The years-long save-the-world plot, poignant near-future setting, and infinite themes both heady and heartfelt are all undeniably epic and compelling, and while the exposition weighs quite heavy at times (see the repeat of the ghost revelation), it doesn’t stop the film from reaching many incredible cinematic heights both emotional (see the devastating return from Miller’s planet) and action-oriented (see the spinning dock sequence), helped as it is by stunning visuals, music, and performances.
Couldn’t hear half the dialogue and only understood half of the rest, but it’s a testament to Nolan’s ambitious and undeniably exciting brand of filmmaking that I was on the edge of my seat throughout regardless: the espionage plot and sci-fi concept are both confusing but compelling, the action is brilliant, the technical aspects top notch. It’s a shame the only emotion is found in yet another Russian villain and a simply modernized damsel-in-distress (Debicki’s turn remains excellent though).
Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire and France are surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II. (IMDb)
I appreciated the effort to strip any story fluff or contrived emotions away from the event at hand, and along with the triple-timeline narrative it made for a tightly focused and refreshing approach to the genre, but in the end its lack of exposition on the event’s scope and context (just a title screen wasn’t enough for me) made for a bit of an underwhelming experience, despite the amazing visuals, tense action set pieces, solid acting, and perfectly subtle yet strong character work.
7.5/10 (Really Good)
Two stage magicians engage in competitive one-upmanship in an attempt to create the ultimate stage illusion. (IMDb)
From an initial point of drama comes both the pre- and post-conflict timelines, which together expertly unravel in a most satisfying way a bevy of exciting secrets that reveal the stunning story behind the beginning intrigue. Driving forward this intricate plot is a tense dual-character study (both Jackman and Bale excel) set within the dark and unnerving world of professional magicians conveying the drastic–even deadly–effects of ambition and rivalry. A masterfully layered yet cohesive film.
A thief, who steals corporate secrets through use of dream-sharing technology, is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a CEO. (IMDb)
The (literal) levels to which Nolan expounds upon his (literally) mind-bending premise are extraordinary, and his resulting film is nothing short of spectacular, as he (mostly) tactfully exposits his fascinating concepts through two complimentary and converging tracks: One action-oriented and exciting; the other character-focused and emotional. Brilliant cinematography (Arthur’s hotel fight is one highlight), engaging turns, and excellent music decorate this exhilarating and exquisite thriller.
Eight years after the Joker’s reign of anarchy, the Dark Knight is forced to return from his imposed exile to save Gotham City from the brutal guerrilla terrorist Bane with the help of the enigmatic Catwoman. (IMDb)
The entertainment value here is again sky high, with nary a dull moment; the narrative is wonderfully layered with constant twists and turns at each level. It doesn’t feel quite as deep or dark as its predecessor, and Hardy’s Bane isn’t quite as interesting as Ledger’s Joker (although that was a tough act to follow), but the plot’s new lows of despair for Batman and Gotham, along with the cast additions of Hathaway and Gordon-Levitt, add freshness and help craft for it its own positive identity.
When the menace known as the Joker wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham, the caped crusader must come to terms with one of the greatest psychological tests of his ability to fight injustice. (IMDb)
A truly riveting movie from beginning to end, never letting up its incredible pace: It’s jam-packed with edge-of-your-seat action (that car chase!), fascinating themes (issues of morality and the human psyche are explored) complex characters (the line between villain and hero is blurred) and captivating performances (you never want to blink when Ledger is on screen), all perfectly complimented by an exciting and epic score. It’s the quintessential superhero movie.
After training with his mentor, Batman begins his war on crime to free the crime-ridden Gotham City from corruption that the Scarecrow and the League of Shadows have cast upon it. (IMDb)
There is the exciting action and fun one-liners common to most superhero movies here, but it is the gritty human feel of the movie that gives it a depth uncommon amongst its genre peers. Intriguing dialogue about justice and morality is weaved throughout an excellent story that does well at balancing a good guy vs. bad guy plot with the fascinating tale of Batman’s “beginning”. The acting and music are also top notch and complete a great film that makes you so excited for the next one.