I love Batman more than any other superhero franchise, no question. Of all the many many versions of the film that have come out over the years, I have pretty much seen them all. Most are poor (Clooney, what?!) but one version, the most recent, is breathtaking and epic. I wanted to prepare myself for the latest movie by watching the first two parts over the last week or so. Here is what I thought (by the way, there are going to be some spoilers but none from the new film):
This film is pretty much what it says on the tin. It shows Bruce Wayne as he loses his parents and becomes Batman. I hadn't seen this movie in it's entirety before. I had only seen the first 15-20 minutes and from that I stupidly judged the whole film. The beginning shows him as a kid and all the upsetting and distressing things that happen in his early life. It was kind of upsetting for me because I hate seeing kids upset in films. I almost can't watch. It is however ultimately really important in helping to understand his character. The first 20 minutes also shows Bruce living in Asia and learning how to become a fighter. It has loads of martial arts stuff going on which instantly put me off. Initially I was like 'Oh good ninjas :|' but that whole part was actually over pretty quickly and soon the real story (for me anyway) started. He ends up killing most of the people he trains with because they are corrupt but saves his friend and trainer Henri Ducard played by Liam Neeson. This part seemed irrelevant to me at first but it soon became clear that it is a major aspect of the three films. Liam Neeson comes back to cause some trouble later in the film but naturally Batman gets on it because he's just good like that.
After this point is all stuff I hadn't seen before. Bruce comes back to Gotham, his home city, and he is all tough and ready to fight crime etc. From this point the ball really starts rolling and the story picks up a lot of pace. They also quickly introduce all the gadgets which I enjoyed as it explained Batman's abilities in a realistic way. It explains how he flies and moves without being boring or irrelevant. We are also soon introduced to the Scarecrow, played by Cillian Murphy. Christ he is scary. I saw him and was like 'Welcome to my nightmares D:'. This villain is a doctor who puts on a mask and sprays this hallucinogenic mist into people's faces which makes them go crazy. Cillian has this chilling vibe about him anyway and was so creepy in this role. Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Gary Oldman are all magnificent in this film. Christian Bale makes such a mysterious and strong and dark Batman and he is, to me, the best. I love his portrayal. An element of romance is also a part of this film, with Katie Holmes playing Rachel Dawes, Bruce's childhood friend. I liked that this was in the film because it takes you away from the big superhero stuff and is just about a relationship. It also shows Bruce's vulnerable and emotional side.
Overall I really liked this film a lot. It had action, thrills and scares as well as dramatic character-based scenes that really build the story and bring you into the film.
8 out of 10
THE DARK KNIGHT
I had already seen this film once before a long time ago and I remember that it blew me away. I wanted to watch it again both for the enjoyment and also so that I could fully understand everything. The film centres around Batman, Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and Harvey Dent trying to take down the mob with the Joker trying to take down the city. The opening scene of the film really sets the pace and tone for entire movie. At the end of the last film, the Joker is mentioned, and this film starts straight from that point. You have robbers with clown masks running around as the Joker sets up a bank robbery. First, hello clowns, you can also join my nightmares. Second, this was great in my opinion as it instantly set the ball rolling. The suspense and the action starts and doesn't stop for a second within the film.
Lets talk about the characters for a sec. Harvey Dent really kind of annoys me to be honest. He is cheesy and pompous and takes Rachel from Bruce. I mean, the only moment when I feel any compassion for him is when Rachel and Harvey are kidnapped and only one will survive. At this point he is kind of a hero, and the whole moment is really sad. I had to ask my brother Harry about the Katie Holmes/Maggie Gyllenhaal situation. That kind of annoyed me, because I just don't like it when actors get replaced. But then to be fair, before long I forgot that this was the case. I LOVE this Joker. I love the way he talks and his look is so spot on. Heath Ledger really plays crazy and insane and evil in this so well. Maybe the best. I love it. I mean he is terrifying because he is crazy but in some way I sometimes feel sorry for him, or even like him. But I mean, he is so so scary. I think I would literally lose my mind with fear if he was real. The creepy way he licks his lips all the time. This is so small but so vital for the character. And his wide, sinister, manic eyes seal it. The crazy giggling and cackling is perfect. It is such an amazing and convincing portrayal of a complete maniac. The way he sits so still in the prison cell when he is caught is like a predator. He looks and seems like he's from another world. I kind of love him and hate him. He is smarmy and witty and silly and deep and empty and soulless. He has lost his mind and does it perfectly. The Joker also gets some seriously brilliant lines in this film. I love it when he says 'WHATEVER DOESN'T KILL YOU SIMPLY MAKES YOU.. STRANGER'. Just one of my favourite lines from a film ever.
This film is crazy and so full of energy. It is completely thrilling and suspenseful and really one of those 'edge of your seat' movies. It is constantly exciting and nerve-racking. It just gets bigger and bigger and better and better throughout. The film is owned by Heath Ledger's portrayal of the Joker and I honestly believe it will go down in history.
10 out of 10 :)
THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
WOW. I saw the movie earlier today and it was unbelievable. This final film takes place eight years after the last, and Batman has gone into hiding. But when Bane takes over, Batman is forced to come back and save Gotham. This film mixed the storytelling element of the first film and the action packed element of the second. There were countless explosions as well as many sad and dramatic moments with characters. I'm not going to say what happens because that would not be right at all but I will say that there were twists that left me open-mouthed and yet they all made perfect sense, something I rarely find in a film.
The actors were also on top point. Catwoman, like seriously, okay I want to be you. She was slick and stylish and tough and mysterious and so much better than I anticipated. Anne Hathaway was perfect for the role. Joseph Gorden-Levitt played policeman and detective Blake, who actually had quite an important and key role within the film. He tries to assist Batman and Commissioner Gordon in stopping Bane and is very much an unsung hero within the film. Tom Hardy gave a top performance as Bane. He is always good at playing emotionally strong and bad men in films, and this was only a continuation. Michael Caine really stood out with a beautiful and emotional performance. Of course Christian Bale and Gary Oldman gave a top performance just as they did in the films before. Overall the huge and brilliant cast of this film was exactly what a film like this required.
The end of the film (no spoilers) was so perfect. I always dread the end of a series of films for fear of being disappointed, but it was so so perfect and completely spot-on. It feels like it completed everything and like it really was an ending of something so special and brilliant. I almost can't quite put into words how much I loved this film. I just..I mean..I can't. It's too much. It was just so so amazing.
10 out of 10
So okay WOW right? These films both collectively and alone are superb. Seriously incredible. They are dark and epic and huge. Each story is so smart and suspenseful and the cast throughout are just some of the best. Each movie links to the other and everything throughout the three films link to each other is some way. The score for the films is also so epic and important in making the films what they are. Christopher Nolan has created just something so special and brilliant. I can't say anymore. These films are just the best.