Christopher Nolan has done a masterful job upon the Dark Knight series. While this threequel doesn’t reach the epic greatness of The Dark Knight, it’s still a spectacular finale! in fact it’s a candidate for the Best movie of 2012.
Fast forwarding, eight years after the death of Harvey Dent. The Caped Crusader became the vigilante only known as The Dark Knight. Christian Bale is back to throw on the cowl, cape for one last time. It’s going to be difficult as his alter ego, Bruce Wayne has been sheltered in his mansion and he’s physically struggling, attached to a cane and a beard reminiscent of Tom Hanks in Cast Away. Bale’s performance makes him the best Batman yet and using that grizzled voice making it sound vengeful not annoying. He makes this character incredibly complex, slowly showing just how tortured his soul truly is. Gotham City has passed the Dent Act which is a law that’s cleaned up the streets of crime until we are introduced to a terrorist only known as Bane. Ironically, with a flawless mouth dropper of a beginning chroncling Bane’s escape begins to shape his goal upon Gotham. We’re also introduced Selina Kyle, an independent cat burglar played with incredible depth and manipulating charm by Anne Hathaway. Even can kick some serious ass. We understand that it’s Catwoman, but Nolan makes sure we never hear that name. Just let it play in the audience’s minds. Hathaway even gives us a sneak peek into what we are about to witness after recently stole something of importance to Wayne.
Bane wastes no time as he storms into town beginning a path of destruction, but Nolan makes sure that the audience doesn’t know what is key to Bane’s insanity and madness towards the city. Wayne sees it from his home and realizes it’s time that Batman be re-introduced to the city again. Nolan puts on a eye opening chase throughout the city with the Batmobile. This was just the start of the astonishing action set pieces intricately created by Nolan. Then comes the inevitable first battle between Bane and Batman which is a bone crunching scene with its authentic hand to hand fighting techniques. Batman using his martial arts that was established with his time in the LEAGUE of Shadows though it’s sloppy, while Bane uses his brawn and intelligence reading every move from Batman. As Bane breaks Batman’s back and sends him to a well to rot in his own torturous and damaged soul. This story line was clearly the strongest part of the story giving us the idea to how Batman can overcome this leading to soul searching that is engrossing and in its own, a seat clencher. Throughout the second half of the film, you are given reason to Bane’s madness, Wayne finding his true power inside, and why Selina Kyle, Commissioner Gordon are key elements to the story. Not only that, but we are introduced to another character that remained mysterious done with a simplistic subject. A Gotham City cop named John Blake brilliantly played by Joseph Gordon Levitt and as it draws to the ambiguous, satisfying conclusion. You can clearly see why Blake is played with such mystery bringing at times unsurprising conviction, compassion and bravery. Gordon Levitt was the perfect choice for this kind of character, I wouldn’t doubt if he gets some trophy hype, just saying.
Now to Bane, played by Tom Hardy. Hardy rises up to the challenge of following the iconic Joker played by the late Oscar winning Heath Ledger. Bane’s muscular stature is a true physical stunner. With his larnyx damaged, he must talk through a voice box that makes him sound like a garbled version of Sean Connery. However, it’s the reactions with his eyes and times when his voice heightens creating an occasionally scary tone that could have been played for laughs, but the reactionary detail of Hardy is what made him brooding and one frightening son of a gun. In his head, he believes that everything he’s doing is right or it could be for protecting a certain someone that was indeed a jaw dropper.
Finally, Gary Oldman as always lights up the screen with Commissioner Gordon showing his good intentions to the city, at the same time living with the blame that led to Dent’s death. Or wasn’t it Wayne’s fault? Michael Caine is always a delight and even brings up a gut wrenching monologue that will have you thinking. Morgan Freeman drops by as Lucius Fox and even wow, Marion Cotillard who doesn’t miss a beat or even feel unnecessary. There is even a surprising cameo. Trust me. Okay, that’s it! I can’t say anymore.
Nolan and his brother, Jonathon crafted a marvelous script full of intrigue, intelligence, snappy dialogue, and an conclusion that as I mentioned before was satisfying. Nolan’s action sequences don’t disappoint, he doesn’t get crazy with the pyrotechnics or weapons, but we are introduced to the Bat. Haha, what a ride this is. Pittsburgh makes a great Gotham City, showing the blue collar spirit of the town. Uniformly excellent performances, an absorbing script, gritty action sequences and a strong conclusion makes The Dark Knight Rises, the best movie of the year so far…
I give The Dark Knight Rises an A+
I’m Jake Turner, reminding you to spend your money wisely as you head to the Cinema.