Post Group: Working Member
It's bottom-numbingly long, the baddie is a mumbling bore and the plot is a pretentious mess - even Batman can't escape this disaster
: "hreview">Rating: This film has been so eagerly awaited and has such a huge publicity budget that it is certain to be a hit. Most critics mindful of their backs — or, indeed, their fronts — will praise it to the proverbial skies. Cheap oakley The last time I gave a movie like thisfewer than five stars, I received death threats from people who hadn ;teven seen the film in question. And I gather that one U.S. reviewer whoattempted to write a serious analysis of this latest film has already received similar threats for being negative. I am not being perverse, however, in stating that The Dark Knight Rises has many glaring defects. How far youallow those to interfere with your enjoyment of the movie is, of course, up to you. Scroll down for video Overlong: The Dark Knight Rises is among the most highly-anticipated movies of the year, but did little to impress Chris Tookey First, the positives. Director Christopher Nolan has done an intelligent job, along with his brother Jonathan, of assembling a blockbuster finale that brings back a few supervillains and makes a neat, emotionally satisfying conclusion to histrilogy of Batman films. The final half-hour is cleverly written and on a spectacular scale. You may have seen a city trashed in many a blockbuster, but never quite like this. The picture also has the courage to grapple, however superficially, with two big themes: the fear of terrorism and economic collapse. The bad guy, Bane (Tom Hardy), is likean 18th-century French revolutionary hoping to unite the oppressed masses against the capitalists and authorities who have kept them under control for so long. cheap oakley sunglasses A ;people ;s court ; dispenses death sentences to anyone deemed reactionary. That ;s me done for, then. I wouldn ;t go so far as to claim the film is a political heavyweight, but there are echoes of Dickens ;s novels about anarchy and rioting masses, Barnaby Rudge and A Tale Of TwoCities, whose ending is even quoted at the end. Incomprehensible: The mask that Tom Hardy has to wear to play Bane makes his diction hard to understand Female influence: The movie also stars Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, alongside Christian Bale reprising his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman The bad news is, first, that it lasts two hours and 45 minutes, which is astonishingly bloated — and unforgivable in a film that spends a long, ponderous hour getting started, despite a couple of action sequences that don ;t involve any heroics by Batman. When Bruce Wayne, alias Batman (Christian Bale), eventually rides to the rescue, he comes as a man misunderstood by the public and authorities alike — he ;s still blamed for the death of Harvey Dent, the architect of the Dent Act, a piece of miracle legislation that has rendered Gotham City virtually crime-free for eight years. cheap oakley sunglass Batman has long been in disgrace, apparently crippled physically and by the guilt of having sacrificed his girlfriend, and is living in peaceful retirement. So it requires a major suspension of disbelief to understand why the bad guys bother to employ cat burglar Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway, in an approximation of the Catwoman role filled by Michelle Pfeiffer) to frame him for an attack on the New York Stock Exchange and ruin him with a number of disastrous investments. Action packed: But at two hours, 45 minutes long, the new Batman film certainly packs in the action and special effects The effect is utterly counter-productive. It puts the fight back into Wayne — much to the concern of his trio of father figures: butler Alfred (Michael Caine), chief of police Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and technical genius Lucius Fox(Morgan Freeman). Batman ;s only able-bodied ally is a fresh-faced cop (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who pretty much resembles his former chum Robin. The job of love interest / femme fatale is split between Marion Cotillard, as an amorous member of Bruce Wayne ;s management board, and Hathaway ;s Selina, who appears for most ofthe movie to be a lesbian but whose girlfriend and cohort (played by Juno Temple) simply disappears, leaving Selina the chance to change personality overnight. Other unbelievable events include the moment Bane doesn ;t kill Batman when he has the opportunity. Sceptics may also ask how it is, in the last 45 minutes, that Batman has a habit of turning up unerringly in the right place at the right time, when for the previous two hours he has been unable to do anything right. Cheap Oakley Sunglasses Old faces and new faces: Gary Oldman returns as Jim Gordon, while Joseph Gordon-Levitt makes an appearance as John Blake Mind you, it ;s just as well he does, because otherwise the film might never end. Another fault is that Bane is a boring villain. Heath Ledger ;s Joker in The Dark Knight was a creepily memorable figure. Bane is just Darth Vader in a Hannibal Lecter mask, and his words are practically inaudible. An over-enthusiastic effects track, poor diction (not only by Hardy, hampered by his hockey mask) and what sounds like hundreds of crazed Japanese drummers make large stretches ofdialogue incomprehensible. And in case you think I ;m going deaf, my 21-year-old son sitting beside me found it just as difficult to hear. Just when you think things can ;t get any worse, Tom Conti turns up and starts relating a back story in an accent that might as well be in Serbo-Croat. As with all recent Batman films, the tone is humourless, bordering on reverential. There are even mythic echoes of Jesus Christ coming to save humanity, and it ;s a tribute to Bale ;s acting that he endows the role with agonised sincerity, even whenhe is asking us to believe in the wildly incredible. Cheap oakley sunglasses Anyone who can ;t see enough big, loud movies that don ;t make sense can safely disregard this review. But the first of the trilogy, Batman Begins (which received four stars from me),remains the high point. The Dark Knight Rises is not as repellently sadistic as its immediate predecessor, but it has pretensions vastly beyond its capabilities. "font-style: italic;">A version of this review appeared in earlier editions. VIDEO: Celebrity A-listers hit the red carpet for 'The Dark Knight Rises' premiere in NY... Watch the full trailer here...