Review: The Dark Knight Rises

Christian Bale as Batman in The Dark Knight Rises. Photo by Ron Phillips/WarnerBros.

BY MARK SINDONI

Christopher Nolan rebooted and re-imagined Batman in a modern world with his 2005 film, Batman Begins. This allowed audiences into the past of the caped crusader, and explained what drives him to stop criminals in Gotham City. The 2008 blockbuster The Dark Knight was the follow-up to the 2005 release.  Mentally tested, Batman must overcome his toughest opponent yet, a villain known only as The Joker, brilliantly portrayed by Oscar winner and Australia’s own, the late actor Heath Ledger. The Joker said: “I had a vision of a world without Batman!” And this is exactly where The Dark Knight Rises picks up the story.

The caped crusader has been in exile for the past eight years because the Gotham City crime rate has dropped due to the Dent initiative. Gotham is finally at peace and Batman, the city’s vigilante protector, is not needed any more. Bruce Wayne has not been seen in public for years, and everything is fine in Gotham … but not for long. A mercenary known as Bane has a plan to turn Gotham into the city it once was. Bruce Wayne must return as the Batman and will face a physical and mental challenge that he may not overcome. There’s more to Bane’s plan than just to cause havoc. An old allegiance is brought up which Bruce Wayne knows all about.

Director of photography Wally Pfister once again rejoins his close friend and director Christopher Nolan for the filming of The Dark Knight Rises. With the cinematography for this film Pfister is at his best. The most memorable scene is the first fight in the sewer between Batman and Bane, with the use of the focus and the shots selected. A movie’s music is a big part of what makes it enjoyable or good to watch, and composer Hans Zimmer once again returns to score this film. The shots used, combined with the score, draw the audience in, and this is a major factor in certain scenes. Together Pfister and Zimmer have created a masterpiece and the audience certainly feels what’s on the screen.

This 165-minute epic features an all-star cast with brilliant performances from all. Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine all reprise their roles, with newcomers Tom Hardy as Bane, Joseph Gordan-Levitt as rookie cop John Blake, Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle and Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate.

The Dark Knight Rises is the film of the year and shouldn’t be missed. Once again, director Christopher Nolan has produced an outstanding film and an excellent addition to his Batman collection. The trilogy will go down in history as among the best trilogies made and deserves all the recognition and praise it gets.  For me, Batman will always be a hero and an icon I can look up to and trust to do what’s right and necessary to benefit the lives of other people. But he isn’t just my hero, he’s everyone’s hero. Batman is – and always will be – “a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A dark knight.”

 

Director: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordan-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard.
Theatre Release: July 2012
Studio: Warner Bros.
Rating: M

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