So once again, I made my excuses to the nanny (“groceries” I think I mumbled) and disappeared to my friendly little neighborhood mall to catch the early, early matinee showing of The Dark Knight Rises. The movie is so long that my previous attempts to slip away were foiled by issues like little league practice and the like, but finally now I can download my thoughts here and tell you how MUCH I want to find another excuse to watch the movie all over again.
First of all, some terrific twists at the end. I’m the kind of viewer that delights in puzzling out the reveals ( I figured out the Sixth Sense like 15 minutes in) and I did not see most of what coming at the end of TDKR. I’m not going to comment much on Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, or Morgan Freeman’s performances – we’ve seen them before and I’m not sure anything in this script brings out anything new in the characters. And the toys? They deserve a mention just as they do in any James Bond film. We love the cool gadgetry and neat vehicles but it’s not new.
It’s the other supporting cast that really rose to the occasion. When the casting decisions had been announced I had real trouble seeing Anne Hathaway as Catwoman. I have never been a fan. Don’t get me wrong- I’ve never thought she was a bad or even OK actor, just not great (like Gwynny). My admiration has always been reserved for whoever her excellent agent/manager is that gets her such great roles. But in this movie, BOY did she deliver. AH plays the role with the kind of complexity and whipsmart intelligence the character deserves, and with the perfect timing of a Costello in Who’s On First? Let’s get her a Catwoman movie for God’s sake. Anyone at Warner Bros listening? Hello?
Another supporting actor who shows he needs a leading role – Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Yes, hard to believe the little guy from 3rd Rock from the Sun. John Blake, tough cop, with a heart of gold could have been a hugely stereotypical role and again not one I would necessarily have seen JGL do well in. But he does with nuance and expression. Michael Caine as Alfred has some wonderfully heart rending bits. The only one who seemed to be a little off was Matthew Modine. My goodness he’s aged.
I have some quibbles – I found Bane’s booming voice cartoonish and distracting. The whole Wall Street trading thing made me laugh, and Marion Cotillard’s character – well, my annoyance with her would be a spoiler so I’ll save them for later. But in short, this was a three hour movie that flew by for me, I was so wonderfully entertained. Hmmm, I may have to slip out later to get the car washed…