The Amazing Spiderman VS. The Dark Knight Rises
In the red and blue tight spandexed corner is the newly revamped contender fighting in the arena that is the highly competitive blockbuster world, The Amazing Spiderman. But its opponent, in the black armour plated bat suit is a fully fledged, heavy hitting, movie franchise powerhouse, from the mind of Christopher Nolan and DC comics forming the immense shape of The Dark Knight Rises. I am done with boxing schtick now, honest.
In the space of three weeks, two of the biggest films of the year finally came out. Although both films share a July release date (very favourable ones at that) they couldn’t be more different in terms of what to expect and of their comic book affiliations and origins.
Starting with Spiderman, not at all biasedly because I feel most, simply will just write it off as unable to compete with Christopher Nolan’s near perfect rounding off his ‘Dark Knight Trilogy’. Anyway, the new Spiderman was an incredibly ambitious project to take on. The rebooting of a substantially successful franchise and literally scrapping the old Tobey Maguire/ Sam Raimi combination for the untried and untested was extremely risky. Well, it worked. The Amazing Spiderman takes a fresh look at the origins tale of Peter Parker, while he worms his way through high school, falls head over heels in love with Gwen Stacy and obtains superpowers. I write in that order because my only slight criticism of the film is that there is not enough Spiderman in it, only towards the last half hour do we see him spiderfied for an extended period of time, leaving it feeling as an unwanted add on to a boy meets girl story. But there is incredible action and some truly funny moments, notably when Peter and Gwen (Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are brilliant leads) exchange awkward conversation whilst arranging a date and attempting spontaneous flirtation. The reason The Amazing Spiderman works is that it is easier to relate to in its high school, coming of age kind of way whereas the Raimi trilogy blew through that part and straight onto Spiderman’s most notorious baddies. All in all though, I really enjoyed this one. To say nothing of my opinions, Sony, the money behind Spiderman films already commissioned two sequels before this one was released. That is what one would call extreme confidence.
This brings me nicely to the established franchise, the one we come to expect to win. The Dark Knight Rises. The anticipation leading up to ‘Nolans last Batman’ (we’ll see) was truly epic. I had no doubts that it was going to be a great film, as I cannot stop singing Nolan’s praises, but is it the movie of the summer? To put it simply, yes. Dark Knight Rises takes place eight years after the previous film to see a peaceful Gotham having forgotten the days of old when Batman would emerge to save the day. This sees a battered cane wielding Bruce Wayne in self-imposed exile within the confines of Wayne Manor. Then a supremely beefed up super mercenary Bane exacts his plans to take out Gotham through revolutionary means, literally holding the entire city hostage. Cue Batman getting back in the suit for the most awesome display of action and story seen in a long while. Tom Hardy’s Bane is herculean and scary, Christian Bale’s Batman/Bruce Wayne still displays the endearing real man, not superman quality we’ve come to know about Nolan’s franchise. Anne Hathaway plays Selina Kyle (Catwoman) and is truly breath taking and steals almost all of her scenes as the coolest cat since Top Cat. Dark Knight Rises also has more of Nolan’s growing alum supporting the main story that adds to the film on whole. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a detective sympathetic to Batman, Gary Oldman is back as police commissioner Gordon and Michael Caine (Nolan’s lucky charm) is the loveable butler Albert. Marion Cotillard plays a philanthropist and potential business partner for Wayne enterprises while Morgan Freeman returns as the genius Lucius Fox. Dark Knight rises was certainly worth the wait, it rounded off the trilogy very well and I’m terrified that one day, someone will try and do it again. A question will rage forever now about which is better between the three Nolan Batman films, that in itself is impressive. I’d argue that they got better.
Unfortunately this has to be concluded by saying that the undefeated champion again reigns supreme by destroying its opponent. In two films time though, I have no doubt that The Amazing Spiderman franchise will be a real contender for the best film of the summer blockbuster months.
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