Batman fans will be happy to know that The Dark Knight Rises sticks closely to the comic book – well mostly. Of course, a director like Christopher Nolan would have to make some additions here and there. It’s been eight years since trouble loomed in Gotham City, but the film opens as police Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) is addressing the public about the death of D.A. Harvey Dent and the role Batman supposedly played in his death. Things are now good in the City, so it seems Gordon is basically spreading the idea that Batman is not needed anymore.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Gary Oldman
Wayne wonders where that leaves him. Not too worry, for even though Fox, (Morgan Freeman) Wayne’s CEO of the Wayne Foundation, always wants his beloved Wayne to be safe, it’s Fox who is always coming up with the incredible contraptions that jet Batman far above his foes.
One of those returning to spice up this film is Catwoman, or as she’s better known, Selena (Anne Hathaway). After a very confusing scene at the beginning of the film about a bunch of terrorists hi-jacking a plane, we visit a crippled Wayne in his half royal looking- half chaotic extravagant manner. It’s here that Hathaway impresses us as a woman ready to be a villain, sexy temptress, thief, and shrewd opponent. She will use Wayne and come on to him in a split-minute with only the bat of an eyelash seen through her mask. Although her costume was a tad lacking, Hathaway nails this portrayal.
Wayne’s more serious new arch-nemesis comes in the form of the mask-wearing Bane (Tom Hardy). He has a long range plan of destruction for Gotham that goes back to his childhood. He’s also a mean, unscrupulous, depraved man who because Wayne is in a weakened condition, plans to snuff him out. A lot of Bane’s dialogue is hard to understand through the mask.
The tension in The Dark Knight Rises never lets up. While Batman is lacking in appearances and readiness, gadgets are zooming and looming. Boomerangs come and go as the roller coaster of good and evil places several characters in its cars.
Christian Bale & Michael Caine
Bale is superb whether playing the patient warrior on the mend, the man who may lose everything in the flash of a moment or an apprentice who finds an unexpected mentor just when he’s ready to give up.
His dedicated and father-replacement, Alfred (Michael Caine), couldn’t be more attentive or advising than before, and Caine plays the role flawlessly. Marion Cotillard shines in her role as Miranda Tate, a wealthy philanthropist and a Wayne Enterprises board member who wants to be more than that with Wayne.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays police officer John Blake. He has a deep soul and understands everything the Batman suit stands for and who will do anything to protect it and Wayne.
The production value is impressive with little new in that area to go “wow” about. I felt the continuous fight scenes were overdone and too long. Still, it’s summer – and it’s Batman.