Action scenes

The 2012 superhero epic about Batman's struggle to overcome the terrorist leader Bane, as well as his own inner demons.
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If there was anything underrated in The Dark Knight and its respective films, it would be the hand-to-hand combat scenes.

People like to say that Nolan can't direct action scenes. Sure, this was somewhat true with Batman Begins, where the camerawork was arguably shaky in order to mask less than stellar choreography. However, in The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, Nolan really improved upon shooting and staging action.

In The Dark Knight, while it may not share the stylized feel of Hong Kong action movies, the fight choreography is effectively brutalist and efficient. It may be clunky at times, but Nolan's intent of de-aestheticized violence is vividly captured in The Dark Knight.

As the Cinema Blend review (http://www.cinemablend.com/reviews/The- ... -3238.html) from 2008 points out:
...most of what’s going on in The Dark Knight is mental. It’s not that there isn’t action, there’s plenty of it, but even when Batman is running around punching people in the head or racing through the streets on his incredible, visually stunning gadgets, it’s the psychology of what’s happening pushes the story. Because of that, the problems Nolan had directing some of the action sequences in Batman Begins, are utterly erased here. Batman lurks in the shadows dispatching bad guys with a single punch. There are no extended, complicated fight scenes for him to botch because quite frankly the movie doesn’t need them. There’s plenty of fighting, but it happens in quick encounters staged one after another with a kind of lyrical precision I haven’t seen in anything outside of the action-poetry in last year’s The Bourne Ultimatum. When Batman is forced into an extended showdown, it takes the form of a brutal, economical beating, with punches landed with vicious force and battles being waged by men who have made themselves blunt instruments. What makes the action so arresting is the force of will behind it, the philosophical battle driving it. You’ll be on the edge of your seat for every single moment, whether it’s a simple conversation at Bruce Wayne’s office, or a balls to the wall brawl inside a gangster-infested Hong Kong skyscraper.
Likewise, with The Dark Knight Rises, the action may not be super-cool and kung-fu, but the rawness of it all captivates us, especially in the sewer fight scene between Batman and Bane.

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Joined: May 2014
nolantino wrote:If there was anything underrated in The Dark Knight and its respective films, it would be the hand-to-hand combat scenes.

People like to say that Nolan can't direct action scenes. Sure, this was somewhat true with Batman Begins, where the camerawork was arguably shaky in order to mask less than stellar choreography. However, in The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, Nolan really improved upon shooting and staging action.

In The Dark Knight, while it may not share the stylized feel of Hong Kong action movies, the fight choreography is effectively brutalist and efficient. It may be clunky at times, but Nolan's intent of de-aestheticized violence is vividly captured in The Dark Knight.



As the Cinema Blend review (http://www.cinemablend.com/reviews/The- ... -3238.html) from 2008 points out:
...most of what’s going on in The Dark Knight is mental. It’s not that there isn’t action, there’s plenty of it, but even when Batman is running around punching people in the head or racing through the streets on his incredible, visually stunning gadgets, it’s the psychology of what’s happening pushes the story. Because of that, the problems Nolan had directing some of the action sequences in Batman Begins, are utterly erased here. Batman lurks in the shadows dispatching bad guys with a single punch. There are no extended, complicated fight scenes for him to botch because quite frankly the movie doesn’t need them. There’s plenty of fighting, but it happens in quick encounters staged one after another with a kind of lyrical precision I haven’t seen in anything outside of the action-poetry in last year’s The Bourne Ultimatum. When Batman is forced into an extended showdown, it takes the form of a brutal, economical beating, with punches landed with vicious force and battles being waged by men who have made themselves blunt instruments. What makes the action so arresting is the force of will behind it, the philosophical battle driving it. You’ll be on the edge of your seat for every single moment, whether it’s a simple conversation at Bruce Wayne’s office, or a balls to the wall brawl inside a gangster-infested Hong Kong skyscraper.
Likewise, with The Dark Knight Rises, the action may not be super-cool and kung-fu, but the rawness of it all captivates us, especially in the sewer fight scene between Batman and Bane.
TDKR represents a very special moment in action cinema. We know that the Dark Knight trilogy films are far more than action films, but they are also part of the genre.

Nolan takes the 'de-astheticized' violence and uses it to tell the story and convey cinematic narrative. Example: Alfred tells Bruce that he's worried that Bruce WANTS to fail versus Bane. This implies that for the character of Bruce, there's a secret (or perhaps not so secret) desire to punish himself. He still feels guilt over Rachel's death.

It is in the first fight with Bane that we see this in full. Have we EVER seen rage like this in the character of Batman? In any mainstream superhero film? Batman lets everything go. "You fight like a younger man... nothing held back..."

Of course, we know what happens.

When Batman returns to Gotham, having 'found' the fear again, having learned to cherish his life... watch closely. His fighting style is COMPLETELY different when he faces Bane for a second time. He moves around Bane, getting close, avoiding hits, until he hits Bane's weak spot -- the best part is that this is clearly Bruce having learned to 'mind his surroundings.' All of this is conveyed within the context of a fight scene.

Absolutely brilliant.

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You've already touched on this subject in TDK thread. No need to open another topic.

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