The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises

In Theatres: 
Jul 20, 2012
Running Time: 
2 Hours, 45 Minutes

For the past seven years Christopher Nolan has given fans a much darker and realistic version of the Batman. In Batman Begins he introduced us to the hallucinogenic toxins of the Scarecrow and followed it up with the psychotic Joker in The Dark Knight. The franchise comes to a stunning conclusion in The Dark Knight Rises, but can Nolan rise above Heath Ledger’s Oscar winning performance or is the Batman destined to fall?

Eight years have passed since the events of The Dark Knight and Gotham has enjoyed a period of peace. With Batman (Christian Bale) deemed a murder after taking the fall for Harvey Dent’s death, the capped crusader has all but disappeared. Even Bruce Wayne has become a shut in at Wayne Manor. Out of the darkness, though, a new powerful threat emerges; Bane.

Bane (Tom Hardy) is intelligent, determined, and immensely powerful. While the Joker was all about creating anarchy and chaos, Bane only cares about one thing. Destruction. He is an absolute beast and a powerhouse who has thought out his plan to destroy Gotham to perfection. Like the Joker, Bane is also a dog chasing a car only he knows exactly what he would do when he catches it. There is no if. Hardy plays the role perfectly, despite having his face covered by Bane’s breathing apparatus for most of the film. He’s a hulking brute who’s piercing eyes strike fear in everyone. There’s always a sense that Bane is in control given any situation. The way he carries himself with such force shows that he can go toe-to-toe with Batman and completely dominate.

The Dark Knight Rises pushes Batman to the limit, both mentally and physically. The past eight years have really taken its toll on Bruce and he isn’t the same person he used to be. The plot is heavy in political themes such as the division of wealth between the rich and the poor and returning control of the city to the citizens of Gotham as opposed to the government. Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) acts as the primary catalyst that gets the ball rolling.

Hathaway should be applauded for her performance as the nimble cat burglar. Her casting choice was questionable among fans, but she manages to stand well on her own. Like any good cat burglar should be, she’s agile and can talk her way out of most any situation. That being said, she can also fight her way out if necessary. Selina is perfectly content with letting Batman and Bane duke it out over Gotham while she goes about with her own personal agenda.

The film is rounded out with newcomers Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate, a persistent Wayne Enterprises executive board member and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake, a young Gotham PD officer whose morals match that of Batman and Commissioner Gordon. The introduction of all these new characters can be a bit overwhelming, but Nolan does a good job at tying everything together.

Trilogies tend reach their climax by the second film, resulting in a less than stellar third and final conclusion, but Christopher Nolan delivers one of the best films of the year. The fights between Batman and Bane are absolutely brutal, and the final act is a nonstop adrenaline rush filled with more surprises than you can handle. The Dark Knight Rises delivers on all fronts and regardless of whether or not this is truly the conclusion of Nolan’s vision, it will go down as one of the best trilogies in film.

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Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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