Review – The Dark Knight Rises

Bale’s Bruce Wayne is a truly complicated figure, his mental and physical struggles forming the heart of the trilogy with his beginning, fall, and rise.

The Dark Knight Rises

The perception exists that Fanboys are continuity tyrants.  “According to Batman #313, July 1979, Bruce Wayne prefers eggs poached, with pepper.”  While there is a place and appreciation for panel-by-panel recreations of comics like Sin City, 300 and Watchmen, if the movie is true to the spirit of their inspiration, they’ll give a pass, if not commendations.  Dealing with a character like Batman and seven decades of history, the director must make definite decisions to tell a focused story about the essence of said character.

Director Christopher Nolan on the set of TDKR

Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises is the culmination of those difficult decisions and we should be aware of the challenges that it faces.  It is no small feat to completing the last installment of “Comic Book Movie Trilogy.”  This is compounded by the unwritten rule that the second of the series is usually considered best (Rises must contend with The Dark Knight and Heath Ledger’s brilliant performance as the Joker).  The rule’s axiom is that those third movies have tended to be… let’s say, “disappointing” (looking at you Spiderman, Blade and Superman).  Rises chooses to embrace the universe that has been created and share the dénouement to character arcs established in Batman Begins.  On behalf of Fanboys everywhere, thank you!

Batman Trilogy Poster

Loved as The Dark Knight was, it left conflicting feelings, especially with the decisions of the final scene.  No spoilers here for either movie, but I am more than satisfied with how Rises addresses those concerns.  Bale’s Bruce Wayne is a truly complicated figure, his mental and physical struggles forming the heart of the trilogy with his beginning, fall, and rise.  Even more compelling is that there are no one-dimensional characters surrounding him.  While Rises is the closing chapter of what are, ostensibly, summer blockbusters, the films reveal themselves as intense character studies that so happen to revolve around a vigilante who has adopted an unique countenance.  His subsequent relationships with his allies, friends, acquaintances and foes are similarly complex and nuanced.  You will find yourself invested in where these very fully-rendered people will be at the end.

Batman Battles Bane

The Dark Knight Rises will not be considered the best of the trilogy.  It is, however, a very solid film and provides a satisfying close to a much-beloved series.  Questions are answered, plotlines resolved, and even with no other installment, it gives an exciting picture of what would potentially come next.  I advise everyone to treat yourself, if not only for your own enjoyment, then to send the message that we absolutely will not bow to those who would spread fear.  The theme of “why do we fall” becomes literally poignant.  We fall, only so we have the opportunity to rise.   Our condolences to all those families who have been affected…

The Dark Knight Rises is currently in theaters nationwide.

Check out the trailer for The Dark Knight Rises:

Batman Trilogy Poster courtesy of themovieblog.com

All photos by Ron Phillips, courtesy of imdb.com

One Response

  1. Very well put, Kyle. I’m not a fan of Nolan’s Batman for reasons I’ve stated too often. But you present compelling points and the themes of these movies–via your illumination–match well with what makes Batman such a great character.

    ~Sherin Nicole

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