innovativecommunications.tv “The Dark Knight Rises” is a great, grown-up piece of comic book filmmaking. I’m Keith Kelly, and my review starts in just a second.
Christopher Nolan wraps up his Batman trilogy with “The Dark Knight Rises”, again starring Christian Bale as the tortured crime fighter. It’s a wonderful and fitting conclusion to their trilogy-and unlike many sequels-especially ones based on costumed heroes-this one is actually the third act of a story many years in the making-not just another unconnected follow-up. This Batman is damaged goods-he’s been through the ringer, physically and emotionally since he decided to dress up like a Bat, avenges wrongs and defend the city he deeply loves. Actions, in Nolan’s Bat Universe, have consequences-and in this film all the consequences come to a head-in this case, a big, bald head.
Bane is the hair-challenged bad guy in this film, and even though he is a dominant physical force, he’s also an intelligent foe. He wants to break Batman and Gotham City-body and soul.
Batman, at his peak, would still find Bane an almost unbeatable adversary. As we find out at the beginning of the film-Bruce Wayne is far from his peak. His body is pretty trashed-the blows he received in the two earlier films have taken their toll. So have the psychological attacks and losses. How much can one man take before it all becomes too much?
“The Dark Knight Rises” is a deep movie on many levels, and asks tough questions of its heroes. It also speaks about sacrifice, resilience and the importance of heroes in this crazy, messed up world. I’m not going to go much deeper into the plot, as it would be too easy to wade into spoiler territory. However I will say that Batman is not the only hero in this film-and that’s one of the messages. Batman is an inspiration to those that need a symbol of hope, and a sign to all that they are not alone.
One of the many reasons I enjoyed this film was the rich cast of supporting characters. This is truly an ensemble film. Back again are Michael Caine as Alfred, Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon, and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox. This trinity forms a major part of Batman’s support system, and they are all heavy hitters in the acting arena. The rest of the cast is superb also, with many subtle touches. Anne Hathaway made me a believer of her Selina Kyle. I think her portrayal finally nails the conflicted cat thief character comic fans have know and loved for decades. Tom Hardy is solid-pun intended, as the brawny, brainy bad-guy-though not as much of a force of nature as Heath Ledger’s Joker. And Joseph Gordon-Levitt is emerging as one of my favorite younger actors out there today. He plays John Blake-a hotheaded Gotham policeman, with just the right amount of earnestness and indignation.
I have very few quibbles with this film. The elimination of one character was not handled with enough impactful finality, and there were a couple of holes in the construction of the plot-but these are very minor complaints. “The Dark Knight Rises” was satisfying on very many levels, and left me uplifted and amazed. Nolan proves that you don’t need to be juvenile or immature when it comes to comic book heroes, and knocks it out of the park with his final installment, earning it a grade of “A”. I’m Keith Kelly.
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