The following is a guest post from my 19-year-old son, Alec who has been eagerly awaiting the release of the third film in Christopher Nolan’s Batman series. Alec attended a midnight premier here in the Sacramento area and admittedly brings you his “biased” perspective. It was hours after this premier that we found out about the tragedy in Colorado. Our prayers go out to the victims and families of those involved in the Colorado shooting this morning.
Here’s Alec’s two cents on the film:
If you want an unbiased review, Im going to have to ask you to stop reading this, because I am hopelessly loyal to this movie and could speak no evil of it. So excuse the rest of my fanboy rantings that you are about to read if you dare venture further into this review.
The Dark Knight Rises
So I went to the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises this morning, and again I found myself geeking out at the sight of one of my childhood heroes gallivanting across the silver screen. This was a highly anticipated movie of the year for me, and the hush-hush nature of Chris Nolan’s secrecy while shooting this film only further contributed to the fervency of that anticipation. I think it is also safe for me to say that I was not the only one impatiently clawing at my seat waiting for the film to start, because the loud rabble of the packed theater was silenced in seconds when the lights dimmed and the movie began.
Chris Nolan has done it again. He has taken a timeless story from the surface of the comic book world (an exaggerated if not unrealistic place….) and made it something that even the most anti-superhero movie critic would watch. I am not an anti-superhero movie critic, so Nolan’s film didn’t have go to extraordinary lengths to put me in a joyful nerd comatose. The dark and gritty nature of the film only added to my ecstasy, creating an added believability to a super-hero story that would be otherwise unbelievable. The effects were nothing less than awesome of course, but weren’t so flashy and thoroughly dispersed that it gave the impression the film was held up by them. So expect lots of cool new bat-gadgets in this flick.
Now one thing that I will admit my surprise to, is Anne Hathaway’s performance as Selena Kyle (Catwoman). I didn’t expect her to be bad, in fact I don’t really know what I was expecting from her. But I do know that I wasn’t expecting to like her performance as much as I did. She really captured the “Selena feel,” while also avoiding the slippery trap of an over exaggerated and cheezy rendition of a character who’s name is literally “Catwoman.” So my hat goes off to Anne, because she did a good job.
An interesting element to movies that many people often forget to mention is the music, and I will have to be so bold to say that the Batman movies wouldn’t be what they are today if it weren’t for Hans Zimmer’s brilliant and now very well-known soundtrack. And much like Pavlov’s dog, we are trained how to feel about the story by the distinct sounds within Zimmer’s composition. The anticipation for Batman to emerge from the shadows is heightened by the steady increase of an ominous thundering. Our sadness at his pain wells up with the mournful croon of strings. The hope for his triumph is catalyzed with an epic symphony that let’s us know our hero won’t quit while he still has breath. Without the music, we would be much less immersed in the plot.
All in all, The Dark Knight Rises was a fantastic movie, with a gritty plot, no-nonsense special effects, and engaging acting performances. The Dark Knight truly rose above the crowd of superhero movies in those respects, and I believe that it is a film which superhero fans and non-superhero fans alike can enjoy.
Alec McKee is 19-years-old, loves art and movies. When Alec isn’t working or attending college, he’s drawing or watching films with friends. You can catch a glimpse of Alec talking to young people about bullying with his dad, Jonathan McKee, here.