4.5 out of 5
Source:In Theatres Now
Price Paid: About $10.
A great way to end a fantastic trilogy. Christopher Nolan brought respect and credibility back to Batman (outside of the comic book world of course) and really sparked the same for many other publishers. Without his work, Marvel would not be enjoying the success that they currently have, and his final entry into the Dark Knight trilogy is no exception. This is definitely a must watch, and should be a day one purchase when it hits video.
*** SPOILER ALERT: As always, my reviews are a bit spoiler-ish ***
The Dark Knight Rises is a great film that had a lot going against it. In The Dark Knight, Two-Face was killed off, while in real life, Heath Ledger (The Joker) tragically passed away. On top of this, some lunatic decided to shoot up a premiere in Aurora, Illinois. (Interesting side note: Ex-Metallica member and current Megadeth-er Dave Mustaine believes that it should be investigated as part of a conspiracy to re-elect Obama. No, really). All of this led to negative perceptions for a film that was really quite good.
As a life-long Batman fan, it was great to see elements from several over-the-top storylines blended into a cohesive story. By borrowing elements from Cataclysm and No Man’s Land, and combining them with the controversial Knightfall, Nolan takes the lesser-known Bane and makes him into a credible threat, that plays out quite well on film. More importantly, Nolan manages to introduce a very well put together and believeable Catwoman, in a way that makes sense. Batman’s mythos is rich with great characters, and all too often it can be easy to try and mish-mash them together in the hopes of creating something awesome (I’m looking at you Arkham City!). There is none of that here. As Bane, Catwoman, Talia Al-Ghul and ultimately Robin are introduced, it all makes sense, and most of all feels real. Tom Hardy does sound a bit silly as Bane, but he plays the part well and is very physical while still being the cold, calculating genius that Bane is. Anne Hathaway does a fantastic job as Catwoman (far better than I thought she could), although Talia did come off a bit weak overall.
Wait a minute? Robin? YES! Finally we get Robin, in some form or another. And while not done the way I expected, it was done brilliantly. By blending elements of Dick Grayson, Jason Todd and the mind of Tim Drake, we get a tough Gotham Cop Robin John Blake. Our new Robin figures out Batman’s true identity, and when it looks like the Dark Knight is gone, he is left to take his place as part of a powerful ending scene.
The end of the film is likely controversial to Batman fans in many ways. Bruce Wayne essentially fakes his own death and leaves Robin to take over the mantle of the Dark Knight. While a part of me was happy to see Bruce run away with Selina and somehow figure that he had done his part to help Gotham, a large part of me feels that Bruce would never do this. To him, the war isn’t over until he’s dead. And not dead from old age, dead from being killed in the streets in a Batman costume. While it was nice to see Bruce get a happy ending, it just didn’t feel right. It felt like he abandoned his family (Alfred included!), his legacy, his city and his company. Despite this, I found it to be a clever way to allow for sequels within Nolan’s Bat-verse without requiring his or Bale’s involvement. All around a smart move and a great ending. If you haven’t had a chance to do so yet, please go and see The Dark Knight Rises. You won’t be disappointed.
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