COLUMN: 'Dark Knight Rises' probably won't top 'Dark Knight'
"The Dark Knight" was and still is considered one of the greatest superhero movies of all time. After making more than $1 billion at the box office worldwide, as well as receiving two Oscars from six nominations and a Golden Globe for best supporting actor, it would seem useless to suggest “The Dark Knight” wasn’t a great movie.
However, with the release of “The Dark Knight Rises” upon us, could it possibly match or even surpass its successful predecessor?
As far as “box office bank” goes, yes. On the stroke of midnight Friday and through the weekend, hordes upon hordes of popcorn-craving fan boys and girls — as well as myself — will spend hard-earned money just to see the Caped Crusader rise one last time, which is exactly what the studios are hoping for.
Simply put, I am sure “Rises” will either tie or break the box office records set by “The Dark Knight.”
One aspect “Rises” absolutely has to live up to is the beautiful cinematography that made the two previous films great. In addition to cinematography, I hope director Christopher Nolan will make great use of the visuals shot with IMAX cameras as he did in “The Dark Knight.” If he succeeds at these two elements, he will actually bring home the Oscar for Best Achievement in Cinematography instead of simply getting nominated.
As well as getting the overall “look” of the film right, the biggest shoe “Rises” must fill is the one left by the late Heath Ledger (The Joker from "The Dark Knight"). Ledger's performance as Batman’s arch nemesis was simply one of the darkest, most sinister performances in film history, which rightfully won him a posthumous Oscar. However, given that Ledger gave such a groundbreaking performance in his last major role in a motion picture prior to his tragic death, can Tom Hardy ("Inception") as Bane really make an impact the same as Ledger?
Personally, I don’t think so. Because playing The Joker was one of Ledger's last roles before he passed away, audiences held a sentimental view of him, which then in turn made his performance just that much better. Hardy, on the other hand, who is known for playing gruff-like characters in his previous films, will be more of a physical threat to Batman rather than a psychological one like The Joker was.
If someone were to ask me whether “Rises” will surpass “The Dark Knight,” my answer would be no. (Sorry, Batfans.) There is no doubt in my mind “Rises” will be a success story at the box office, as well as a fitting conclusion to the Batman series. However, with this story missing the powerful performances from strong characters like The Joker and Harvey Dent, this film will hit with Dark Knight fans but will fail to connect as deeply with regular audiences.
Max Meier is a broadcasting and electronic media sophomore.