Film Review: ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is Glorious Epic of Heroic Proportions
CHICAGO – Sound the gong for one of the best films of the summer, as “The Dark Knight Rises” delivers an awe-inspiring blockbuster on virtually every level of storytelling and performance. Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and director Christopher Nolan create grand, metaphoric and visionary cinema.
From the first flicker of a spectacular airplane hijack, to the rich and expressive conclusion, the Batman film again establishes a new high mark of this now peculiar genre of superhero movies. It deftly balances the wild psychological ramifications in The Batman character of protector, vigilante, fight expert and human being with the majestic action sequences, which fit perfectly within the context of a story that makes the strange cityscape of Gotham emblematic of our current fears and expectations.
Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has retired The Batman in the eight years since he defeated The Joker, and is still used as a scapegoat in the death of “Two-Face” Harvey Dent. Gotham City exploits Dent’s memory as a excuse to virtually eliminate crime in the city, by using extreme incarceration and laws that suppress due process. Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) is put front and center with the success, and keeps the truth about The Batman’s role in Dent’s demise to himself. There is one cop named Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who becomes a skeptic, and his origin and obsessions match Gotham’s caped crime fighter.
Two new villains are on the horizon. The vicious Bane (Tom Hardy) and a mysterious master cat burglar named Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway). Both spur Bruce Wayne to end his retirement of The Batman, much to the chagrin of his caregiver Alfred (Michael Caine). But this re-emergence is fraught with uncertainty, having to do with a failed invention of Wayne Enterprises – created by Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) – that Bane wants to possess. In the confrontation between The Batman and Bane, the hero will be challenged to again save Gotham City, if only he can save himself.
Photo credit: Warner Bros. Pictures