A lot could be said about The Dark Knight Rises, but I don’t think anyone could say that it isn’t ambitious. Wrapping up one of the most successful trilogies ever, Christopher Nolan creates a third installment filled with action, social commentary and a multitude of storylines. Though the movie is sometimes muddled, by the end of the 164 minute running time, Nolan somehow sticks the landing.
I’m not going to mention Christian Bale‘s performance or Bane’s voice here because I feel like those topics are tired by now, but I wanted to mention the aspects that stood out to me. Newcomers to the franchise Anne Hathaway and Joseph Gordon-Levitt really breathe new life into the story, in particular Hathaway. Her “Catwoman” (though she is never referred to as Catwoman) is sleek, smart and one of the most engaging parts of the movie. Everyone had concerns when Hathaway was cast, but Nolan & Co. really got this casting right. Really right.
Many kudos go to Nolan for completing the trilogy his way, but at times I wished he would’ve gone a different route. The story hits a lot of the same notes as The Dark Knight (cool villain “heist” opening, and by the end of the movie the people of Gotham have to make a choice to save themselves or each other). Then we get what seems like an hour of the movie devoted to Bruce Wayne in prison and a confusing war-like Gotham City scenario, and in general it left me scratching my head.
I guess I wanted a more straightforward final chapter, but by the last 10 minutes of the movie, I didn’t really care. Everything wraps up nicely in the best possible way, with Nolan literally “passing the torch” of the franchise onto the next person. And when the music rises along with a certain character in the final shot, it truly is special. And chill-inducing. So I’ll stop complaining.