The Dark Knight Rises Review

The Dark Knight Rises movie posterSynopsis
After taking the fall for the death of Harvey Dent eight years ago, Batman disappeared and Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) went into seclusion inside Wayne manner. But when Bane (Tom Hardy) takes Gotham City hostage, Batman will need to appear again to save the city. But this time, he has the help of the skilled cat burglar Selina Kyle (Ann Hathaway) and police officer John Black (Joseph Gordon-Levitt).

Review
Christopher Nolan crafted some character defining stories in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, and looks to do the same with The Dark Knight Rises. It’s almost impossible to do better than The Dark Knight, but The Dark Knight Rises is able to continue the momentum of awesomeness that began in Batman Begins and offers a satisfying conclusion to Nolan’s Batman epic.

This film is influenced by the 90s story arc “Knightfall,” which introduced Bane. Bane is a villain who able to match Batman both physically and mentally. The version of Bane in this movie was very faithful to his comic counterpart. Not only does he develop the plan to take over Gotham City, but he also takes Batman head on (and wins!). The only thing missing is Bane’s signature Venom serum to give him his super strength. Instead, this was replaced with the mask you see in the film.

The purpose of Bane’s mask isn’t explained real clearly. His mask was described to help ease pain he continually feels from a previous injury. But when it gets damage, Bane’s punches take huge chunks out of a stone pillar. So it appears his mask seemingly holds his strength back. I think they should have done something more along the lines of the Venom serum that augments his strength, maybe as something he inhales through the mask.

Another character they took an interesting interpretation of was Catwoman. She was never once called ‘Catwoman.’ The closest thing to Catwoman was ‘Cat Burglar.’ And she wasn’t dressed like a cat. Instead, her super cool burglar glasses create cat ears in her silhouette when they were not in use. I liked it because it was like “Hey, it’s Catwoman!” but they never said, “Hey, it’s Catwoman!”

The League of Shadows played an integral role in Batman Begins, and they play a strong role in this film, bring the trilogy full circle. It’s pretty cool that they were able to bring back such an important group from Batman’s beginning for his finale. And and the center of the League is Ra’s al Ghul. In the comics, for those unfamiliar with the character, al Ghul is immortal. Now immortality in the traditional sense does not fit into the more realistic settings of The Dark Knight trilogy, but there are other ways to live forever, which this film plays with. It is a nice nod to the source material, while still staying within the trilogy’s continuity and realism.

As I have pointed out in my reviews for the previous films in the trilogy, Hans Zimmer’s score is one of my favorite parts of the movie, and it has only improved in each film. A lot of the music is recycled from Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, but there is new music for Bane’s Theme and a few others. Once again, the music is well balanced with the dialog. There are moments that the score is silent, making these moments even more emotional. Not everything moment needs a strong score behind it; sometimes the lack of sound is just as powerful.

The Dark Knight Rises offers a satisfying conclusions to Nolan’s Batman epic. Finally, Bane has a big screen appearance that properly portrays his genius and strength in the comics onto the silver screen. The Dark Knight trilogy finishes just as strong as it began.

Rating
4.5/5

For the rest of The Dark Knight trilogy, check out my reviews for Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

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