The Dark Knight Rises is the third and supposedly final chapter in the Chistopher Nolan/Christian Bale Batman series, and the movie doesn’t disappoint. The movie is set 8 years after the events of the last movie, The Dark Knight. Batman (Christian Bale) has gone into exile after being blamed for the death of Harvey Dent, and for the most part Gotham has been able to prosper until Bane arrives on the scene and causes Bruce Wayne to once again don the cape and cowl.
From beginning to ending, the movie is a roller coaster of action and plot twists - very much what you have come to expect from director Christopher Nolan. The overall movie plot has much more of a comic book feel than the previous two movies with perhaps a few stretches of reality or moments you may consider awfully convenient. That said, Nolan does a nice job of tying everything up by the end and bringing plot details that began in the first movie full circle here. My favorite part of the movie is the ending which manages to evoke a whole range of emotions in the final 30 minutes.
Nolan also introduces several new players to the story with Selina Kyle/Catwoman played by Anne Hathaway who did a fantastic job here. She is by far my favorite big-screen incarnation of the Catwoman character to date. Also introduced is Officer John Blake played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I won’t give anything away other than to say that this is a character you will want to pay close attention to. Levitt shines here and will give fans a lot to look forward to.
The weakest character in the movie is Bane played by Tom Hardy. First of all, he is very hard to understand at times because his voice is muffled by the mask he wears throughout the movie. You can tell they tried to compensate for this by amplifying his voice, but many times it remains difficult to understand everything he says. They also don’t do a very good job fleshing out the character and his abilities. If you are familiar with the Bane character in the comics then you know he derives super strength from a drug called venom pumped into his blood, but the movie does not make this clear and fails to define his power at all. In one scene, he punches a concrete wall which would indicate above average strength, but no real explanation is given. The reason for the mask is explained but not in reference to any kind of special powers. Bane is an okay villain but nowhere near the caliber of Heath Ledger’s Joker or even Liam Neeson’s Ra’ Al Ghul.
One final thing I have to mention about this film and all the Batman films is the movie score by Hans Zimmer - which I love. His music really helps elevate the action and emotions in the film. Zimmer is right up there with John Williams and Jerry Goldsmith when it comes to movie scores. His music really adds a whole other dimension to the film.
Out of the three Batman films, I have to rank this one the third best, but it is still a very enjoyable movie and a great third chapter to the Batman movies. I have my doubts this will really be the last film by Nolan and Bale but if it is, they definitely will being going out on a high note.