Lowcountry Movie Night: By Justin Peterson
It is rare for the sequel of a great movie to live up to expectations, but somehow Director Christopher Nolan has been able to create a trilogy where each film has surpassed its predecessor.
This Summer, Nolan's Batman finale The Dark Knight Rises thrills audiences while continuing to re-define the comic book movie genre.
Nolan's trilogy started in 2005 when Christian Bale first took on the role of a much darker Batman than we saw back in 1997 when Joel Schumacher's infamous Batman & Robin movie, drove the franchise into the ground.
While I enjoyed Batman Begins, it still felt much like the typical comic book movie. That all changed in 2008 when Nolan delivered The Dark Knight. The movie totally changed the comic book genre by giving audiences an intense action-drama (especially in the opening sequence) centered around Batman. The acting was also cranked up a notch with Heath Ledger's Oscar winning performance as The Joker.
Now the final installment of the trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, has somehow managed to once again up the ante.
Let me start by saying, you MUST see this movie with an IMAX screen and sound. The movie was shot on IMAX cameras, and the huge scope of the story perfectly lends itself to the format. This was my first IMAX movie at the theater behind Citadel Mall, and plan to have many more trips there in the future.
What makes The Dark Knight Rises better than the last movie is the sheer epicness and high stakes of the story. The movie's principal villain, Bane, is actually able to go toe to toe with Batman. The scene where Bane slowly walks into a football stadium while the National Anthem is being sung is one of the most chilling moments of the film and truly shows how ominous of a villain are witnessing. Anne Hathaway does a nice job as Cat Woman, but for me it was nothing to jump up and down about.
While you do have to wait a while to see Bruce Wayne in bat gear in the movie, the big reveal was nothing short of amazing. The bat bike speeding onto the screen, forced everyone to the edge of their seats as the Dark Knight Theme music practically shook the theater.
What makes these movies so successful, is that director Christopher Nolan brings brilliant filmmaking and story telling the table. This elevates a simple super hero movie into a heart pounding drama. I was also delighted to see how Nolan was able to bring modern socio-political undertones to the film, including the occupy movement.
But I must say the last 15 minutes or so of the movie is truly an emotional roller coaster that you will not be able to predict the end to.
This movie is an absolute delight for Batman fans, and an overall amazing movie experience in general.
I gave The Avengers a perfect rating, so it would be a crime to not do the same for this spectacular film.
Lowcountry Movie Night gives The Dark Knight Rises 5 out of 5 stars.
P.S. – There's no secret scene at the end of the movie, but it is still fun to stick around to hear Dark Knight Theme music one last time.