After entering the tunnel on Day 1 with The Hunger Games, losing our radio signal on Day 2 with The Avengers, getting to that unsettlingly dark part accompanied by Prometheus on Day 3, giving the finger to the guy who wobbled into your lane in an act of Brave-ry on Day 4, hitting the middle with The Amazing Spider-Man on Day 5. We are now accompanied by a Rising Dark Knight on Day 6, where we can see the light on the other side. (That was a driving through a tunnel metaphor by the way, in case you didn’t know).
Release Date: 20th July 2012
WHAT COULD BE AWESOME ABOUT IT:
Following his escalation of the superhero movie bar to such heights that the Mars Rover would do a double take about trying to scale it’s icicled peak, Christopher Nolan hasn’t half left himself something to live up to with his final instalment of the Batman franchise.
Thankfully however it’s Christopher Nolan, and although he might masticate with the points he wants to make for so long that they become individual particles of information for him to smack the viewer across the head with for the last 30 minutes of a film (see: The Dark Knight), he knows how to make a movie. More importantly, he knows how to make a Batman movie, and boy does this look like a good one.
The first full length trailer was mind blowing, with cute children singing, American football players exploding, Tom Hardy looking like an extra from The Matrix Revolutions and any German under the counter movie, rhythmic drum beats to action shots so purposeful and awe inspiring that you don’t know whether to cheer, cry or wet yourself from the majesty of it all (in case you’re wondering, I did all 3…simultaneously…and repeatedly).
It appears to be that Nolan has taken everything good about the first two films, multiplied them by one another and them blended them with a special formula called ‘Epic’, a fact that is not hindered by the subtle marketing campaign, good will from the predecessors and a level of internet buzz so strong that when the film finally arrives the pent up expectations of every fan boy will be released in a 2012 style tsunami of ecstatic yelps and honey.
This film also looks to do what was somewhat omitted from The Dark Knight and anchor the characters together in a web of, what I like to call emotion, with the Alfred/Bruce dynamic. Previously used as a medium to say wise things in a whimsical accent, Michael Caine’s Alfred looks like he takes a more central role in this, which is only a good thing when it comes to concluding this in an emotional and satisfactory way. As The Dark Knight skipped on the character development (apart from blowing up Rachel Dawes, which I maintain was The Joker doing them all a favour) and if this is to reach the heights of say, The Return of the King, it will need an emotional edge.
WHAT COULD SUCK ABOUT IT:
The fact of the matter is, The Dark Knight’s re-watchability factor is a level 0. It’s brilliant the first time for Heath Ledger, brilliant the second time when you fully grasp the concepts, but after that it’s over long, drawn out and so self-involved with the point it’s trying to make that it stops being about the movie and becomes about the actors trying to explain to themselves the meaning of all these morality points Nolan is trying to make. Nolan is a genius, but boy does he know it, and boy oh boy does he want to make you know it as well.
This simple need to smash his ideas and themes across the audience’s brain until their brain becomes 10% smashed pulp and 90% Christopher Nolan’s mallet shaped ideas could be what undoes The Dark Knight Rises, as the potential is there for Nolan to labour on about the intelligence of his writing. Don’t get me wrong, the ideas behind this one (being the less fortunate rising and destroying that which contradicts their lifestyle, at least that’s what I grasp for Anne Hathaway’s whisper, people being kidnapped from a rich house and the destruction of a football stadium whilst the national anthem is sung, the destruction of American traditions) sound fabulous, and if they’re done well they will really add contextual punch to the narrative, but if they’re done the ‘Nolan Way’ it could become tiresome.
Furthermore there is the idea that there may just be too much going on to accommodate, with the addition of Joseph Gordon Levitt, Marion Cottillard and Anne Hathaway to an already bloated cast of stars meaning that respecting all these new characters to a point that keeps them relevant may stretch parts of the film too thin.
Predicted Star Rating: 5/5
Come on, I have no doubt this film is going to rock; the labouring of points in a way that only Nolan can may make it a difficult to chew film later down the line, but as a first watch and conclusion to possibly the greatest made trilogy ever, I’m sure it will tick every box.
Predicted Box Office Gross: $1.5 billion+
The last film was huge, maybe because of Heath Ledger, but also because of the quality of the film making, and after building more of a mainstream fan base with the massive blockbuster smash Inception, this will outstrip it. The question is can it breach $2 billion? The fact it isn’t in the-studios-favourite-way-to-cash-in-on-audiences (3D) could stop its climb to world domination. But no doubting this is going to be the biggest film of the year.