This summer saw the release of three blockbuster films based on beloved comic books, two of which were based on popular Marvel comics. “The Amazing Spider-Man” was the newest reboot of the Spider-Man film franchise and was actually better than the Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire films from the past decade. The other was the long-awaited “Avengers,” the film that Marvel Studios has been building toward for the past 5 years or more. Definitely a winner in my book, and the box office showed many others felt the same.
However, the one that we are here to discuss, the one that drops on DVD and Blu-Ray this week, the one that was the clear winner of the three for me is Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises.” I know we weren’t around to write about the premiere, which may be for the best. I couldn’t say enough about the film at the time of its release. I mean, I saw it three times in the first week it was in theaters.
That should speak volumes.
Honestly, it’s not secret that I’m a Batman fan, regardless of the iteration. Some of the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher… ordeals definitely aren’t the best, but I’ve always upheld the idea that even the worst Batman movie (::AHEM:: Batman and Robin) is always better than the best Twilight movie… if there is such a thing.
To me, the recent Dark Knight trilogy has been not only the best of any Batman movies that the world has seen, but it’s honestly some of the best superhero/comic book movies I’ve ever seen. Nolan’s penchant for turning the fantastical world of Batman and his beloved rogues into something that may actually exist in this time and place.
You have to admit, it was definitely much more realistic than Green Lantern or ANY movie Marvel has put out (other than Iron Man or possibly The Punisher). All three of the movies play more like a detective film than a superhero movie, relying more on suspense and dialogue than flying through the air and saving damsels in distress. After all, Batman is a detective. Ra’s al Ghul knew that. That’s why he called Batman “Dark Detective.”
Regardless, I truly loved The Dark Knight Rises and would recommend it to any Batman fan, especially ones that have seen both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. And yes, it is important to see the first two movies. The Dark Knight Rises won’t make much sense if you haven’t seen the others.
And if you are one of those people who thinks they know exactly what’s going to happen because you’ve read enough Batman to make assumptions, or because you know that Nolan took a fair amount of influence from classic Batman storylines like “No Man’s Land” and the epic “Knightfall” that introduced the criminal mastermind and main Dark Knight Rises villain Bane, just wait and see. Nolan flips everything you think you know on it’s ear, just like the writers from the TV adaptation of The Walking Dead.
Long time fans will be just as surprised as newcomers, something that makes this movie fun and exciting for anyone who is interested.
While there are a few small plot holes, and Marion Cotillard’s final scenes in the movie are fraught with uncharacteristically bad acting, this movie is just too good to pass up. Christian Bale, Gary Oldman and Michael Caine are at their finest in the series (READ AS: Christian Bale doesn’t overdo it with the Batman voice in this one), and Tom Hardy gives a truly chilling and brutal performance, turning him into one of my favorite movie villains to date.
The Dark Knight Rises releases on DVD and Blu-Ray Tuesday, December 4, 2012.