The epic conclusion to Chris Nolan’s Batman trilogy is an honorable ending for the trilogy, bringing this story arc of Bruce Wayne’s legacy to a close. Stepping up the scale without abandoning the outstanding performances that made this series what it is, Nolan is ambitious in his storytelling, coming full circle to meet the promises of the first film. The Dark Knight Rises implements new characters with ease and builds to a spectacular climax. Few films can so easily balance stellar performances with a grand scale, but that’s exactly what Chris Nolan has done with The Dark Knight Rises.
Taking place eight years after the conclusion of The Dark Knight, we first see Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) as a recluse, living isolated in his spacious manor. As it was what Gotham required at the time, Batman took the fall for all of Harvey Dent’s criminal acts that take place in the last film. Reluctantly using this elegant but simple lie, Commissioner Gordon (Gary
Oldman) has helped make the city practically crime-free. Burglars and petty
thieves still exist in Gotham, but the threat of large-scale organized crime is
over. Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), a cat burglar and con artist, is the first
new character brought into the story. Taking on the persona of ‘Catwoman’ in the style of a classic femme-fatale, she first meets Bruce at a party in his
manor, and she continues to come in and out of his life, occasionally helping
both him and his alter ego as we build to the climax.
Christopher Nolan has outdone himself in terms of scale with The Dark Knight Rises, and while I find The Dark Knight a far superior film, there is no denying the impressive spectrum of this film. Filming primarily in New York and Pittsburgh, Nolan conducted filming scenes with thousands of extras on Wall Street, blowing up part of Heinz Field, and his team created an actual ‘Bat’ jet which they flew through city streets by hanging it from a helicopter. Nolan’s effort to do make everything in Gotham as real as possible must be admired. The co-stars are all fantastic, making a more fluid tapestry as the characters interact with chemistry. Alfred (Michael Caine) serves as the emotional heart of the film, Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) is the voice of reason, and Miranda Tate (Marion Cottilard) is a rich and beautiful board member who coaxes Wayne out of the shadows.
placed on the storyline. This can make the underlying themes seem
more buried then in the precursor to The Dark Knight Rises. However, the concept of pain is certainly the prevalent motif in this film. Bane tests Batman physically, causing him pain. But it’s even more about psychological pain – many of Nolan’s films deal with the human psyche. Bruce Wayne must get over his long time fears, as well as the guilt of his parents death. In order for Batman to rise above the rest, and become a symbol as he set out to be, he must abandon all fears and go through tremendous pain and sacrifice if the Batman wishes to survive.
The Dark Knight Rises has far more clichés than The Dark Knight, and the
script has some noticeable failures, yet it still feels like a succesful end to the series. Without mentioning specifics, Nolan’s ending is a little too“Hollywood” for my liking, and I feel that the last fifteen minutes of the film could be redone to be better. Other than that, there is the occasional hitch in the pacing of the film, or a cheesy line which feels very out of place in a Chris Nolan film. Yet despite these minor problems, The Dark Knight Rises is still an exceptional superhero film.
the Batman trilogy. Writer/director Christopher Nolan, along with co-writer Jonathan Nolan and cinematographer Wally Pfister, have
completed the trilogy admirably, making these Batman movies the modern generation’s answer to Star Wars. Although not as ground-breaking as Lucas’ original trilogy, Nolan’s Batman films will certainly be remembered as one of the greatest superhero trilogies of all time, and The Dark Knight will remain the greatest superhero film ever made for a long, long time. I give The Dark Knight Rises a low 5 star rating. While a great movie, it has many flaws and doesn't quite live up to the previous film.