Christopher Nolan's highly praised Batman trilogy has wrapped up with The Dark Knight Rises, a 2 hour and 45 minute film that nicely packages the Dark Knight's mission to clean up Gotham City.
In the first film, Batman Begins, our hero squared off against Ra's Al Ghul. In The Dark Knight, he had to deal with the chaos of his most well-known adversary, the Joker, unleashed.
In the third, we are brought full circle with the villain Bane. He's come to Gotham to finish off what Ra's Al Ghul started in Batman Begins.
Bane is by far the most serious threat out of the three films. And while the movie is epic, it still doesn't quite stand up to the power Heath Ledger held in the second film. The movie did prove to be a real adrenaline rush however, and I would put it above Batman Begins when comparing all three.
The performances are top notch in this film. First off, I have to say that this is the best Christian Bale has been in the trilogy. He's definitely the focus, and plays an older Bruce Wayne who, after the previous incidents in The Dark Knight, has decided to hang up the cowl and become a sort of Howard Hughes recluse in his mansion.
He pulls off the depressed billionaire impressively. I feel the film shows his true depth of emotion, and Bale is a joy to watch in his final adventure as the caped crusader.
Michael Caine's Alfred is the heart of the film. His portrayal comes off as a loving father-figure who wants to see Bruce leave his life as a vigilante behind. One scene where he reveals something he hid from Bruce in the previous film was particularly emotional and shows how much he truly loves Bruce.
Anne Hathaway portrays Selena Kyle, also known as the Catwoman. Hathaway's portrayal was good, but made me long for the character Michelle Pfeiffer brought to life in Tim Burton's Batman Returns. She came off much more heroic in the end, but still felt like a second thought at times in the movie.
Tom Hardy's Bane, while not as good as Heath Ledger's Joker, was still a terrifying performance. While changed quite a bit from his comic book version - lacking super-human strength, - Nolan was obviously going for a more "real world" version of the character, much like he has with the entire series.
Still, Bane was a joy to fear in this film. His goal is to destroy Gotham, causing complete chaos throughout the city before literally destroying it.
The action is not quite as good in this movie, and some parts came off as a little silly. There is a battle toward the end between Bane's followers and the Gotham City police that I found really stuck out.
Bane's army is armed to the teeth with weapons. They have machine guns, rocket launchers, Tumblers stolen from Wayne Enterprises and would be able to wipe the officers off the map. Still, only armed with pistols, the police manage to put up an unbelievable fight against them.
Why doesn't Bane's army just use the weapons they have instead of engage the police in hand-to-hand combat? It just didn't make much sense.
Even though the film is not perfect, it was definitely a success. The good far outweighs the bad. I would definitely recommend watching this film, whether you're a comic book fan or not.
Christopher Nolan wraps up the adventures of Batman with a nice bow, and I would give this move 4 ½ stars out of 5.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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