The Dark Knight Rises (2012) (Movie Review)

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

The Prologue
To say that this film had some big shoes to fill following The Dark Knight is an understatement. To say that a character like Bain has an uphill battle following The Joker is also an understatement. But here this movie came knowing it had a lot of expectations and I think it is easy to say that for the most part director Christopher Nolan met those expectations. Nolan always brings his A-game with his films and his next and (according to him) last venture in DC Comic’s classic character, Batman, is probably the most anticipated for the year. After all, his last Batman film is considered by many to be the greatest comic book based movie ever made. I myself was one reviewer who thought that highly of it.

The Movie
Despite his tarnished reputation after the events of The Dark Knight, in which he took the rap for Dent’s crimes, Batman feels compelled to intervene to assist the city and its police force which is struggling to cope with Bane’s plans to destroy the city. This all brings together one of the more elaborate and entertaining plots you have seen on film in a long long time.

Christian Bale and an all-star cast are here for this very well made follow up to The Dark Knight and the completion of Nola’s Batman trilogy. To use the term “epic” for the overall plot and feel of this one just doesn’t seem like a strong enough term to drive home what you get here, but it is sadly the best and strongest word I can come up with. We are eight years down the road from the last film and what went down with Harvey Dent has cleaned up the street but also made Batman hated by the same people he sacrificed his body and reputation to save. Being a little worse for ware, Bruce Wayne, runs into Selina Kyle (Catwoman), but this is only the start of the “storm” that is coming.

That storm is headed up by Bain, a morphine junkie who is extremely well trained in combat. His arrival puts into action one of the more complex and evil plots you’ve seen in comic book based films. While Joker was a cool villain that you loved or loved to hate, Bane is just evil. You want to see Batman take out Bane and it is a hell of an adventure when you string everything all together. And take my word on it, there is a LOT strung together. With the main plot and subplots there is a lot to take in for the over two hours that this movie runs. If the film did have a negative it would probably be how fast we have to rush through some stuff in order to just squeeze it all in and move things along. But between Kyle, Wayne, Bane, Fox, Alfred, and a new young cop (played by Joseph Gordon Levitt) who knows a lot about Bruce, you probably won’t mind the rushing of some things at all.

This is a superbly shot film that is just as superbly acted. The action scenes and the twist and turns of the plot hit emotions in the viewer. It is a film full of cool twists and other stuff comic book fans will pick up on and love. Nolan takes us on an up and down ride here that once it ends makes you unsure on if you should cheer, cry, laugh, or some odd mixture of the three. Rest a sure this film is near perfect and the hype around it well earned. As of right now I’d say we have the hands down best overall film of 2012. And if this is the real end of this journey that Nolan has taken up on since Batman Begins then I say we have a fitting end and overall one of the greatest trilogies ever made. Of course if they do decide to one day take the cape out of the closet we have some openings for that as well.

The Conclusion
I still think The Dark Knight is the best of Nolan’s Batman films, but this one comes in a very close second. It was near impossible to follow such a film with such a classic character like The Joker, but this movie will not disappoint you at all. If we overlook the rushed aspects of the movie what we have left is great characters that hold together a film that will make you cry tears of joy just as much as it could make you cry tears of sadness. The Dark Knight Rises is a must see, folks. Do yourselves a favor and see it ASAP.

The Rating (9.5/10)