Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises is out on DVD and Blu-ray, and sure as day follows night, it is one of those movies every film buff has to have in their collection. The Dark Knight Rises is a reflection of the American condition of today, and at the same time a hint at the possible directions a nation can take, giving both a reason to worry and a glimpse of hope.
Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) is hiding from the world in his estate, nursed by his loyal butler, Alfred (Michael Caine), until the world knocks on his door in the shape of an ugly and truly scary terrorist, Bane (Tom Hardy), who is out to change the order of things through violence and mayhem. The dystopian world of Gotham becomes unbearable when thousands of thugs and criminals carry out martial court hearings in broad daylight with only two choices for the accused – death or exile (which is also death, essentially).
Bane is a truly evil villain that makes Silva from Skyfall look like a pink poodle on a golden leash. Bane uses a lie told by Commissioner Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) to win the mind of the people and does so very effectively. He intimidates the masses, feeds them lies, and gives them false hope as well as an opportunity to avenge their shitty lives and release their pent up anger. The worst thing is, it works – until Batman decides to return to his job, backed up by sexy Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), who is not merely here as his feline arm-candy but a force to be reckoned with on her own.
The Dark Knight Rises presents a dystopia, and the audience is kept in perpetual fear of the world ending there and then. But just as the movie is sinister, it is also full of hope, almost entirely supplied by police officer John Blake, played wonderfully by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Both he and Bruce Wane grew up orphans and had to deal with a lot of anger; yet both of them have found ways to turn the pain around, and serve others the best way they can – proof that destructive beginnings do not presuppose destructive endings.
The acting is up to scratch in The Dark Knight Rises, and it doesn’t hurt to have the beautiful Marion Cotillard on board. The movie is beautifully shot with some breathtaking visuals, and with a good plot like this one, it is a great way to end Nolan’s trilogy about Batman. But the film is really long and sometimes complicated, running for 165 minutes – so it will be great to revisit it on DVD or Blu-ray.
The Dark Knight Rises is presented by Warner Brothers in excellent quality of both video and audio.
The movie is as close as it can be to the experience at the theatre thanks to accurate coloring and great picture quality. The color pallet of the movie is handled masterfully; the contrast levels are easy on the eye while close-ups look great as well.
The 5-channel Master Audio track is as immaculate as they get, the dialogue is clear and the tone of Bane’s slightly electronic voice is accurate. Explosions and fights are rendered with skillfully used bass and Hans Zimmer’s score is given due justice by the technology. Effects such as the sounds of engines, the clanking of heels, and water falling are all realistic and add to the verisimilitude of the whole experience.
The Blu-ray package by Warner Brothers includes three discs plus an Ultraviolet Digital Copy version of the film. The special features include The Dark Knight Rises Second Screen app, which would appeal to the fans of the film and cinema lovers in general. Featurette “Ending the Knight” is divided into three sections: Production, Characters, and Reflections, and all are interviews with Chris Nolan, Wally Pfister, cast, and production crew. There is also a trailer and a Print Campaign Art Gallery for the fans.
Verdict: The Dark Knight Rises is an instant American classic, both frightening and captivating. One of the best movies of 2012.