4 years removed from The Dark Knight, director Christopher Nolan ends his Batman trilogy with The Dark Knight Rises. After two celebrated installments, expectations are at an all time high and are they met? Simply put, hell yeah!
Set 8 years after The Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne and Batman (Christian Bale) have gone into seclusion as Wayne hobbles around his mansion with a bruised ego and broken body. Meanwhile, a nasty mercenary named Bane has plans to completely destroy Gotham City, but not before waging absolute war on both Bruce and Batman, crippling them financially and physically. As Batman emerges from the shadows to fight Bane, he encounters a brilliant cat burglar Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), and they forge an uneasy and unpredictable relationship as Bane attempts to execute a nuclear attack on Gotham City, but not before he turns the 99% of Gotham on the 1% in all out class warefare.
Clocking in at 2 hours and 45 minutes, The Dark Knight Rises is a jam packed, star studded affair with a few surprises lingering around every corner including cameos by both Ra’s Ah Ghoul (Liam Neeson) and The Scarecrow, played by Cillian Murphy. Aside from breath taking action sequences, Joseph Gordon-Levitt kinda steals the show as John Blake, a courageous cop who is onto Bruce Wayne’s plans to save Gotham and Michael Caine turns in some of the most moving moments of the film as Bruce’s trusted butler, Alfred. I had my doubts about Anne Hathaway and was clearly proven wrong whenever she touched the screen providing the most bad ass interpretation of Catwoman ever. While Bane wasn’t quite as a satisfying villain as his predecessors, he was an ideal villain for this story, and Tom Hardy did the role justice. With such rich and textured character development, Nolan provides a near perfect balance of substance with sizzling action throughout the film.
Oh, and did I mention Matthew Modine has a few great scenes as well??
Although no one element of this film can truly top Heath Ledger’s portrayal of The Joker, The Dark Knight Rises succeeds as the strongest film overall of Nolan’s trilogy with a story and feel that is truly epic in every way, and quite possibly the most overwhelming cinema experience I’ve had – maybe ever. That said, do not miss a chance to see this film in IMAX as it is truly a captivating experience. It is sad to see Nolan’s interpretation of Batman come to an end, but it is indeed a fitting end to a genuinely legendary trilogy.