Almer S. Tigelaar

A Little Bit of Everything

The Dark Knight Rises

Christoper Nolan started his dark-toned Batman trilogy with 2005’s Batman Begins, followed by the superb The Dark Knight in 2008. This years it is time for the conclusion of the series: The Dark Knight Rises. We have been treated with a range of villains in the first two films: Ra’s al Ghul, the Scarecrow, the Joker, and Two-Face. In this final installment Batman primarily battles Bane, although Catwoman also makes appearances, but is she a friend or foe?

After Saim Raimi’s Spiderman trilogy, this is the second recent major super hero trilogy to come to an end. Perhaps you remember the older Batman films of the 90’s, which were much more comical in nature than Nolan’s interpretation. Unfortunately, Joel Schumacher’s 1997 Batman & Robin was panned by critics. Hence, the darker more realistic tone was a welcome change, more true to Batman’s true character and more similar also to the Animated Series. The first two films were warmly received by critics and audiences alike, but does the same praise apply to the Dark Knight Rises?

Since Bruce Wayne, the protagonist in Batman, is a wealthy philanthropist, it is fitting that large parts of this final chapter in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy were filmed in Pittsburgh, the home of the late real-world wealthy philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. One of the executive producers is also a co-owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, so it is no surprise that the Heinz Field stadium is used for several pivotal scenes in the film. As well as Pittsburgh’s intricate network of bridges.

The Dark Knight Rises starts off with a reclusive Bruce Wayne, beaten down by his previous experiences depicted in the first two installments. Batman literally rises again in Gotham City, after being absent for years, in response to a newly unfolding treat. The film draws heavy parallels with the ever relevant issue, particularly in American society, of the disparity between the rich and the poor. The antagonist, Bane, aims to remove the gap between these classes, bringing the wealthy to justice. The film is in fact full of references to the grudge against the decadent lifestyle of Gotham’s upper class.

The storytelling of the Dark Knight Rises is rich. Nolan does not settle for flat characters, but takes his time to develop them. As a result the film has a long running length of 165 minutes. However, it is captivating enough to seem much shorter. A considerable accomplishment. The film is not released in 3D, a good thing since the technology seems to have lost its gimmicky value as most people are starting to realize that the added value of 3D is rather limited. With respect to acting, Joseph Gordon-Levitt stands out as officer Blake, as does Anne Hathaway as Catwoman. Bane is a brutal, highly intelligent, but also memorable villain excellently portrayed by Tom Hardy. While Christian Bale delivers a solid Batman, Michael Caine’s part feels a bit to emotional with respect to the earlier installments. Many of the supporting characters deliver good performances, particularly Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman and Marion Cottilard.

If you liked the previous two films, you will surely like this one, as it has a similar look and feel. There are several parts in the film which rely too much on cliche for my taste, but this is more than made up for by several good plot twists. The cinematography is excellent and seeing Batman’s gadgets and tools remains a visual treat. While I still think the second film, The Dark Knight, is the best out of the three films, this movie provides a solid ending for the trilogy.


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Trailer hosted by YouTube, Copyright © 2012 Warner Brothers
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