The Dark Knight Rises is the final chapter of the Batman trilogy directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman. As such, this film ties up the loose ends created by the first two movies and tops the story off in a blaze of glory. Many had worried that Nolan could not once again reach the heights of perfection he achieved with the second installment and Batman Begins, but never fear -- he has!
The film takes place eight years after The Dark Knight ended. Gotham is a city of relative peace, and Batman has disappeared. Some still think of him as a hero while others see him as a vigilante who was wrong in everything he did. Bruce Wayne has become a virtual recluse and even the strong urgings of his loyal butler Alfred (Michael Caine) can't rouse him.
Rousing him takes the coming of Bane (Tom Hardy), a vicious villain who plans to destroy the rich in order to raise the poor. Bane is no Robin Hood but is a violent man who will blow up the world if necessary to achieve his goals. He has a gas mask-like attachment on his face so that he is difficult to hear and understand. Still the menace oozes out of him and his radical ideas are loud and clear.
The film boils down to a battle between Batman and Bane. Some of the battles are mental and some of them are physical. In the rounds of physical combat we are reminded that Batman is no super hero but feels pain from the jabs and punches he receives from Bane. We also realize Batman is aging and is not the legendary power force he once was.
In the film the spotlight is not totally on Batman or Bruce Wayne at all times. We watch the emergence of Selina Kyle/Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) as her path crosses Bruce Wayne's as she attempts to steal from him. From their first meeting this duo has chemistry but then Bruce meets philanthropist Miranda Tate (Marion Cottilard) and becomes romantically involved with her.
This film is rich with characters from Commissioner James Gordon (Gary Oldman) to stalwart policeman/detective John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Plus you have Morgan Freeman as inventor Lucius Fox and William Devane as the President of the United States. Each person in the cast has an integral role in the plot and each actor is at the top of his game.
Then there is the musical score by Hans Zimmer. It pulses with intensity from beginning to end. The music is behind the viewer pushing him/her forward towards the ultimate ending. Add to this a dazzling array of special effects and stunning cinematography and you have a film for the ages.
The movie is rated PG-13 for profanity & violence.
The Dark Knight Rises is a film that soars on the talents of Nolan and his cast along with a crew that provides him everything he asks and wishes for in the overall view of Batman's last story. The movie strikes all the right notes and provides pleasure upon pleasure for those who have waited for the right person to tell the Batman saga.
There are those who will beg for more Batman stories in the future, but for many this trilogy tells it all.
I scored The Dark Knight Rises a soaring 8 out of 10.
Jackie K Cooper