Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises

Dark Knight Rises 1 Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises is truly the movie event of the year for comic book fans. There’s a sense of dread and menace running throughout the entire movie that makes it work on a whole nother level that a film like The Avengers does not work on. The Avengers has a big alien menace that threatens to take over the world, but never once did the viewer worry that the heroes would not triumph. In THe Dark Knight Rises, the darkness is everywhere and threatens to destroy Gotham. The performances are excellent while the action scenes are exciting and once again, Hans Zimmer’s booming musical score adds much to the atmosphere of the movie.

It’s eight years after the events of The Dark Knight and Gotham is having a time of peace. A brooding Bruce Wayne (an excellent Christian Bale) is a recluse while a new villain named Bane (a creepy, cunning Tom Hardy) waits in the wings to destroy the city. Meanwhile, a cat burglar named Selina Kyle (a surprisingly good Anne Hathaway) meets up with Bruce Wayne and also plays a large role in the plotting of the movie. A beat cop named John Blake (a charming Joseph Gordon Leavitt) plays one of the last people to believe in Batman and the symbol he stood for. While all this is going on, Nolan finds time for politics both right wing (Bane’s army has a striking resemblence to the Occupy crowd) and left (The Dent Act has helped take crminals off the street but has also hurt the morale of good cops like Blake because its based on a lie).

The Dark Knight Rises even has time for some humor (Catwoman and Batman brawling over Batman’s no guns/no killing morality), and a terrific cameo from Cillian Murphy as a demented judge sending out smarmy yuppies to meet their demise. Murphy has always been an assist to the Batman movies. He’s right on the edge of camp, but can turn menacing in the blink of the eye as The Scarecrow. I’ll miss him greatly. It all comes together for an action-packed finale.

The Dark Knight Rises is the best film of the year so far. It has far greater stakes than an entertaining trinket like The Avengers, while also weighing some heavy political and moral themes. I wish Catwoman had more screen time and the editing was tightened slightly in the opening and closing scenes but overall, this is a great movie. The capper of the best trilogy of superhero movies of all time. Something that will never be topped. Batman Begins was about fear, Dark Knight’s theme was chaos, and The Dark Knight Rises was all about pain. The only thing the viewer should fear is a cheesy reboot directed by someone like Mc G, The Dark Knight Rises is an epic winner.

Grade: A-

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