August 28, 2012
The Dark Knight Rises
The third and final part of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy really does feel like the final act: it's epic, the stakes are raised and there's resolution. And it's long. However I enjoyed the length. Usually when a film reaches two and a half hours I've had enough, but with Dark Knight Rises it provided space to develop the story. The film in itself reminded me of a major story arc of a comic, which you can then see as part of an even bigger arc of the three films. I liked that size, the daring to be epic, the sort of stuff that major comic arcs do well. The film escalates the problems for our heroes, in huge jumps, until the entirety of Gotham is subsumed by the terror. Nolan shows an apocalyptic version of Gotham, even worse than we saw in The Dark Knight, with some nice cinematic flair. I really enjoyed how the disaster and problems were ratched up and up.
I also enjoyed Bane as a villain, being familiar with him from the comic (in fact I read the novelisation of Knight Fall) I hoped that he would be a match for Batman, not the comic sidekick of his previous film incarnation. And he did, a perfect contrast to the psychotic Joker, Bane was scary for other reasons, for being deliberate, and planning, and having a cause, as opposed to the Joker's crazy death wish chaos. Not that Bane is better than The Joker or vice-versa, they are different, illuminating different parts of Batman.
Catwoman also appears in this film, although not mentioned by that name, only as Selina Kyle, and Anne Hathaway plays it brilliantly as a smart, driven woman striving to look after herself in any way possible. She makes Batman look clunky and stoney, showing that there's another way to cope with troubles than to withdraw into your (superhero costumed) self.
There's action and fights and gadgets but story. Batman as we've come to expect.
My only negative about the film was the very end, presumably tacked on by studio execs and in direct contrast to how Nolan handled the ending in Inception. But ignoring that I thoroughly enjoyed The Dark Knight Rises, and in fact the entirety of Nolan's Batman trilogy. Hopefully he'll make a Science Fiction film soon.