I'd like to make a personal note of dedication to the folks in Colorado who went out to a midnight showing of this film. Their lives, and those of their family and friends, were forever changed. My deepest sympathies are with you and my prayers continue today. Jessica Ghawi, Alex Sullivan, Matt McQuinn, John Larimer, Veronica Moser (6 years old), Micayla Medek, Alexander Boik, Jesse Childress, Jonathan Blunk, Rebecca Ann Wingo, Gordon Cowden, Alexander Teves.
***Spoiler free review***
It has been eight years since Batman vanished into the night, turning, in that instant, from hero to fugitive. Assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon both hoped was the greater good. For a time the lie worked, as criminal activity in Gotham City was crushed under the weight of the anti-crime Dent Act. But everything will change with the arrival of a cunning cat burglar with a mysterious agenda. Far more dangerous, however, is the emergence of Bane, a masked terrorist whose ruthless plans for Gotham drive Bruce out of his self-imposed exile. But even if he dons the cape and cowl again, Batman may be no match for Bane.
Hands down Christopher Nolan has got to be one of my favorite directors; he's breathed some much-needed life in the Batman franchise that was sorely missing for quite some time. (And don't even get me started on Inception!) But sticking to Batman, let me say that the director owns his craft and knows how to get both the audiences and actors invested in the story. You team Nolan up with the music master Hans Zimmer, who's brought the world such wonderful movie scores to the likes of Black Hawk Down, Gladiator, The Last Samurai, and Sherlock Holmes, and you have the makings of a fantastic flick. A movie should not only grip you with the acting, plot and cinematic wonder, but with its score as well. Hans makes the audience feel what it should feel during the whole journey; from beginning to end you will be moved and brought to an emotional climax time and time again!
Now the film itself was very enjoyable and while it felt a little bloated in parts, overall Batman gives the audience what it was looking for: an ending that leaves us satisfied. The special effects were pretty outstanding, but a few parts were a tad unrealistic. Look, I know I'm watching a film of a made-up superhero, but let me at least buy into the fantasy that it COULD be real. The first five minutes of this film were definitely just rough and I was so nervous that the whole shabang was going to end up in some kind of awkward weird mess. But after trudging through a muddled beginning the movie gradually climbs up the redemption ladder.
Action and adventure take over in the second act as the plot continues to build and our villains pick up more steam. Overrunning a city and holding millions hostage is no easy feat, but with Tom Hardy playing Bane just about anything is possible. Tom's got the bad dude thing down pat and he brings the nasty to this performance. His facial mask does make it hard to understand him at times, but it definitely worked for dramatic effect. While some of the fight scenes between good and evil felt a little too staged for my tastes, the majority of the action goes off without a hitch. Anne Hathaway also holds her own as the new Catwoman. I had some reservations about this initial casting, but I was completely impressed with the performance she delivered: an equal mix of sassy and badass all mixed into the perfect burglar bow.
Characters from previous Batman movies pop in and out *winks* plus a whole lot of actors faces you may recognize from tv shows out now like GOT actor Aidan Gillen and Dexter's Desmond Harrington. This is definitely one to watch for both comic fans and movie fans of the franchise. You get your money's worth and then some!
Getting 4 'who took my pearls' Sheep