Posted on 3/25/13 02:26 PM
It all started in 2005. The Tim Burton Batman films had passed, and two lackluster Joel Schumacher films followed. So, in 2005, the franchise was handed off to Christopher Nolan. At the time, Nolan's biggest success was Memento, but even that film had been seen as an underrated hit. But Nolan managed to make Batman Begins, an origin story of Batman, a huge success. It looked back to the darker tones of Burton's movies, but made him a little more realistic.
Three years later, a sequel arrived, surrounded by hype. And fortunately, The Dark Knight met its hype. Now showing Gotham City in a time of chaos, the film introduced one of the greatest acting performances of the decade, maybe even all time: Heath Ledger as the Joker.
With that in mind, The Dark Knight Rises, the third and final movie in Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, has arrived. As hard as it is to say this, The Dark Knight Rises meets expectations set by The Dark Knight, and blows most of them out of the water.
It's been 8 years since The Dark Knight. Bruce Wayne and Batman (Christian Bale) have vanished, and the Harvey Dent Act has dropped crime rates in Gotham excessively. Obviously, in a comic book universe like this, peace can't stay forever. A new villain named Bane (Tom Hardy) has arrived, and he is planning to reform Gotham in his image.
As if this weren't enough, a cat burglar in the form of Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) appears and tests Bruce's identity. With these two in his head, Bruce Wayne dons the Batsuit for a last time to save Gotham City from a villain that surpasses him physically, and maybe even mentally.
The film is wonderfully acted, even in supporting roles. With an unforgettable cast, including Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Marion Cotillard, everyone puts out their best in the film.
Christian Bale puts out his best performance as Bruce Wayne yet. Bale manages to show a side of him filled with fear, yet keeping the charisma from the past two films. Tom Hardy is an impressive Bane, acting with his eyes when he can't use his mouth. Gaining 30 pounds of muscle for his role, he proves that you can be unstoppable without being a cheesy CGI creation. Any skepticism of Anne Hathaway being too giddy for Catwoman needs to be put away. Now. She's smart, sexy, agile; everything you could want from a Selina Kyle.
The rest of the cast were phenomenal, but Joseph Gordon-Levitt as beat-cop John Blake was one of the better supporting characters. He puts plenty of emotion into his role, especially in one of the final moments, and that final scene is one of the best scenes in the movie.
Nolan really manages to make visuals look fantastic, while using minimal CGI. If you can make men bungee jump out of an airplane, hook a smaller airplane up to the plane they jumped from, tilt it 90 degrees, and extract a hostage while using minimal CGI, you're doing it right. The stunts are fantastically filmed, with the plane heist, the Heinz field explosion, and the first fight with Bane as some of the best.
Hans Zimmer returns to compose the original score for the film, and even though James Newton-Howard doesn't return for this film, he does a fantastic job. Bane's theme is terrifying, and the final track is saddening, exciting, and nostalgic at the same time.
Christopher Nolan's goal for this movie was to take this big blockbuster trilogy, and end it with a bang. Thankfully, he has accomplished his goal. This film even manages to be better than the previous films, something that rarely happens due to the "three-some" disease. Nolan has created the best movie of the year, the greatest comic book movie, and one of the greatest movies of all time.
Note: Please remember those who died, were injured, and lost someone close to them in the shooting in Aurora, Colorado. It's sad to see how you can't even see movies anymore without having something terrible like this happening.