Writer: Siti Munawirah MustaffaWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“The Dark Knight”, “V for Vendetta” and “Watchmen”
"No one cared who I was until I put on the mask." - Bane.
A statement that instills fear and acknowledgement from the powerless, this memorable quote plays a strong metaphor for what "The Dark Knight Rises" is themed upon: Deception and manipulation. The Joker may be difficult to surpass, but Bane is nothing short of banality. We all know how Christopher Nolan is so full of surprises. Indeed, he does not disappoint as he saves the best for the last; an ending of the trilogy that is inspired by Charles Dickens' literary masterpiece, "A Tale of Two Cities".
Following the chaotic turn that took place in "The Dark Knight" which led to the death of Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal), Batman has since then gone into retirement with Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) living in detachment from the outside world. For the last eight years since such events occurred, the crime rate of Gotham City has been greatly reduced, with dangerous criminals being placed behind bars upon the introduction of the Dent Act. Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), meanwhile, struggles to keep the Wayne Manor afloat as the company slowly crumbles into recession. It isn't long before Bruce starts to put on the cape again as he becomes the target for Bane (Tom Hardy), a masked, fearsome terrorist leader who brings forth his own menacing agenda in reversing the social order of Gotham City; and Selena Kyle (Anne Hathaway), a mysterious cat burglar who is also Bruce's love interest apart from Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard).
This final instalment may lack the extreme lunacy that was brought upon by the Joker in "The Dark Knight"; it still, however, retains its momentum, unlike most sequels with its storyline that is both emotionally and intellectually rewarding, thus enabling it to win the crowd over with a grimy reality it presents to the audience. Here is the mirror of a malfunctioned society; of the commoners rising against the higher power that has long been in control with the authorization of the people's court; of an ordinary young woman who seeks luxury, a rush of excitement and escapism by stealing from the rich, and of a man who was born with nothing yet grows into an authoritarian who leads mercilessly with his despotic movement.
As subtle as he may seem next to the Joker, Bane definitely holds a strong presence throughout the entire story. Whilst Joker was loud, comical and completely out of order, Bane is reserved, more structured, yet capable of leaving a forceful sense of unease about him. Nolan's choice of the new Selena Kyle may have initially raised eyebrows, but looking at Hathaway's performance, the presumptions that she could never be as good as Michelle Pfeiffer from "Batman Returns" should be made invalid. To compare them both so as to see who makes a better Catwoman would not be fair, as both successfully mould the feline heroine in accordance with their charms and appeals so as to make it their own. Additionally, fans of Joseph Gordon-Levitt would not be the least disappointed as the "Inception" alumni nails the role of young cop John Blake, as he always does with every other character he plays.
Where most filmmakers are in desperation to boost their work with the use of 3D and CGI technologies, Nolan has admittedly refused to rely on any of them, as noted at the end of the long credits: "This motion picture was shot and finished on film." Perhaps going old school is the best way in crafting an excellent, aesthetic piece such as "The Dark Knight Rises" as it effortlessly overshadows other action films, thus proving that advanced special effects are not exactly necessary when making a film of such genre.
Putting together all of the events that reflect real-life terrorism; 'Occupy Wall Street'-like protest, anarchy, economy collapse and political tyranny, "The Dark Knight Rises" is more than just a comic-based action movie full of punch-kicks and explosion fetishes; rather, it is a stark portrait of what the world has and will come to be. This is the reality of the world, which does not run free from war, greed, deception and the abyss-like division between the powerful, and the powerless. With a story so remarkably elaborate and compelling such as this, the film certainly deserves a standing ovation as it reaches the credits.
"The Dark Knight Rises" is also available in 2D and IMAX 2D formats.Cinema Online, 18 July 2012