Every man has three cries he can expend during his life without diminishing his masculinity. These emotional outbursts are usually reserved for the birth of your child or the death of a relative. Now there is another cry worthy occasion to factor into to your manly tear budget: the first time you see The Dark Knight Rises. This emotion fuelled conclusion to Nolan’s ground breaking Batman trilogy stands out as a unique addition to the franchise whilst giving us the closure we all hunger for after seeing The Dark Knight.
Set eight years after the events of the previous film, The Dark Knights Rises opens with a Gotham that is no longer at war with crime. Following the passing of the Dent Act, countless mob thugs have been put away and the relevance of Commissioner Gordon is being questioned by Gotham’s city officials. Meanwhile, still haunted by the death of Rachel, Bruce Wayne has hung up the cowl and is now a reclusive cripple. The Gotham city of this third film is one of fallen heroes and it’s gut wrenching to see the once stalwart Batman reduced to a recluse with a cane.
While Bruce and Commissioner Gordon have grown complacent, both stuck in the glory days of the past, a new threat to Gotham emerges from the shadows in the form of Bane. Bane of this film is as brilliant a strategist and tactician as he is in the comics and it’s only a matter of time before anarchy overwhelms Gotham and it is thrown into chaos and all out class war. Throw in Catwoman and you’ve got yourself one of the greatest Batman stories ever told.
The plot is edgy, well thought out and most of all relevant. The Dark Knight Rises mirrors the scenes of economic turmoil and former decadence of the rich as seen in the global financial crises giving it an instant sense of reliability and believability, multiplying all of the emotion that is already present in the story. As great as The Avengers (2012) was it lacked this real emotional potence as last time I checked the world isn’t under threat from a rouge Asgardian wielding a glowing cube.
Throughout The Dark Knight Rises, the focus constantly jumps around to follow the various notable figures of Gotham as established by the last two films. Funnily enough Batman probably gets the least amount of screen time out of the all the film’s main character’s, but this just means your heart beats even faster when the caped crusader bursts onto the screen. This is a story about Gotham city and Bruce Wayne as both parties try to console themselves with the changes taking place in the world around them and struggle to live without Batman.
The acting in this film is top notch. Christian Bale is Bruce Wayne, Gary Oldman is Jim Gordon and Michael Caine is Alfred. Kudos to Tom Hardy for being almost unrecognisable as Bane even with the imposing mask over a good quarter of his face.
Anne Hathaway deserves a special mention for her performance as Catwoman. Like many a comic book fan I was sceptical at first, but truly her portrayal of Selina cannot be faulted. Hathaway’s Catwoman is everything we could have hoped for – sexy, manipulative, clever and very likable. For the actress who started off in The Princess Diaries series, she certainly has come a long way.
Possibly the best thing about The Dark Knight Rises is its great writing, something that most of the current comic book flicks are severely lacking. Even The Avengers, penned by the legendary Joss Whedon, never caught me off guard or moved me like this film did. Even in the shadow of The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises stands out as one of the greatest comic book movies of all time. This is hands down a must see multiple times.