(Major spoilers for The Dark Knight)
Rounding out the Batman trilogy in my Christopher Nolan marathon, I’ve arrived at The Dark Knight Rises. Whenever I talk about this movie, a lot of people are surprised to learn my opinion of this film. This happens to be my favorite film in the series. I have a big soft spot for finale films, especially when they’re done right and oh boy is this film done right! The final 50 minutes of the film are the most epic, action packed and satisfying end to a trilogy out there besides The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It is truly one of the best ending entries ever made.
Eight years have passed since Harvey Dent’s demise at the end of The Dark Knight and Batman and Bruce Wayne have since disappeared. Mythical theories about when Bruce has gone as he has become a recluse due to his guilt from Rachel Dawes death. When a new, powerful and brutish figure known as Bane turns up in Gotham along with the League of Shadows, the organization that Batman defeated in Batman Begins or so he thought, seemingly coming back from the dead. Bruce believes it’s time to come out of the shadows and Gotham needs the Batman back. But what Bruce didn’t realize is that Bane may be his most powerful foe ever and so begins all out war in the city of Gotham as Bane looks to continue what the Joker started and show that the city of Gotham may be too criminal of a place to be allowed to live.
Christian Bale gives his best performance as Bruce Wayne/Batman as the former is a lot more prominent in this film than the previous two films. Bruce is broken in this film and is pushed to his absolute physical and mental limits when Bane appears in Gotham. I loved how Bruce’s character arc wrapped up and felt like the perfect and fitting ending to a fantastic trilogy long character arc. Tom Hardy as Bane is an absolute brute. He absolutely terrifies me in this film everytime he appears on screen and while the Joker is a fantastic villain, something about Bane’s physical presence just resignates with me. His voice also could of came off very silly but he has a Darth Vader quality to him and everytime he shows up, I’m immediately drawn to him. My favorite addition to the franchise is definitely Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle/ Catwoman. Her charisma and anti-hero character arc is absolutely amazing. She also kicks some serious ass and has some really comedic moments with Batman along with a few heartbreaking ones. Joseph Gordon Levitt as John Blake was also a really cool addition and when you find out who his character ends up being, the fanboy in you will explode with joy. Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon of course is fantastic and the amount of guilt he has for keeping the lie about Harvey Dent’s death is shown to really eat away at him. He also is kind of badass in the finale.
Speaking of that finale, my word. It is absolutely amazing. It’s like 50 minutes of goosebumps inducing moments. The actual ending too just wraps the series up with a brilliant and beautiful bow tie. But even before the finale, the film is so investing and has so many different moments that are heartbreaking, intense and downright goosebump inducing. Especially the Batman/Bane fight scene. My goodness! One of the most brutal fight and gut-wrenching scenes I’ve seen. A completely one sided fight that you just want to end and when it finally does, you’d wish it ended differently. Some truly fantastic action here.
Christopher Nolan, you have given us three amazing and brilliant Batman films. The first being a fantastic origin story, the second being an iconic gangster crime epic and this one being a war epic. I love this trilogy and love this film. Thank you Mr. Nolan for bringing us this trilogy and it was a joy to rewatch it.
Up Next: Interstellar (2014)