Dark Knight Rises
to cut to the
chase. The Dark Knight Rises
isn't quite as
amazing as The Dark Knight
(which is the greatest superhero
movie ever made), but don't get your bat cape and cowl in a twist and
start storming my apartment looking for my blasphemous head. It's still
good. It's still VERY good.
We pick up 8 years later, and Gotham City is not the same Gotham City
you remember from the earlier films. Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman),
using new powers given to him under a law dedicated to the late Harvey
Dent, has cleaned up the streets and all but eliminated serious crime
from the metropolis (oops, wrong super hero), even if he feels guilty
about it and knows the real story behind Harvey Dent.
Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has become a recluse, hiding
out in his mansion and hobbling around from the physical beating his
body has taken while fighting crime and some of the craziest villains
you could ever imagine. However, while most believe Batman to be an
evil vigilante who killed the beloved Dent, it soon becomes clear some
want to destroy the caped crusader for other reasons.
The enigmatic, violent Bane (Tom Hardy) has come to Gotham City with
mysterious motivations and a gang of killers who might not be
stoppable. And, a master cat burglar, Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), has
targeted Bruce Wayne for reasons unknown.
What is Bane's plan?
Is it time for Batman to re-emerge?
What kind of welcome can he expect?
Co-writer/director Christopher Nolan is one of the best in the
business, and you learn that by trusting The
Dark Knight Rises
as it starts a bit slow, but builds to a mind blowing crescendo
inspiring you to watch the movie again to see all of the little clues
and twists he dropped throughout the movie to lead you to this amazing
climax. However, it is a climax that pays off because you have been
paying attention to all three movies, and the surprises, big and small,
delivered throughout the movie made my jaw drop three or four times
(and I was already familiar with the material the movie is based on).
Knight Rises is for those who
seen the previous two movies. Sure, Nolan tosses in enough flashbacks
and reminders of what happened before, but, if you are one of the two
people on the planet who haven't seen The
Dark Knight and Batman
Begins, you won't get half of
the battle playing out on screen,
which is a shame, because it is that combination of new and old that
makes The Dark Knight Rises
so fantastic. This story exists to
wrap it all up from the very first scenes in Batman
the majestic The Dark Knight
and its impact on Bruce Wayne and
Gotham City to the vulnerability exploited by those who want to destroy
Nolan and Bale still found some new territory to mine when it comes to
the internal battle being waged inside Bruce Wayne for his own soul and
peace of mind. Yet, it's everyone else that feels more interesting.
Hathaway puts in the performance of her career as Selina Kyle by
bringing sexiness, power, strength and ethical and moral ambiguity to
her. In the mark of a great performance, the audience always is
wondering what is going on in her head, what is motivating her and what
decision she will make next. You can't stop watching her in any scene
in which she appears, and Hathaway doesn't even wear that leather cat
suit that often in The Dark
Knight Rises, so it must be
and not just "talent".
Then, Hardy benefits from a great character and story. Granted, he
can't do too much with half of his face covered up by that mask, but
Bane, because of his backstory, gets more interesting and intriguing
scene after scene, while Oldman gets to make Gordon as conflicted as
Bruce Wayne as he goes from shame and guilt to ultimate rabble-rouser
in the movie's most important scenes.
I think some of the plot points get rushed, which left me wanting to
know more about Bane, as well as how one character seems to have the
whole Batman thing figured out without much background, and I think
Bane would have been more ruthless to avoid any chance of the plan
being thwarted, but The Dark
Knight Rises is a fitting ending
to what will go down as one of the greatest movies franchises ever.
I'll even dare to say THE greatest franchise ever (greatest franchise
ever by an ewok or two or three).
Dark Knight Rises is rated PG-13 for
intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality and language.