves a weak and self absorbed batman going out and getting his ass kicked, back broken and close friends and family leaving him. Batman is a detective, yet throughout this movie, he employs almost zero intelligence and deductive reasoning. Everything is handed to him. Anne Hathaway's performance as Catwoman was atrocious. If anyone had any doubt to her acting ability, this movie will confirm everything. She takes on a stereotypical, stunt double, green screen and CGI-enhanced action movie heroine role and with all of today's modern technology, and even still she manages to fumble through simplistic acrobatics and fight scenes. Bottom line she is not convincing physically or emotionally. She has a great smile, but that is about it. Another one of my peeves in the movie is the vocal effect on Bane's voice. Extreme filters coupled with an abstract British-styled accent make about 15% of his dialogue hard to understand and about 5% completely unintelligible. One small light in the abyss of disappointment is Joseph Gordon-Levitt's performance. All I can say is he has come a long way since Third Rock from the Sun. Michael Caine and Gary Oldman will perform in any role you put them in, so no complaint there. However, the Alfred story arch is  somewhat lame and uncharacteristic of the Alfred archetype, but that is Christopher Nolan and the writer's fault, not Mr. Caine's. (I don't live in a monarchy therefor I don't acknowledge another country's feudal elite structure, so don't give me guff for not calling him "Sir".)

Even with all of my qualms, I still somewhat enjoyed this movie on the principle that it is Batman. It is also the conclusion to the series involving Christian Bale as Batman. It is a disappointing conclusion, but I still would recommend watching it to gain closure. 

Rating: 2 out of 5 Broomsticks

Might have made the move a little better, just saying...

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