Title: The Dark Knight Rises.
Director: Christopher Nolan.
Screenplay: Jonathan Nolan & Christopher Nolan.
Story: Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer.
Release Date: 2012.
Runtime: 164 min.
Genre(s): Action, Adventure.
Cast: Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and many more!
Opening Weekend USA: $160,887,295.
Gross USA: $448,139,099.
My Overall Rating:★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10).
Previously in the Dark Knight trilogy:
Batman Begins (2005).
The Dark Knight (2008).
Have you ever been broken to the point where the concept of hope is nothing more than a word whispered in fairytales? With the Joker having given Batman a taste of madness and chaos by getting deep into his mind to play games, by dissecting the fundamental rules by which he abides by and invite him to break them to defeat him, it was only a matter of time before Gotham’s Caped Crusader would have to face someone just as nightmarish, someone who would not only torture him psychologically, but break him physically, unable to do anything alone to save his city. And there lies the answer to his plight, in a false conviction that he must himself destroy, one that compels him to believe that this war can only be achieved alone. Concluding his critically-acclaimed The Dark Knight trilogy is director Christopher Nolan who now seeks to explore despair and terror through another of Batman’s greatest villains of all time: Bane.
What is The Dark Knight Rises about? Set eight years after the events in The Dark Knight, the Joker’s anarchy is mitigated by a costly plan set up by commissioner James Gordon and Batman as they keep Harvey Dent’s reign of terror a secret from the people to allow his legacy to be maintained intact and give Gotham City a chance to survive and overcome its war on crime. With the criminal organizations that ran the city now dismantled, the city finally sees some light but Batman is nowhere to be found, hidden from citizens who now believe that he was the reason to their loss of their White Knight. It is, however, the arrival of a ruthless and brutal guerilla terrorist known as Bane that yanks Batman out from the shadows to save his city from being destroyed from within.
Let’s face it. The challenge to meet the expectations that The Dark Knight gave fans in 2008 is almost insurmountable. When I first saw this movie, I was mostly blinded by a love for the director, the trilogy, and Tom Hardy. Upon my last viewing, I’ve come to appreciate this movie with less enthusiasm as its flagrant plot holes jumped off the screen and pummeled me to the ground. If anything, this movie resembled much more to a comic book story, while its predecessor offered fans a truly epic and poetic clash of ideologies through Batman and Joker. From miraculous recoveries and incomprehensible techniques of teleportation to obscure police department strategies centered around sending ALL your resources into an obvious trap, it would be a lie to believe that the movie offered a truly realistic and probable tale of anarchy and revolution. The final result, despite its superficial narrative direction oriented around loss and rebirth, simply felt a mosaic of subplots that struggled to stick together.
That being said, the movie was not completely terrible. It remains an ingenious cinematographic accomplishment completing a fantastic trilogy without tripping over itself. Tom Hardy’s take on Bane remains iconic and unforgettable. His presence on the screen is absolutely breathtaking, sucking the hope and life out of anyone who dares confront him. His dialogue alone merits all the praise in the world, clearly establishing his villain as a physical and psychological menace to Batman and Gotham City. Accompanying him into this final act in the trilogy is also Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman, while not particularly memorable, she does offer some stunning moments showcasing her unique acting abilities. The recurring cast also continues to play strong and consistent roles that highlight their character’s understanding of Batman’s goals and mission.
Engulfed in Hans Zimmer’s music, the movie also excels in terms of establishing an atmospheric and depressive environment as Gotham City suffers the worse of Bane’s plans. The rhythmic tempo also assures that viewers are starkly aware of the threat that grows within the city through Bane. There are far too many moments throughout the movie that simply immersed you into Gotham City as you grasped the danger and the destruction brought upon it through Bane. While the movie isn’t a true triumph in terms of combat and mostly succeeds in its presentation of Batman’s gorgeous technological arsenal, it is worth noting that the first formal encounter between Batman and Bane remains unforgettable, encapsulated by one of the greatest moments in canonical comic book lore. Beyond that battle, the rest of the movie is reduced to a bland fistfight, barely trying to remind us that the Dark Knight is capable of some of the best martial arts in vigilante history. While the absence of a fight choreography is a bit disappointing, the movie remains solid in its rough exploration of anarchy through the decimation of hope.
The Dark Knight Rises (2012) is the weakest chapter of the trilogy exploring a broken bat’s loss of hope and his quest for redemption through sacrifice and perseverance.