Directed by Christopher Nolan
Written by Jonathan Nolan & Christopher Nolan
Starring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Michael Caine, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, Morgan Freeman, Marion Cotillard, and Gary Oldman
Eight years on, a new terrorist leader, Bane, overwhelms Gotham’s finest, and the Dark Knight resurfaces to protect a city that has branded him an enemy.
It’s been eight years since Gotham has seen The Batman. After taking the rap for Dent’s death, our shadowed hero has retired and lives as somewhat of a recluse. Bruce is partially crippled physically and Alfred continues to play caregiver and surrogate father. After an encounter with a mysterious cat burglar and an idealist cop, Bruce slowly realizes it may be time to don the costume once again. The Dent Act has put Gotham’s organized criminals behind bars, leaving the nihilistic Bane to shake the peace and sanctity of the city.
Nolan has created a masterpiece comic book trilogy that is going to stand the test of time – guaranteed. This third and final installment may lack the depth of the previous films, but it is no less a work of art. I didn’t get to see this until today and I was like a ten-year-old waiting in line for The Empire Strikes Back. Call me a wuss, but tears welled up in my eyes in the final scenes. Multiple emotions caused that wave of unexpected impact and I don’t mind admitting it. With every tick of the clock, we saw the last two hours and forty-five minutes of Nolan’s masterwork ticking away.
Bale is at his best as he steps into the role of a battered hero. The film offers a similar, but new spin on his relationship with Bane. Fans of the comic will appreciate these adversary’s first encounter, and it’s painful to watch. Bale isn’t the confidant hero he is in the first two films, and he plays that part well. He’s not instantly instilling fear, but feeling it himself. It’s gripping and empowering to watch The Dark Knight claw his way back up to his fighting weight. Armed with new Wayne tech like “The Bat”, a Batcopter of sorts, fans were cheering as Nolan mixed the old with the new. No amount of weaponry could prepare Bruce for the new threat found in Bane.
I’m convinced Hardy, who portrays a charismatic and terrifying Bane, can out act a lot of Hollywood using only a small part of his face. His life-sustaining mask combined with his accent make him sound as frightening as he looks. Bane brings a true comic-level threat to Gotham. His vision of twisted super-villainy surpassed The Joker’s – and on a massive level. If I had any complaint, if was the lacking Selena Kyle arc. Her presence was great for the film, providing some welcome comic book influenced scenes, including one almost overlooked mug shot moment. Her character was confident and strong like the comic version of the character and she looked stunning in her part. Again, my bitch is a small one – she was a welcome part of the film for me.
If anything surprised me in this film – it was Gordon-Levitt as Detective Blake. His character was charming; a scene stealer of sorts at times. I couldn’t decide what I thought his role was going to be. I had my opinions and I was right. You’ll have to see the movie to see if you’re right as well. Without getting into potential spoilers, I’ll just say that this was everything I hoped it would be and more. This film took on an awful amount of pressure to seal the trilogy’s spot in film history and I’m happy to say it succeeded. Be prepared to see Batman on the ropes often. His skills and motivations are tested for all two hours and forty-five minutes. This is a guaranteed summer blockbuster I assure you.
On a side note, my prayers go out to those impacted forever by the tragic events in Colorado. When the opening scenes began, my brain defaulted to the chaos and insanity those poor moviegoers dealt with. If you have an overactive imagination, you can just barely get a glimpse of that horror. I hope those folks can eventually recover to some degree and the guilty party gets what’s deserved here.