Often, I have gone to watch a movie and wondered why the hell I wasted two good hours of my time, especially when I could have spent that time doing something a bit more productive like reading a book.
But then, there are those days when everything comes together — the stars align, the birds sing louder — and those few hours are not enough.
These are the special days, the rare days when all the hours I have wasted, the torture I might have inflicted on both my body and mind too is worth it.
This week I had one such experience as in the latter, the good ones.
It was when I watched the last instalment in one of the biggest and most successful franchises to come out of Hollywood, Batman.
For those not in the know, let me start with a little trivia of this largely successful franchise.
Batman is a fictional comic book superhero character by Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger and first surfaced back in 1939.
Throughout its illustrious history it has spawned off in numerous media forms like newspaper and the conventional comic strips, television, theatrical productions and, most notably, cinema and this mostly through the DC Comics label.
It is the latter that it has garnered the most success with numerous Hollywood ‘A’-listers co-signing to the franchise, among them names like George Clooney, Val Kilmer, Danny De Vito, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger and Christian Bale.
The most prominent spin-offs would have to be the recent Dark Knight series, of which the third and last instalment — Dark Knight Rises — is our review for this week.
It is generally believed that “every great story deserves a great ending…” and in this regard the Norlan brothers, Christopher and Jonathan, did an outstanding job to bring this cinematic spin-off to the Batman franchise to a befitting end.
We pick up the story eight years after the last time we saw Bruce Wayne and his alter ego Batman (Bale) flee following the death of Harvey Dent, who has since been immortalised for his fight against
Gotham City and its hero have taken different paths as the streets have become safe once more while Wayne has taken to a life of solitude.
Unfortunately, a new and darker evil waits the two, as a mysterious warlord, Bane (Tom Hardy) has come to town with nothing but destruction in heart for both the city and its hero.
After a series of seemingly unrelated series of events, Bane ends up toppling Wayne Enterprise to turn its alternative energy invention and turns it into a weaponised nuclear bomb which he uses to hold the city hostage.
First, I would like to point the movie’s one and only negative which is the glaring absence of Heath Ledger’s Joker character.
Ledger, who died after the filming of The Dark Knight Returns, gave one of the best performances of that and other franchise in his portrayal of The Joker,
However, the Norlan brothers, who directed and co-wrote the screenplay, gave a good account of Bane as a replacement. Though one of the original characters of the franchise, Bane comes in as new character during this spin-off and we were guided through his back story.
We are given an insight into his origins, upbringing and his true motives towards both Gotham and Batman.
The League of Shadows plays a very integral part of both the plot and characters joining all three Batman movies together and rounding it up to one big conclusion.
The film’s themes are well rounded and will probably appeal to both the young and old at heart, while the special effects outdo every other Norlan brothers’ collaboration as there was that WOW factor most of the movies of nowadays lack.
My favourite being a big fight scene between Bane’s mercenaries with former inmates against the town’s folk and police force.
However, the film’s biggest merit lies in the character itself BATMAN.
Among all the superheroes from both Marvel and DC Comics, Batman best represents the good man, Batman is the one such character who does not have any super power.
Bruce Wayne is but just a humble man who chose to channel all the gifts life has given him for the betterment of his fellow man.
The fact he wears a mask can best be explained that batman can and is anyone and everyone. Among all its numerous versions none has expanded on this point better than The Dark Knight Rises as the character plays second fiddle to the main plot and character.
In his absence, characters like Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman), Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) are put in the place of the hero and learn more about themselves. Watch out for performances from the likes of Oldman, Levitt and Bale.
There should be special mention of Anne Hathaway and Hardy as they steal the show as Selina aka Catwoman and Bane.
Hathaway outdoes herself as the Catwoman, nailing that balance between strong, independent and vulnerable.
It also helps that she is drop-dead gorgeous. Hardy puts one of those performances that have to be seen to be believed.