Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Written By: Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan
Rating: PG-13 (US) Running Time: 2 hr 45 min
In Batman Begins, a hero is born after the tragic loss of his parents. In The Dark Knight, Batman’s moral limits are challenged. In The Dark Knight Rises, our detective is broken mentally and physically, and must rebuild himself. This is awesome stuff, and Nolan’s trilogy is a pretty special set of films. Not one, but three movie going experiences that present engagingly complex plots in a way accessible to the masses. Not an easy task, and I’m having trouble thinking of another director/writer that can do this. Maybe James Cameron? Joss Wheldon? M. Night Shyamalan? (his earlier work.) Alfonso Cuarón? All great directors, but I’d hardly describe their best work as complex. Avatar, Aliens, The Sixth Sense, Gravity, The Avengers etc. Great films in my opinion, and very popular, but party because their plots were simple and easy to process.
The Dark Knight Rises is the perfect conclusion to the Bruce Wayne/Batman journey. Tom Hardy’s Bane is genuinely intimidating, and Anne Hathaway is superb as the cat burglar, Selina Kyle. That’s another thing I loved about this film. She’s never once called ‘Cat Woman!’ This is Nolan at work. He’s making graphic novel films, not comic book movies. This Gotham exists in a real world, so there are no jokes about having nine lives. No silly cat references or supernatural nonsense. Just superbly subtle nods to the character’s history. Note – Selina Kyle’s cool eye-wear that folds back to look a little like cat ears. Brilliant!
If you loved the first two installments in this trilogy, then you should not have a problem with The Dark Knight Rises. While the plot stands apart from the earlier two films, you still should watch each film in this trilogy in turn to properly understand what’s happening. There are some questionable leaps in logic towards the end of the film – an army of police charging at Bane and his troops in an example. But I believe these moments are meant to be more symbolic of the good versus evil struggle for the soul of Gotham city, rather than lapses in judgment from the creative team.
The scale of this film is pretty epic, so a theater screening is recommended. At home a HD viewing is a must. You will not appreciate this film properly watching it on a tablet or phone!
Best moment for me: << spoilers! >>
I absolutely love the closing slots of this film. The very last shot being the cherry on the icing on the cake! Each characters story arc concludes in a really satisfying way, and there’s even a look to the future for the caped crusader.