THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy concludes with this Warner Brothers release that finds The Dark Knight pitted against Bane, an unstoppable foe possessed of tremendous physical and intellectual strength. Nearly a decade after taking the fall for Harvey Dent's death and disappearing into the darkness, a fugitive Batman (Christian Bale) watches from the shadows as the Dent Act keeps the streets of Gotham City free of crime. Meanwhile, an elusive cat burglar seizes the chance to strike, and a masked anarchist plots a devastating series of attacks designed to lure Bruce Wayne out of the shadows. Determined not to abandon the people who he once risked his life to protect, The Dark Knight emerges from his self-imposed exile ready to fight. But Bane (Tom Hardy) is ready, too, and once Batman is within his grasp, he will do everything in his power to break Gotham City's shadowy savior. Oscar-winner Michael Caine and Gary Oldman return in a sequel also starring Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Director: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-
Levitt, Michael Caine , Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman
Release Date: Jul 20, 2012
Rated PG-13 Intense Sequences of Violence, Intense Sequences of Action, Language and some Sensuality
Runtime: 2 hr. 45 min.
Genres: Action/Adventure, Suspense/Thriller
In a summer of movies where one anticipated film is followed by another, there was only one that truly and deeply had me waiting desperately and impatiently. After having digested The Dark Knight Rises twice now, I can say that Christopher Nolan has created one of the best trilogies of all time for one of the seminal character in pop culture. With TDKR Nolan has made the Avengers look quaint in comparison. Incredibly satisfying and emotionally impactful, this finale ends the series with a real bang. Borrowing pieces from graphic novels like The Dark Knight Returns, No Man’s Land, a sampling of Batman Beyond and even a bad Batman The Animated Series episode, TDKR is a cornucopia of delights for Batfans like me. Little winks and nods of fan service are peppered into the film making me about gleeful as an unsupervised child in a candy store. The story meshes incredibly well with the overall arch of the first 2 films especially Batman Begins. Bale is given the spotlight here, rightfully so, and he’s incredible. Bale portrays Wayne, Batman himself is actually only in about a third of the overall film, as a man dealing with the after effects of the 2nd film’s finale. He displays Bruce’s struggle to find meaning and direction in his life with textured nuance. Tom Hardy, who looks like Brian Urlacher dressed for an S&M party, is quiet impressive as the primary villain here. Sounding like a cross between Darth Vader and Sean Connery, his Bane is a shark to Heath Ledger’s wild dog Joker. Bane is menacing and intimating, brimming with confidence in every scene which is impressive considering Hardy only has his hands and eyes to act with because of the face mask. Equally impressive and perhaps more surprising is Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman. Hathaway just nails the character’s essence and persona right from the start. This is a more traditional Catwoman than the S&M Burton version. As such it feels more in keeping with her character from the comic and animated sources, a real delight. Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Marion Cotillard both do solid work in roles that are vital to the story arch. With all the new faces in this entry some of the series standby take a bit of a back seat but still leave their mark such as Oldman perfect pitch Gordon which is always a joy, as is Morgan Freeman’s Lucius Fox. Michael Caine though deserves special recognition as Alfred even though he’s in this film a lot less than previous entries. Caine has a few scenes that deliver potent emotional punches in his roles as Bruce’s paternal figure. Together this cast creates a lush and vivid Gotham that’s alive and earned through the other film’s set up. The film rolls towards it’s final act which itself is an impressive piece of directing by Nolan since it’s pretty much a very well orchestrated version of the 1966 Batman finale where Adam West was running around with a bomb over his head. Of course that’s an exaggeration but it’s a testament to the strength of the film that it works so well as a thrilling finale giving me many a goose bumps throughout. If there are a few nitpicks they are very minor. Some of the dialogue feels clunkier that the previous entries and some character’s like Matthew Modine’s Assistant Chief serve little to no purpose. Minor issues but apparent. Regardless, you’ll leave the theater wondering how that nearly 3 hour run time passed by so fast and when you can see it again.