The Expendables 2 is the sequel to The Expendables where Mr. Church reunites the Expendables for what should be an easy paycheck, but when one of their men is murdered on the job, their quest for revenge puts them deep in enemy territory and up against an unexpected threat. Directed by Simon West and starring Sylvester Stallone, Liam Hemsworth, Randy Couture, Jason Statham, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jet Li, Chuck Norris, The Expendables 2 opens on August 17, 2012.
Christian Bale and Tom Hardy in "The Dark Knight Rises"
The third and final piece of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy is complex, chaotic yet mesmerizing.
Gotham city is peaceful with almost no violent and organized crime under Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman). Somehow he still feels guilty about the cover-up of Harvey Dent’s crimes and almost spills out the truth only to decide that the city is not ready for the truth.
Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has become a cripple and gone into hiding in Wayne Manor, so has Batman. His company has been losing money and therefore the funds to children orphanage has stopped, although Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) who runs the Wayne Enterprises on behalf of Wayne manages to continue to produce high-tech equipment for Batman. His loyal butler Alfred (Michael Caine) has persuaded him to leave Gotham for a better life aboard. Alfred confesses he travels to Florence, Italy each year hoping to see Wayne in the cafe with the woman he loves. Wayne decides to go against Alfred’s wishes when he learns of the arrival of Bane (Tom Hardy), who takes hostage of the city’s stock exchange. Bane uses Daggett (Ben Mendelsohn) to take over Wayne Enterprises in order acquire the energy core which could be modified to become an atomic bomb. In order to save the company, Wayne ropes in Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard) into the company’s executive board.
Batman confronts Bane a few times in the film, but each time, he is bested. Bane possesses a bigger physique than Batman, talks like Darth Vader and somewhat overpowers Batman in physical strength. Despite that, Bane never oozes the same charm like Heath Ledger’s Joker.
In a clever plot which works like a charm, thanks to the stupidity of the police force, nearly the entire Gotham police officers are trapped underground as Bane sets off a chain of explosions across the city, including on all but one bridge to prevent citizens from leaving and outside help. Bane reveals the cover-up of Harvey Dent’s death and then sets free the prisoners locked up under the Dent Act.
Meanwhile Batman is captured by Bane and put into a prison that no one has ever escaped except one child. Wayne thinks the child is Bane. With Gordon injured, Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) young police officer who idolizes Batman is promoted to detective. Blake is relentless, instinctive, believes in Batman and despises corruption.
Bruce Wayne manages to escape Bane’s prison after numerous attempt in order to save Gotham. He gets Blake, Catwoman and Fox to help him to free the citizens and stop the fusion bomb. When Batman confronts Bale again, Tate intervenes. In another twist, Tate reveals herself to be Talia al Ghul, daughter of Ra’s al Ghul (Liam Neeson), leader of the League of Shadows and her job is to finish what her father has failed to do. Catwoman returns to save Batman as she kills Bale with his Bat Pod.
The ending has similar resemblance like The Avengers with Batman almost sacrificing himself by bringing the nuclear core to the ocean with The Bat. Alfred finally catches a sight of Bruce with his girlfriend (Selina) in a cafe in Florence, Italy.
Overall, The Dark Knight Rises concludes Christopher Nolan’s epic Batman trilogy. The film is explosive and thrilling but sometimes redundant and too predictable. Nonetheless, it is mesmerizing with Hans Zimmer’s incessant booming score. At times, it seems to try too hard to be bigger, bolder and badder. But I’m glad The Dark Knight has finally retired.
7 out of 10
The Dark Knight Rises may be the second biggest film in 2012 but it is arguably weak like the punches Batman throw, redundant with predictable plots, explosive but doesn’t have enough fire power. It doesn’t even stand a chance against The Avengers even with Catwoman’s help.
The Bourne Legacy is the sequel to The Bourne Ultimatum. The film centered on a new CIA operative in the universe based on Robert Ludlum’s novels. Directed by Tony Gilroy and starring Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, The Bourne Legacy opens on August 10, 2012.