The Dark Knight Rises completes Christopher Nolan’s fabulous Dark Knight trilogy, and does it in a spectacular manner. The final film of one of the great movie trilogies of all time demonstrates a world in upheaval; in rebellion and revolution, with only one old, past his prime hero that stands in the way between civilization and the chasm.
Since the last movie, 8 years have passed, and Batman is in virtual banishment. Bruce Wayne has turned into a modern day Howard Hughes, largely ignoring or avoiding the reality of the society around him. He is not actively Batman, and his body shows it.
Gotham City is fairly lawful…but the corrupt underbelly of the city, like always, remains. Of course, the peace was achieved only through the passage of Draconian laws which, of course, limit true liberty and freedom. Add to this the divide between the rich and the poor, and you have a city that is primed for strife.
Into this vacuum enters Bane. Bane is a bulky, evil S.O.B. who wears a large gas mask covering his face, which makes him utterly frightful. He plans on completely disrupting the entire social construct by using terror and mayhem. Bane makes a call to arms to the indigent and the weak, to stand up and face their rich oppressors, in echoes of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
It is Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) who remains without Batman, keeping the peace. He still has only a few trusted allies in the police force, among them John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a beat cop who becomes central to the movie.
The stakes of the final showdown are raised to epic proportions with grandiose images of disaster and murder, that seem all too real in 3D Imax. Bane is the ultimate threat; he does not mind destroying the world in order to save it. And Nolan makes you believe in the threat as much as a movie can.
So what does Nolan do? He takes us where no other film would dare take us. This is not a spoiler, just a statement. Nolan, as usual, has something in store for the viewer that is special and unique, in a way no other movie series could ever achieve.
Is this better than The Dark Knight? I don’t know, but if it isn’t…it is damn close. That in itself is an achievement of the highest order. The Dark Knight should still be considered for posterity as the best film of 2008 (all apologies to Slumdog Millionaire) and possibly the greatest of all superhero movies. However, nobody steals the movie the way Heath Ledger did with his portrayal of the Joker, although the acting is superb and at a high level.
Christopher Nolan ends this trilogy in a fabulous, fantastically exciting and satisfying way, that should make any fanboy ecstatic. I am not sure how he could have out done himself, as he concludes one of the great movie arcs in history.
Possibly the best movie of the year so far; a must see.
This blog post was written before the events of Aurora, CO came to light. Condolences to the families and victims of that atrocity.