The dark knight rises above doubts
Chris Nolan has been consistently turning the superhero genre on its head with his dark, brooding take on Batman which has spanned over the course of two movies. Batman Begins brought its brooding tone whilst its sequel The Dark Knight featured post 9/11 undertones. Rises doesn’t add anymore to the genre than its predecessors did, but it’s a rare second sequel that actually works.
In The Dark Knight Rises, it’s been eight years since Harvey Dent’s death and Batman became a vigilante and disappeared as a result. Bruce Wayne has now become a shell of his former self and decides he has to become the Batman once again and save Gotham from Bane, his toughest physical adversary yet.
A couple of months ago, The Avengers topped The Dark Knight because it handled its ambition so well, and while the stakes were higher in that movie, it feels higher in this one because of its realism. Not only does it bring to mind post 9/11 perspectives, but the Occupy Movement and the GFC as well. The series may not be a political one, but they are an accurate portrait of our broken world.
Most blockbusters make our brains go numb, but this one is intricately plotted, filled with twists and asks our brains to keep up with the movie, as you would expect from anything directed by Chris Nolan. The action fully services the movie’s characters and ideas, and Hans Zimmer composes yet another winning score that adds to the film’s intricacy and nuance. The ending…where do I begin with the ending? It was completely mind-blowing!
The cast never deliver anything other than perfection. Christian Bale lives up the challenge of playing an even weightier Bruce than the first two movies, Tom Hardy brings great physicality as Bane, and Anne Hathaway truly stands out as Catwoman. She plays the role with subtlety and elegance.
At 2 hours and 45 minutes, the movie often feels bloated and long. It’s also surprisingly uneven for a movie this long, because it crams too many details into short spurts over long periods of time apart rather than revealing everything gradually. There are also a few plotholes that bring the plot into question.
It may not be perfection like were asking for after The Dark Knight and Nolan’s original movie Inception, but it’s certainly a stunning conclusion that draws the trilogy to an epic close. The trilogy has shown that Chris Nolan is not afraid to mess with formula and that even commercial filmmaking can deliver real creative and artistic merits.