|"Violence... is never justified in the film" R. Smaltz|
Starring: Chrisdeurn Bail
The Dark Knight trilogy for me is the best cinema trilogy of all time. I wouldn’t argue against Toy Story, either... and I like the Godfather... but, for me, Christopher Nolan’s re-invented Batman series is more intense, more surprising and more powerful, which is an epic achievement when you think about how run of the mill its comic book contemporaries have been.
Rises seems to be the one that has divided people the most. I know people who love it and a lot of people who don’t. After seeing it at the cinema I liked it, after seeing it a second time, on Blu-ray, I loved it. So much so I think it’s the best of the three.
Never before has the sacrifice Bruce Wayne makes (or the hero in any film for that matter) been so integral. Crucially, Rises gives you a real sense of that.
These are violent films for a 12 certificate. Children have always had an attachment with the central character, and I think it’s very important that the consequences of the violence are shown alongside the element of self-sacrifice. Because of this the violence is never taken lightly, nor is it justified even within the films.
A lot of the criticisms levelled against Rises are that it’s too political and doesn’t have anything comic or eccentric in the way Batman normally does. But this feels like a natural way for the story to progress. Batman’s appearance has drawn out the nut cases - they’ve gone away and it seems inevitable that someone stronger and more dangerous will take their place, in this case Bane.
It’s fascinating how the villains reflect a side of Batman: In "Begins", the Scarecrow is fear, in "The Dark Knight", the Joker is the psychotic side, and in "Rises", Bane is strength both physically and in his determination. He’s relentless and seemingly unbeatable. Tom Hardy’s performance as Bane has split audiences, mainly because of the voice, but as far as Smaltz is concerned he’s terrific and terrifying.
The supporting cast is excellent as always. I’d like to mention how good Anne Hathaway is as Selina Kyle/Catwoman. I was very sceptical how that character would fit in this real world Batman but she’s fabulous as a femme fatale and a grifter. Also top work by Hans Zimmer for unashamedly bashing every big drum he’s got and producing a fantastically exciting score.
I’d like to finish by echoing a thought from Mark Kermode; that, despite what you may think of Rises, we
should all be thankful that someone is willing to spend £200 million on a film that is very brave, so full of interesting themes and characters and doesn’t dumb down to what it thinks mainstream audiences will like.