Directed by: Christopher Nolan
MPAA Rating: PG-13
The Dark Knight Rises is the third and final installment in director Christopher Nolan’s trilogy. It takes place 8 years after the events of The Dark Knight, in a Gotham where Batman’s name is mud after he took the blame for Harvey Dent’s actions, allowing the public to believe in the good things Dent stood for. Perhaps one of the most anticipated films in recent memory, The Dark Knight Rises features Catwoman (Hathaway; Love & Other Drugs) joining with Batman and taking on legendary Batman villain Bain (Hardy; Inception). But before he can do any of this, he must start from scratch and rebuild himself.
The Dark Knight Rises is far from a perfect movie. But it’s still a great movie and an incredible ending to a wonderful trilogy. Christopher Nolan has once again crafted a beautifully shot, smart, thinking man’s action film that has a little bit of something for everybody. I personally was quite worried, even while watching the film. I didn’t know if they were going to be able to give a satisfying ending. But damn if you don’t walk out of that theater with a smile on your face. In fact the final montage of shots might be one of the absolute best parts of the film.
Beyond being incredibly well shot with some breathtaking action sequences, the plot itself is well crafted. It takes into account the two movies that preceded it, and doesn’t act as it’s own entity. It truly is a sequel and it brings you all the way back to Batman Begins. This isn’t a movie to see if you haven’t see the other 2. You’ll probably be very lost, especially as to a lot of the motivations.
But before I get into a few other things I really enjoyed, let’s go over some negatives. There aren’t many and they’re not major things. I thought the message about the wealthy and poor and the 99% and all that was incredibly muddled and wasn’t quite as well done as it could have been, and in fact could have probably been left out completely. Along those lines is the citizens rising up against institutions. The “corruption” didn’t seem horrible and that whole part really did nothing for me, especially how quickly people turned and how it was very unclear how many had actually turned. There were bigger things in the plot to be focused on and they were so these story points fell by the wayside and weren’t properly serviced. My other complaint was that I felt that this movie could have gone a lot darker. I feel like The Dark Knight was a much darker film by comparison and even in the bleakest moments, save for one, I felt like somehow there could have been more darkness overall. That’s not to say that this is a light and airy movie by any means. The majority of the time Bruce Wayne is being beaten down somehow.
Now that we’ve gotten past that bit let’s talk about some of the incredibleness. Michael Caine will make you cry. Alfred has always been the heart of Batman, especially this Batman, and here he is given a chance to really shine in several instances that should to earn him an Oscar nomination in a fair world. Tom Hardy provided a menacing villain, though a lot of it was sheer physicality. Gary Oldman once again is brilliant and if you loved him in the previous movies, you’ll love him again. I’m a big Christian Bale fan, I think he can act the shit out of anything but I sorta felt like he wasn’t all in this time. Perhaps a second viewing will change my mind. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays an up and coming cop who believes in Batman and starts putting pieces of things together in his absence and does an admirable job. While Anne Hathaway doesn’t bring a ton of emotion to her Catwoman, she does try and she does a wonderful job. I feel like her performance more than the others in the film will go least lauded but I really thought she brought her A game to the role.
I also do need to single out the first Bain/Batman confrontation as one of the best scenes in the film and many props to Nolan for re-creating an epic moment from the comics.
Overall, you need to see this movie, and I suggest doing so at the best theater near you. Find one with a big screen and a great sound system and you’ll be in heaven. Like I said there’s a little something for everyone and you will leave satisfied.