OKLAHOMA CITY, July 19, 2012—“The Dark Knight Rises” director Christopher Nolan has yet to make a bad movie. Look at his body of work, and try to find the exception. His third, and final, Batman is no exception. Originally conceptualized as a trilogy, the third movie wraps everything up and leaves it open to continue if Nolan ever decided to.
The first movie, “Batman Begins”, was the origin story for Batman, followed by “The Dark Knight” which had Batman taking the fall for District Attorney Harvey Dent’s crimes because he was the hero that Gotham needed.
TDKR is eight years later and Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) still hasn’t emerged as the Batman again. Hobbled from years of fighting crime all night, he stumbles across Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), a cat burglar with a mission to make the rich pay for being rich.
All the while a new nemesis is introduced in the form of a hulking man wearing a mask over his mouth that garbles his speech named Bane (Tom Hardy).
Bane might have a connection to Wayne’s past, but his intentions are clear. He wants to destroy Gotham City.
Gary Oldman is back at Commissioner Gordon, but this time he has help from a young cop John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt).
The plot has been been a very well-kept secret and you are not going to get any spoilers here. Just be prepared for set-ups, twists and a couple of winks to fans of the comic book. Not to mention the political messages that may or may not have anything to do with the “occupy” movement.
One criticism when the trailer first appeared online was that Bane is hard to understand. It’s clear that they have improved the audio on Bane’s voice, but he is still difficult to totally comprehend everything he says. Seeing the movie multiple times will probably help make his dialogue easier to understand, and really, who isn’t going to see this movie more than once?
“Batman Begins” gave us Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy) as a villain who liked to experiment with psychedelic drugs. “The Dark Knight” had the Joker (Heath Ledger), who was a madman but was entertaining. Bane is just evil. He’s really not fun. That’s not to say that he isn’t a good character or that Hardy isn’t great playing him, but he is no nonsense unlike the other villains.
Also, the first two had a lot of color even though many of the scenes took place at night. There was some humor, and great action scenes. TDKR is bleak. It mostly takes place during the day with not much color.
Some have described Nolan’s Batman series as not really being comic book movies even though they are based on a comic book character. If that is an accurate description, then TDKR takes that to a new level. The movie clocks in at about 2 hours and 45 minutes, and the Batman may have a total screen time of 40 minutes.
The third act is thrilling with a great finale. The way the movie is wrapped up is perfect. Some may not like one of the final plot points, but overall it leaves it exactly where is needs to be.
Of the trilogy it probably ranks third, but in this trilogy third is better than most anything else in theaters. Get ready to settle in and appreciate every frame of the movie as we say goodbye to the the Dark Knight because it may not be the film franchise we deserve, but it’s the one we needed.
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