The Dark Knight Rises

12 Aug

Director: Christopher Nolan (2012)

When we last saw Batman, he was riding off into the night (obviously) ready to embark upon a life on the run after he took the rap for the horrendous crimes of Harvey Dent. As Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) said, following the Joker’s escapades and the whole freeing of Gotham’s lunatics incident, Gotham needed a White Knight, one the people could believe in to save them from their own city, and as with any good ying and yang analogy, that means Gotham needed its Dark Knight. Stepping up to the mark as only Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) can, Batman vanishes with a flick of his cape and a suitably dramatic and brooding voiceover.

Cut to eight years later. Thanks to the anti-crime Dent Act, Gotham has been living in respective safety with organised crime on an all time low – the plan worked. For now.

In the third of Nolan’s frankly fantastic Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises manages to transcend the textbook superhero template action to reveal a thrilling crime drama. Helped along with the almost entire cast of Inception. Which can only be a good thing. Like a well attended reunion, the stellar cast of characters from throughout Nolan’s trilogy come together for the final time (so we’ve been told) to bring it to a suitably dramatic end.

Seduced out of hiding by a mysterious cat burglar, Selina (Anne Hathaway) – not to be confused with C-woman – trying to pilfer his late mother’s necklace, Bruce Wayne is forced to resurrection and not a moment too soon. There is a new rising happening elsewhere in the city, threatening more than the shiny jewels of the upper classes – someone’s left one of those thermonuclear weapons unattended.

In a not-so-veiled metaphor of recession riots and the hated 1%, The Dark Knight Rises’ villain, the masked terrorist Bane, rouses the troops against the corporations that rule over Gotham with icy and frighteningly muscular grip. A new addition to Team Save Gotham is Blake, a do-good cop played by Joseph Gordon Levitt, who joins forces with estranged Commissioner Gordon to lead the fight against Bane’s uprising while Batman sorts himself out. Blake is fresh and fantastic, and for any Batman fans out there, will perhaps provide one of the most tantalising story arcs in the film – albeit a deviation from the original comic.  But who cares? In Nolan’s Batman franchise, he has reinvented his own Gotham and its twisted inhabitants with an eerie realism alongside spectacular special effects. And perhaps one of the most exciting teasers of a final scene we’ve seen in a comic book film in a long time.

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