THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
I promise you my entire list isn’t all about comic book movies. It’s just my two favorites (well… three) of the year happen to be comic book movies. TDKR makes the list because it is the most perfect ending to a trilogy I’ve seen on film. Hard to believe but it’s the God’s honest truth.
Christopher Nolan made three sets of films that each have their own stamp of brilliance to it and at the same time have a true cohesion to an overall arc to a story – and that is the journey of Bruce Wayne.
You can’t not ignore that Christian Bale is the best Batman of them all. His transition from Gotham City’s vigilante hero to Gotham’s one and true savior is nothing short of an amazing performance. And the sad thing is no one ever gives awards for performances like that.
The villain in this movie, Bane, played by Tom Hardy, doesn’t have the grandstanding that Heath Ledger gave with The Joker but he still pulls off a great performance. Mind you, it was annoyingly muffled with that mask but I still give him points for destroying all of Gotham and turning it into a state of “organized chaos”. And finally a villain that can go toe-to-toe with Batman and kick his ass (or in this case… break his back).
Anne Hathaway is the third part of this brilliant trifecta that actually impressed me. At first, at the hearing of her casting, I was against it. It seemed impossible that she had the chops to pull off this character, especially in a vision that I knew Chris Nolan would provide. But I was wrong, and I was glad for it. She had the right amount of sexiness, smarts and some killer moves that made me believe she was Catwoman. Her performance, to me, matches an intensity that Heath brought to the franchise.
While yes the film had issues with pace (did we really need see him climb out of that hole numerous times – sometimes you kinda wish for a montage), it made up for it with a great ending. This truly would have been the only logical way to end a movie like this in a scope of a franchise this huge. And Nolan did it perfectly.