The Dark Knight Rises for the last time

The Dark Knight Rises for the last time

Worth It
Aug 13, 2012
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This summer has seen a great lineup of blockbuster hits. From The Avengers to Prometheus there’s been no shortage of exciting and well-crafted movies. But arguably the most anticipated and celebrated films of them all has been The Dark Knight Rises. Featuring two new characters, prosthesis the ominous Bane and the clever Catwoman, cost this chapter ends what has been one of the best superhero trilogies of all time. For the uneducated (or anyone who is not a comic nerd), Bane is a lesser-known villain in the Batman series. However, I find him to be the scariest and most threatening of all Batman’s arch-nemisi. In fact, (spoiler-alert!!!) in the comics and in the film he actually breaks Batman’s back leaving him temporarily paralyzed. No other villain has been able to devastate the caped crusader like that before. Plus his overbearing presence, unwavering persistence and that bizarre mask he talks through make Bane an unpredictable and frightening foe. But rest assured, director Christopher Nolan is a genius at balancing the ominous with a touch of levity. Enters Selina Kyle, a.k.a. Catwoman. Played with gleeful wickedness, Anne Hathaway’s performance steals mostly every scene she’s in. In the past Batman films the villains typically have their own mixture of tyranny and humour, albeit dark humour. But Bane is simply frightening. He has no witty quips, no playful looks. He is just plain scary.  Not only is this refreshing but it also works with Anne Hathaway’s playfulness balancing things out.

Plot-wise, The Dark Knight Rises is solid. I’ve heard countless whiners complain that Batman isn’t in the film enough. Huh? That’s ridiculous. While the action scenes featuring our hero are not as plentiful, he is still the central character and the film undoubtedly revolves around him. In fact, I’d argue the story is the most powerful chapter in this franchise. The fact that Bruce Wayne goes through a “less action-packed” journey doesn’t make him any less a part of the movie. This sequel is a brooding, more introspective look at the man behind the mask. It is great storytelling that stays true to the original source material. At the same time, Nolan brilliantly misleads us just enough to make us think he is straying from the real Batman story. Without giving anything away, I know of several Batman fanatics who were completely surprised by some of the story twists in this final instalment. Nerds who know every detail of the comic are actually surprised by the screenplay’s surprises. How many filmmakers can pull that off?

The Dark Knight Rises is an excellent film, on every level. At once it is a fun, exhilarating summer blockbuster, a thoughtful and moving saga and the perfect ending to a great film trilogy. But, hey, I’m not surprised. I never once thought that the makers of this finale wouldn’t rise to the challenge and conquer the usual villainous pitfalls of sequels. Batman Begins lifted this classic tale to a new height. The Dark Knight pushed the experience even higher. And The Dark Knight Rises elevates the legend to new heights.

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Craig the Critic

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