The third and final installment in Christopher Nolan’s now famous Batman trilogy is a good film, but not a great one. It does tie into the other two films, both in characters and more importantly in ideas. It definitely feels like the last in the series, trying to put a nice shiny bow on the top of the box. Unfortunately it suffers from many of the issues that the The Dark Knight had, and even exacerbates them in some instances.
Here we have another problem with the main villain overshadowing and stealing the show. That’s not to say that Bane is a problem per say, but he’s kind of too intriguing a character, and let’s face it, he’s just plain bad ass. I’d say I could watch a movie with him in the lead, but I’m not totally sure I just didn’t. This get’s even more problematic with the long stretches of complete absence of our main hero, Batman. Bane also gets all the cool stunts, where as Batman is portrayed as “out of practice”. There’s also a ton of characters in this flick, another hero/villain in Catwoman, then we still have Jim Gordon. And now we have John Blake, who essentially fills in for the screen time of both Batman and Gordon, who are both out of commission throughout the majority of the film.
Now I’d be really pissed off if all this wasn’t necessary for the plot to work. Yes, after all that complaining I’m going to admit that Jonathan and Christopher Nolan’s script is actually quite amazing. The intricate touches of ideas that arc back to Batman Begins and take us through The Dark Knight and then get twisted back through the current plot is rather incredible. The Nolan’s show no mercy to what the audience wants or expects from a Batman film, instead opting to give the plot and film the final say in what’s necessary to end this story. But alas, after growing such huge balls they’re promptly chopped off and left to whither away by an ending hampered with far too many twists, all of which are seen coming a hundred miles away, and by a need on some level to please the audience. Nolan doesn’t do simple, something David Goyer does much better in Batman Begins, but even with the overcomplicated plot and the unnecessary twists I never found myself bored during the 164 minute running time.
While in whole this film isn’t as good as its predecessors, there are scenes that are absolutely breath taking. From the opening plane hi-jack to the Bane beats Batman fight scene, this is a film that had me wondering just how far Nolan would go. After so many Marvel movies with their other worldly threats, it’s nice to see a human on human non-cartoony take on superheroes again. Even if this strongly suggests Gotham as New York and Bane and his crew as terrorists trying to blow up the city with a dirty nuclear device.
The Dark Knight Rises is a must see film, although not the definitive ending we were promised.
Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine