New Release: The Dark Knight Rises
The epic conclusion to Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy finally arrived last Friday, and by the time I saw it on Saturday, I felt left behind. Yet, despite all the hype, my only hope was that Nolan & Co. would finish off the trilogy in a way that was in tune with everything from the first two films, even if that meant Batman dying, which I did prepare myself for, just in case.
The film starts eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, with the crime in Gotham extremely low thanks to the supposed heroics of the deceased Harvey Dent. Batman is a wanted criminal and Bruce Wayne is a recluse in the newly built Wayne Manor. But when the terrorist Bane blows into town with a rather elaborate plan to destroy Gotham, Batman must get back into the groove of vigilante crime fighting, only with less support from the public than before.
And that's all I can really say about the general plot, though there are many more moving parts to The Dark Knight Rises, which was the major downfall for me. At times, actually most of the time, the movie felt too complicated to understand how all those movie parts fit together. And because of that, and the almost three-hour run time, this final chapter often felt bloated. However, I fully admit that this is an initial knee-jerk reaction. Upon another viewing, knowing how everything comes together by the film's end, I'm sure I'll be able to spend more time concentrating on how Bane's plan unfolds. That doesn't mean I'll love and accept it, but I'm willing to try.
With my negativity out of the way, I can definitely say that I enjoyed every other aspect of the film (who needs a plot anyway, right?). For a majority of the film, I almost thought to myself that I was watching the Jo-Go Cop Story, but I'm not complaining, because his young cop, Blake, was a refreshing side of optimism to all the other hardened characters in the film. Though I was initially skeptical of Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, I'm happy to have been proven wrong by her excellent skills of ass-kicking and quip-exchanging. And Tom Hardy's Bane was downright terrifying, and I loved that voice he chose. And of course all the returning actors were excellent too. Here's looking at you Bale, Oldman, Freeman, and Caine!
Everything else The Dark Knight Rises offers keeps within, while expanding upon, the universe Nolan laid out in the first two films: the action, suspense, and realistic nature of the story. But what elevated this from a very good film to a great film for me was how he wraps it all up, leaving no loose ends. Though I may not have been convinced by the entirety of Batman's last adventure, it ended in a way that was perfectly suited for everything that came before.
And that's all I really wanted from the start.