The Dark Knight Rises Above Expectations

by August 3, 2012
filed under Entertainment

Warning: May contain spoilers.

I was lucky enough to scoop tickets up for the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. Ever since I had seen the first trailer 6 months before, I was anticipating the movie coming out. But when I read that Catwoman was going to be in the movie, I was…well, let’s just say I was unsure.

You see, Catwoman has always been one of my favourite characters in the DC universe. I never know how to describe her: As a villain or a hero. She is morally ambiguous, often hindering rather than helping. She has been bastardized before (even by the company that created her, in my opinion). People quite often miss the point of Catwoman, which is that she is not just a pair of breasts in a tight outfit, but rather a woman whose motives are compelling. She has feelings and doubts and fears. She is one of few people who can go toe-to-toe with Batman and win.Too many people forget that in favour of playing her up as the sexy criminal who loves jewels.

I was even more nervous when Anne Hathaway was announced to play Catwoman. Don’t get me wrong; I like her. But Catwoman is a sultry, femme-fatale who isn’t afraid to kick your teeth in. I didn’t think Hathaway would be up to playing the role. She was…cute and fluffy, not like Selina Kyle. I wasn’t sure that the same woman who played Mia in the Princess Diaries was going to be able to pull of this role.

Well, I didn’t have anything to be afraid of. Christopher Nolan managed to create an incarnation who is just as fascinating as I hoped her to be. She is driven to steal from Bruce Wayne to get a program that will allow her to leave the thieving business by erasing her records. A clean slate, if you will. Even when she is caught, Selina manages to get you to believe that she is sorry. And that’s the thing about her: She may have done a lot of bad things, but Catwoman never apologizes or backs down. And this manifestation of Selina Kyle did just that.

At the same time, she enjoys herself. She is all smiles and punches, never stopping for a second. She takes the stereotypes that people hold of women and turns them on their heads to get away all sorts of delightful things, such as kidnapping a senator and breaking the wrists of a man who is harassing her. She cries and screams when a gunfight (that she caused) gets the attention of the police, which allows her to escape into the night. She acts demure and quiet when she thinks it suits her, but explodes into action after everyone’s guard is down. And that is who Selina Kyle…who Catwoman is, to me.

Anne Hathaway did a great job. She filled the pointy shoes well, sucking me into her story and her motivations. Her sultry smiles and powerhouse moves helped make the movie what it was. I feel like I need to apologize for doubting her, because she did a startlingly good job.

There were of course, many other talented actors in the movie. Tom Hardy especially was great as Bane, making me nervous every time he was on the screen. Gary Oldman was back as a little bit older (and a lot greyer) James Gordon, representing the unshakable faith in Gotham’s Dark Knight. But, to be honest, Catwoman was who I was really interested in.

There are always going to be complaints from people in regards to great movies, especially when it comes to a franchise like Batman. Already, the purists are going on about how the story should have gone. But I enjoyed the film when I thought it would be mediocre at best. It was the perfect ending for the Nolan trilogy.

Who’s to say Nolan might pick it up in the future (especially since it was strongly implied that Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character was going to take up the mantle)? But I am satisfied with what I was given.

On another note, my thoughts go out to all those victims of the Aurora mall shooting. I’m very sorry about what happened. May the victims and their families find peace.

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