Posts Tagged ‘ Tom Hardy ’

The Dark Knight Rises (2012) – 4.5/5

Dark, choppy, but relatively well crafted finale of a series I was never a huge fan of but nonetheless enjoyed outside the hype rabid idiot fanboys continue to heap on anything Christopher Nolan. Just shut up. Morons. He’s good, but he’s not that good, nor is his filmmaking style all that original or particularly noteworthy. He’s above average, sure, but he’s hardly great. Appreciate his films for what they are, moderately intelligent pop art, and stop giving him and his work more credit than it deserves. And, again, shut up.

Luckily, for whatever reason, the idiot masses have been rather split on this film, thus reducing the persistent over-hyped squawking long enough for me to watch and enjoy the thing on its own merits. Sure, it has some significant narrative problems: the story is convoluted and overly reliant on coincidence, a Nolan staple, with the first half being far better than the second, the editing is once again choppy and poorly paced at times, though not nearly as badly as it was in The Dark Knight, and some of the characters are kind of pointless or not as fleshed out as they could have been. But it doesn’t matter, cause the thing is still pretty damn good.

The film is well made, well acted, and, despite being almost three hours long, never boring. Some of the action scenes are great, especially the one at the beginning which almost gave me a heart attack, Christ. I wonder how much of that they actually shot and how much of it they did in post. Very cool. And the whole build up to **SPOILERS** Bane’s brutal fight with Batman in the middle of the film **END SPOILERS** was one of the darkest things I’ve ever seen in a mainstream superhero film. And so well crafted, though, again, totally ridiculous and overly reliant on coincidence. But man, that was some bleak, heavy stuff.

Unfortunately, that bleak moment is when things started to falter a bit. The stadium scene with Bane **SPOILERS** where he makes everything explode because he and his team of merry men somehow convinced hundreds of construction workers and such to mix explosives into concrete (huh?) with no one suspecting a thing until literally 10 seconds before it all went off **END SPOILERS** felt wrong somehow, like all the energy the film had so painstakingly been collecting in the last hour and a half  for this one moment just vanished into nothingness. All that build up, only for the film to hit a brick wall and fall over, dead. And the crappy CGI didn’t help matters much either.

Bane’s whole speech where he explains his motivations didn’t make much sense either. He **SPOILERS** did it to free Gotham? So why keep them imprisoned in an anarchistic hell hole? And why keep the bomb active and set to go off in a few months regardless of what anyone does? Why the death wish? **END SPOILERS** Maybe there’s s a good explanation for everything he does, something to do with the first film and the Shadow Order or whatever the hell, but it just didn’t make sense to me here.

The film does pick up again in the last hour with a series of crazy action scenes that are somewhat implausible but, again, who cares? They’re cool. And the whole **SPOILERS** Bruce Wayne in the underground prison segment **END SPOILERS** was choppy and silly at first, but became kind of interesting by the end. I thought the film had really gone off the rails at that point, but hats off to Nolan and co. for pulling the thing back on its feet and really hitting it out of the park. I even liked the ending, though it is a touch over the top.

Overall, though it may be hard to tell, I enjoyed the heck of this film, flaws and all. It’s deep and dark and well written/directed, and much better than it has any right to be given the silly subject matter. Sure, it does take itself too seriously at times, which is a similar issue I had with The Dark Knight, though this one embraces its comic book roots a lot more with its over reliance on coincidence and implausible or otherwise ridiculous scenarios. And the acting is pretty good, especially from Anne Hathaway who is great here despite not being all that necessary.

Tom Hardy is okay too, having the arguably hardest role in the film given his having to wear a mask throughout and not really being able to express much emotion as a result. He did sound a touch like Sean Connery at times, too, which was an odd choice. And I loved the cameo **SPOILERS** Cillian Murphy has in this. Perfect. I wonder if he was supposed to be the Scarecrow here too? **END SPOILERS** Who knows.

So, yeah, a really enjoyable film, and a solid ending to a dark and demented and somewhat overrated trilogy by a filmmaker whose talent I appreciate but don’t consider to be as amazingly and brilliantly great as that of many other filmmakers. But, for a film whose basic premise is that of a man who dresses up as a bat and goes around fighting crime, it’s well worth watching. One of the better films I’ve seen this year.

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Warrior (2011) – 4/5

Decent fighting film that isn’t particularly remarkable save a few great performances and the display of a crazy fighting style that doesn’t seem humanly possible at times, but what do I know? It’s relatively predictable otherwise, save the last 20 minutes or so, and is pretty much what you’d expect from a sports movie with no real message or point to it other than to rehash what’s been done hundreds of times before. Still, it’s not terrible.

The best thing about the film is the acting, and the fight scenes near the end, but what would a fighting film be without good fight scenes? Tom Hardy is great here, though; I’d heard a lot about him but never knew who the hell he was until this movie, and I can now see why he gets the accolades he does. I’d be interested to see if he can play any other kind of roles, though, as his look and voice and overall angry, gruff, emotionally troubled demeanor seem to suggest the person he really is rather than a persona he’s taking on and playing for the camera. He seems destined to be pigeonholed as the angry tough guy, in other words, as that’s probably who he is in real life. He’s very good at it, don’t get me wrong, and has plenty of time to prove himself to be a versatile actor, I just can’t see how he will, is all.

And Jennifer Morrison, from House, is also really good here despite being little more than the pretty housewife/moral support of the main character. She sure does spend a lot of time in her underwear here, not that I’m complaining. Nick Nolte is okay, nothing special. I could barely understand what he was saying half the time, which I guess people pass off as good character acting these days. Hardy was better.

Overall, yeah, a decent movie, suspenseful at times; has its moments. The film is pretty forgettable otherwise, and not very deep or unique or even particularly emotional. It’s a little too structured, by the nose, with a strange revelation at the beginning of the third act that is neither well explained nor very logical. Plot developments feel forced, and most are simply unnecessary. Also, since when do school administrators care whether their teachers engage in professional fighting matches on their own time, especially when they know said teacher is only doing it because he desperately needs the money? I mean, is it really that big of a deal?

Eh. Watch if you like sports movies, or you’re not familiar with Tom Hardy and want to see what all the hoopla surrounding him is all about.

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