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Saturday, 21 July 2012 08:30

Movie Review: "The Dark Knight Rises"

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The release of The Dark Knight Rises was highly anticipated after the successes of the first two films in the trilogy: Batman Begins in 2005 and The Dark Knight in 2008. Unfortunately, the movie’s opening day was clouded by the mass shooting rampage at a movie theater early Friday morning in suburban Denver, in which 12 were killed and 58 injured. However, despite that calamity, The Dark Knight Rises proves to be a bold and thrilling sequel to The Dark Knight and a wonderful conclusion to the "Batman" trilogy.

The Dark Knight Rises is set eight years after Batman (Christian Bale) disappears into the night as a fugitive in The Dark Knight. It begins with Commissioner Gordon (James Oldman) honoring Harvey Dent, whom fans of The Dark Knight will remember as the villain who became Two Face at the end of that film before Batman killed him. Gordon knew that Harvey Dent died an evil man, but recognized that the city needed to remember him as the idealistic district attorney he once was. Therefore, Gordon and Batman worked out an arrangement whereby they would preserve Dent’s reputation by letting Batman take the fall for the murders committed by Dent, and Batman (and his alter ego, Bruce Wayne, Gotham's richest resident) would go into hiding.

In The Dark Knight Rises, neither the police chief nor the mayor is aware of Harvey Dent’s transformation to the evil side and blame Batman for killing one whom they perceive to be a heroic man. In response, the two do what any good reactive, politicians would, and work to pass an excessive law that they believe will effectively end crime. Called the Dent Act, the new law puts criminals away without any possibility for appeal. And for a period of time, the city appears to be free of criminal activity.

But while the city is enjoying a crime-free period, a vengeful masked man named Bane (Tom Hardy) has been building an army of evildoers in the sewers of Gotham City to take down the rich, occupy the city, and start a revolution. At the beginning of The Dark Knight Rises, he kidnaps a nuclear scientist from the CIA, and is well on his way.

Bane is also very familiar with Bruce Wayne's Wayne Industries, a developer of fusion power. Wayne invests nearly half his company’s finances in producing a source of clean energy, but then realizes he must hide it to prevent that energy from being used to develop a bomb. He passes the company off as a failure, again selflessly taking blame upon himself — this time for the firm's demise.

Wayne could not have been more right about his energy source being used for evil. Once Bane launches his revolution, he seizes Wayne Industries to begin creating that bomb. To prevent Batman from stopping him, Bane roughs him up and incarcerates him in an impenetrable prison.

Bane has already begun to wreak total havoc by bombing bridges and isolating the city of Gotham. His revolution closely resembles the French Revolution's Reign of Terror, as he impugns the entire wealthy population of Gotham and sentences them to either death or exile.

The people of Gotham are desperate for a hero, and we all know that the best man for the job is Batman. But the question is, will he be able to rise up once again and restore justice and peace after his fall from greatness eight years ago? What transpires is well worth the cost of a movie ticket.

The Dark Knight Rises is a well-made film with some tremendous action and adventure, balanced by a well-orchestrated plot. It is highly theatric with a fantastic score that meshes well with the scenes. The all-star cast includes Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, and Michael Caine, though none comes anywhere near Heath Ledger's masterful portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight.

The film is set in a gritty New York City following September 11, which includes the tower at Ground Zero that is still under construction. Though such a setting is somewhat disturbing considering that this film’s villain is a terrorist trained in the Middle East, it adds to the movie's tone and mood.

And while the film maintains the ominous, dark mood that is typical of the Batman films, it places a strong emphasis on good conquering evil. Villains are even transformed in some cases, finding hope. And the good people in the film are selfless and loyal.

The movie seems to be making a fiery statement about extremism, portraying Marxism and revolution as evil, as well as greed, corruption, and the allure of mob mentality. It underscores what often happens with misplaced anger and relays a message that perhaps some of the members of the Occupy Wall Street crowd may have lessons to learn.

The Dark Knight Rises reveals that there is often a more destructive agenda behind movements such as the Occupy Power to the People movement that Bane is leading in Gotham.

Perhaps most amazingly, this film’s Batman is clearly portrayed as a Christ-like figure. He emerges from the prison in which Bane placed him after three months, like Christ’s rise on the third day. When Batman finally emerges, he does so after his fellow inmates chant “Rise,” to him, much like Christ’s “rise” from the dead. Likewise, when Batman embarks on his plan to stop Bane, he does so with the full acceptance that it will be his final endeavor before he dies.

Also adding to the Christ-like depiction of Batman, Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) is on a search for a program called “clean slate” that will wipe out her history and allow her to remove her past sins. And in the end, the only person who has that program is Batman, and he gives it to her freely and willingly, asking her to be more helpful, but not demanding it. His gift to her is a clean slate, and it comes without any strings attached.

In addition to Batman’s sacrificial goodness, we encounter another hero in this film: John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), an idealistic new cop who strives to do the right thing even at the most difficult of times.

This film differs a bit from the other two in the Batman trilogy in that while the other movies examine the psychology behind evil, this one focuses on sociological elements of evil.

Still, despite the entertaining nature of The Dark Knight Rises, the film is not for all audiences. It does include profanity and some sexuality. The violence is often intense, though not gory or over the top.

Much of the film’s quality must be attributed to director Christopher Nolan, who has garnered a reputation for well-constructed films after movies such as Inception and Memento.  The movie’s theatrics and cinematography are absolutely spectacular.

Overall, The Dark Knight Rises is an outstanding finale to the trilogy and a sure crowd-pleaser.

2 comments

  • Comment Link chris farrell Sunday, 22 July 2012 10:32 posted by chris farrell

    Raven Clabough brilliantly identifies the socio-political / ideological dimension enveloped in the film The Dark Knight Rises which, as a repercussion to the butchery in Aurora, Colorado, unavoidably dominates discussion of the film within the devestated domain of 'We the People.'

    She notes well that "The movie seems to be making a fiery statement about extremism, portraying Marxism and revolution as evil, as well as greed, corruption, and the allure of mob mentality. It underscores what often happens with misplaced anger and relays a message that perhaps some of the members of the Occupy Wall Street crowd may have lessons to learn.

    The Dark Knight Rises reveals that there is often a more destructive agenda behind movements such as the Occupy Power to the People movement that Bane is leading in Gotham."

    Another movie critic, Drew Zahn, similarly exposes most eloquently the underlying ideological message embodied in the most recent Batman film which has been evermore diabolically associated with the personification of the evil ideological foundation of the Socialist Occupy Wall Street movement: the nefarious James Holmes.

    Mr. Zahn waxes most eloquent when he alerts would be movie goers to a less obvious angle of the camera that they might see "...socialism stripped of its altruistic façade and its driving motivation – envy – allowed to run lawlessly wild, Occupy’s inherent anarchy run amuck."

    Mr. Zahn addresses a serious subliminal message and in a profound revelation identifies the surreptitious conveyance - shrouded in Batman's cape if you please - diabolically cloaked in the movie. In view of the catastrophic swing towards Socialism taking place in America today Mr. Zahn's expose is sadly sobering and leads one to realize that, in as much as 'art imitates life,' the film projects an effort of a clear and present diabolical liberal "progressive" Socialist assault upon the unalienable right to liberty with which all men have been endowed by their Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ: "The French Revolution in Gotham plunges a thinly-veiled New York City into a third-world underworld of poverty, warlords and tyranny – in other words, exactly what every communist nation ever built on earth has become."

    Drew Zahn shares his recognition that the theatrically obscured underlying worldview emanating from the performance advances the insupportable arguments of the liberal Social Democrats.

    Frederic Bastiat would whole heartedly concur with both Ms. Claybough and Mr. Zahn's conclusions regarding the deeper contentions of the film. Mr. Zahn wrote, "The ultimate economic and political question, one that was raised by the character Two Face in the last Batman film – emerges: Shall we base the system on fairness … or justice? The two are not the same. The former always leads to tyranny, but the latter can lead to freedom."

    It was he, Mr. Bastiat, author of the definitive work on the subject of Socialism, 'The Law. The Classic Blueprint for a Just Society,' Copyright 1998, who wrote:

    "The Indirect Approach to Despotism

    Usually, however, these gentlemen -- the reformers, the legislators, and the writers on public affairs do not desire to impose direct despotism upon mankind. Oh, no, they are too moderate and philanthropic for such direct action. Instead, they turn to the law for this despotism, this absolutism, this omnipotence. They desire only to make the laws." (The Law. Pg. 56.) (Consider Justice Robert's ruling on Obamacare.)

    "The Vicious Circle of Socialism

    We shall never escape from this circle: the idea of passive mankind, and the power of the law being used by a great man to propel the people.

    Once on this incline, will society enjoy some liberty? (Certainly.) And what is liberty..." (The Law. Pg. 58) "...liberty is power. Of what does this power consist? (Of being educated and of being given the tools of production.) Who is to give the education and the tools of production? (Society, which owes them to everyone.) By what action is society to give tools of production to those who do not own them? (why by the action of the state.) And from whom will the state take them?

    Let the reader answer that question. Let him also notice the direction in which this is taking us."

    "The Doctrine of the Democrats

    The strange phenomenon of our times -- one which will probably astound our descendants -- is the doctrine based on this triple hypothesis: the total inertness of mankind, the omnipotence of the law, and the infallibility of the legislator. These three ideas form the sacred symbol of those who proclaim themselves totally democratic.

    The advocates of this doctrine also profess to be social. So far as they are democratic, they place unlimited faith in mankind. But so far as they are social, they regard mankind as little better than mud. Let us examine this contrast in greater detail.

    What is the attitude of the democratic when political rights are under discussion? How does he regard the people when a legislator is to be chosen? Ah, then it is claimed that the people have an instinctive wisdom; they are gifted with the finest perception; their will is always right; the general will cannot err; voting cannot be too universal.

    When it is time to vote, apparently the voter is not to be asked for any guarantee of his wisdom. His will and capacity to choose wisely are taken for granted. Can the people be mistaken? Are we not living in an age of enlightenment? What! Are the people always to be kept on leashes? Have they not won their rights by great effort and sacrifice? Have they not given ample proof of their intelligence and wisdom? Are they not adults Are they not capable of judging for themselves? Do they not know what is best for themselves? Is there a class or a man who would be so bold as to set himself above the people, and judge and act for them? No, no, the people are and should be free. They desire to manage their own affairs, and they shall do so.

    But when the legislator is finally elected -- ah! Then indeed the tone of his speech undergoes radical change. The people are returned to passiveness, inertness, and unconciousness; the legislator enters into omnipotence. Now it is time for him to initiate, to direct, to propel, and to organize. Mankind has only to submit; the hour of despotism has struck. We now observe this fatal idea: The people who, during the election, were so wise, so moral, and so perfect, now have no tendencies whatever; or if they have any, they are tendencies that lead downward into degradation." (The Law. Pp. 59-61.)

    "...the conscience of the social democrats cannot permit persons to have any liberty because they believe that the nature of mankind tends always toward every kind of degradation and disaster. Thus, of course, the legislators must make plans for the people in order to save them from themselves." (The Law. Pg. 63.)

    An appropriate representative emblem for the personification of Socialism's 'Superhero,' Barack 'King Hussein' Obama, might well be the emblem of Hitler's Shutzstaffel, or "Protective Squadron' for as Maureen Dowd recently wrote a scathing editorial, 'Dreaming of a Superhero,'
    for the New York Times Sunday Review, June 2, 2012, in which she criticized her "superhero," Barack Hussein Obama, a.k.a. Barry Soetoro: "But superheroes and mythic figures must boldly lead," and that "Obama's caution..." "...has restrained him at times."

    Though Ms. Dowd exhibits disdain in her article for, as she describes, her 'flagging' 'superhero,' Barack 'King Hussein' Obama, she persists in embracing and defending the faulty underlying worldview that determines her deluded "progressive" liberal socialist mindset and creates such irrational perceptions of certain individuals such as Mr. Obama as 'superheroes' in the same manner in which many Germans worshiped their idolized leader Adolf Hitler.Ms. Dowd, like all deluded liberals, expects her idolized superhero to lead even more boldly - to '...make plans for the people in order to save them from themselves.'

    To Maureen Dowd and all "progressive" liberal democrats, that is to say Socialists, this American says, "Thank you, but no thank you. Keep your superheroes. I shall keep the liberty handed down to me by the Founding Fathers of this exceptionally great Christian nation in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution - the liberty embodied in America's 'government of the People, by the People and for the People.'"


    ADDENDUM TO COMMENT:
    ""The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the veil of indifference to their necessity to continually be "on watch" and at times to stand up and protect our U.S. Constitution from usurpation by progressive/marxist/radical politicians operating in relative secrecy protected by an enabling press and major media … thinking and saying it’s the job of someone else … and living their lives in general apathy about what the national government is up to, they will allow the adoption of every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation without knowing how it happened."CDR Kerchner (Ret)’s alert and paraphrasing earlier warnings about the socialist/progressives’ long-term stealth agenda to transform the USA from a constitutional republic into a top-down, central controlled, socialist form of government." (http://cdrkerchner.wordpress.com

  • Comment Link Jamie Lewis Saturday, 21 July 2012 22:12 posted by Jamie Lewis

    Just saw the new Batman movie. Found it extremely interesting for a number of reasons. The plot includes a communist revolution that is actually financed by a capitalist. The villian Bane who leads a citywide revolt with similarities to the French Revolution or even the Russian Revolution. Dagget the wealthy elitist who bankrolled the operation was rounded up with the rest of the rich people and put on trial once Bane came to power. Remember Stalin's quote about the international bankers who financed communism "In the pursuit of profit they are laboring to bring about their own suicide" Also if you saw Batman Begins (2005) The League of Shadows which destroys societies to restore balance is very similar to the Illuminati. The organization's leader Ra's al ghul is very similar to Adam Weishaupt. Ra's al ghul says in Batman Begins "if someone stands in the way of true justice you sneak up behind them and stab them with a dagger" This quote could easily have come from Weishaupt. Dan Brown (author of the Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons) should have read Proofs of a Conspiracy, since Angels and Demons made mention of the Illuminati. That would have made an interesting movie. But I almost wonder if the writers of Batman did read Proofs of a Conspiracy...........

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