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The Dark Knight Rises. IMAX


And it's final. Christopher Nolan is hanging his cape and cowl after this flick. In layman's terms: This will be the last Batman film directed by Christopher Nolan.

"It better be!"

As a filmmaker, how do you end the most successful film franchise based on a comic book? How do you close the curtains on the grandest comic book opera ever filmed? In layman's terms: how do you go out with a bang?

1. Let it come full circle.
Batman Begins, the first of the Christopher Nolan Bat-films, started with the League of Shadows. And I guess it would be fitting to end with the League of Shadows. Hell, Nolan even threw Liam Neeson in there, just so you don't forget.

Mr. Neeson, for your latest film Taken 2,
your daughter gets kidnapped... again?

So just to make it clear: it began with Ra's Al Ghul, it climaxed with the Joker, and it ended with Ra's Al Ghul's daughter. This is not one of Nolan's best story arcs, I'd have to admit.

By the way, in this movie, the plot twist comes with the knife twist.

2. Give Batman two chicks.
Make sure one is a good girl who happens to be a villain, and the other one is a villain who happens to be a good girl.

The good girl who happens to be a villain is Miranda Tate, but her evil alter-ego is Talia Al Ghul, Ra's Al Ghul's daughter. She can only be played by Marion Cotillard, because only someone with an exotic accent can play a character with a surname like Al Ghul.

"No... "

The villain who happens to be a good girl is Selina Kyle, who all comic book geeks know is actually the Catwoman (although the closest thing to "Catwoman" mentioned in this film is "cat burglar"). And IMAX viewers will be given a treat with Anne Hathaway's larger-than-life butt shots.

Just Jared via Dark Knight Rises Rumors
Not really visible from this angle.

3. Give Batman a badass vehicle.
Just so you don't get confused, the Batpod is the motorcycle, and the Tumbler is the tank. But in my opinion, it should be the other way around. The motorcycle should be called the Tumbler, because it tumbles. Literally. It's like you can't fall off it, because it'll just tumble and tumble until you end up in the right position again.

But what's even more badass is Batman's new vehicle, known simply as "the Bat". And speaking of the Bat...

Although to be fair, it does look like a bat.

4. Give it a unique and catchy title.
It seems that the budget they had for coming up with cool and creative names got redirected to casting the thousands of extras needed for this film. First, there's "the Bat", which I mentioned earlier, is probably the most creative name you can give to Batman's flying car. Second, there's the title. I understand that for the second film, Christopher Nolan didn't want the word "Batman" in the title, which is why he went for The Dark Knight. I think for this epic conclusion, Nolan still didn't want to use the word "Batman" in the title, so he just added one word to the previous title, and voila! The Dark Knight Rises!

"Hey, I put a lot of thought into that title."

5. Milk the actors for what they're worth.
Christopher Nolan made sure to utilize Christian Bale's weight loss methodology by having him appear gaunt after he escaped from prison. He gave Michael Caine some tear-jerking moments. He capitalized on Tom Hardy's build and athleticism from Warrior. He made sure not to kill off Gary Oldman's Commissioner Gordon. He maximized the use of Morgan Freeman's voice because, you know, it's the voice of God. And he also made sure to show us Cillian Murphy's doe-eyed good looks, even though the entire story would've survived without any Dr. Jonathan Crane in it.

"Chris Nolan once told me my face makes him gay."

6. Give the studio what it wants.
When it comes to Christopher Nolan, brilliant director that he is, there are just some things that are non-negotiable. For one, there's his love for celluloid, trying to convince the world that IMAX is the HD of film (and I agree, no question about that). Second, there's his adherence to old school special effects, choosing to do almost all his effects shots in-camera rather than in post-production. But if there's one thing you can actually negotiate with Nolan, it's the ending. I'm sure if he had his way, Nolan would kill Batman off, putting an end to the franchise right then and there. But of course he can't do that, primarily because he doesn't own the rights to Batman. So I'm guessing that the studio also gave him some non-negotiable things from their end, which include not killing Batman off (so they can continue the franchise if they want to), building up the character of Selina Kyle (so they can continue the franchise if they want to), and hinting that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Robin (so they can continue the franchise if they want to).

Another thing the studio would've wanted
was to have either Peter Cullen, James
Earl Jones, or Morgan Freeman voice Bane.

The Dark Knight Rises. USA. 2012.

Rating: Eight point three out of ten.

You can also check out the review for The Dark Knight.

Follow Sting Lacson on Twitter.


Dan O. said...

It’s a very long flick, but I could have honestly gone on longer. There was so many moments of pure epicness (I know it’s not a word, just stay with me here) and total entertainment, that I couldn’t help but keep my eyes glued to the screen at all times, regardless of what was going on with the story. Good review Sting.

Thank you, Dan O.

I think if you put a hyphen between "epic" and "ness", it can be a word. "Epic-ness".


Freeman's voice is the voice of the God of Penguins, LOL...Cute Cotillard shot too at that, she's now on the same beauty level as Emily Blunt. And no, it's Neeson's wife this time that gets kidnapped in Taken 2. HOw stupid can Ra's Al Ghul be?!?

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