Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

July 25, 2012

‘Dark Knight Rises’ message strengthened in tragedy

Movie Review and Column

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — The artistic style of film making often allows humanity to look upon itself in fictional lessons, though our most sinister side is often too real for such a storied format. Before one irrational act forever changed its place in history, this particular movie franchise had already cemented for many fans permanent favor with anticipation of a final chapter which once again made us love one of our most familiar heroes.

No amount of coverage will be able to soften the blow for those who like many of us regularly escaped what could be a cruel world only to lose everything following our beloved cinema. Yet, for those of us still here it shouldn’t lessen what we cherish.

In fact, as has already been said, those who were there to help the people impacted in Colorado only strengthens the Gotham crusader’s message in this third chapter that heroes can arise every given day around us. If anything, as fans of all things motion picture, we should not avoid “The Dark Knight Rises” because of what happened, but embrace the chance to prove we will not fear keep us away from this joy.

The story follows a Gotham eight years after the events of “Dark Knight,” where Batman (Christian Bale) has disappeared from crime fighting and Bruce Wayne is almost as removed from the public. In a world rather close to our own where only those corrupt with power and wealth escape the hardships of life, the city seems to be doing rather fantastic with the evil wiped out, that is until a reckoning appears in the form of villains named Bane (Tom Hardy) and Catwoman (Anne Hathaway).

Senior Evil discovers how the late Harvey Dent was much more flawed and used as a reason for the drive to wipe out violence and criminal activity by Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) and launches his own twisted plot to annihilate Gotham as intended by League of Shadows villain Ra’s al Ghul (Liam Neeson). This brings about the forced return of a much more weary Batman, who must not only find a way to save the city again, but do so at a possible cost to those left who are still close to him like Alfred Pennyworth (Michale Cain). The resulting marathon is a well paced way to bring things full circle with a twist cleverly contained until the perfect turning point.

The performances by the entire cast is no less than equal to “The Avengers,” if not better with even the smallest characters illustrating points along the way. This film is not for all ages with very dark content as promised, but it is wonderfully executed with props to those who I was unsure of like Hathaway’s inner struggle through Selina Kyle.

Even the ending, which may not please all, is rather ingenious since it allows the future of the character to either be expanded or started over in any number of ways. In the end, the impact might actually prove the biggest benefit for a film deserving the highest accolades without the horrible association.

I would have already agreed it deserved to at least be nominated for top cinema awards and now it may cement at least a best picture for all the efforts. Without hesitation, my final verdict for “The Dark Knight Rises” is five out of five victories.

Movie viewing experience courtesy of the Royal Twin Theater of Pauls Valley.