I have never been more excited for a movie than I was for The Dark Knight Rises. I loved every single solitary second of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. The Dark Knight Rises was the sequel to my favorite movie and the definitive end to what I could easily call my favorite series. My wild expectations were exceeded with the masterpiece that is The Dark Knight Rises, because with this epic Christopher Nolan has crafted the perfect ending for the perfect story.
The endings of both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight offered resolution, but Gotham wasn’t saved the way Bruce Wayne had set out to save it as the symbol for good, Batman. They weren’t happy endings, but they did offer hope for brighter days. Hope is a large undertone of The Dark Knight Rises mainly because all of it is dashed with the emergence of a new threat against Gotham, Bane.
Bane is an intelligent brute force and he is the most intimidating presence I’ve ever seen depicted. He’s a revolutionary tyrant (although there’s more to his agenda), he’s his own General and he’s his own greatest soldier. Bane has never been more appropriately titled than he was in The Dark Knight Rises because what Christopher Nolan and Tom Hardy have created is the bane of Batman’s existence and the good he’s meant to inspire. There is a poetic and constant battle between a symbol for good and a symbol for evil in The Dark Knight, but unlike The Joker, Bane has a plan and it involves destroying Batman and everything he cares for. However, The Dark Knight Rises isn’t just simply about Batman’s struggle against Bane, a story like that had already been told.
Batman Begins told the perfect hero’s journey, it was a tale about one man, Bruce Wayne and his journey to becoming a true hero, Batman. The Dark Knight was about good and evil and the balance the two offer, Batman and The Joker. The Dark Knight Rises, however, is about the beating heart of a city. It is a sweeping epic that utilizes every character we’ve come to know and love and manages to introduce a few more incredibly fundamental pieces to the puzzle in order to tell a story of hope, triumph and the heroism that can only be described as legendary.
The Dark Knight Rises was filled with talent on and off the screen. Tom Hardy who gave a magnificent and very physical performance as Bane wasn’t the only new cast member. There was the always brilliant Marion Cottillard, the extraordinary Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anne Hathaway who offers the flawless performance of what should be considered the greatest and definitive Catwoman. Wally Pfister, again takes to the camera (apparently for the last time) and Hans Zimmer finishes what he started in the first two and with The Dark Knight Rises, Zimmer offers in The Dark Knight Legend the greatest score in film. Every recurring actor offers easily their best performance of the series, including Christian Bale as a Batman past his prime.
The Dark Knight Rises accomplishes the monumental task of beginning flawlessly and only getting better as the film progresses. As the stakes and tension rise so to does your involvement in the story and then the ending is fully realized. The Dark Knight Rises offers nothing short of the greatest ending in film. The word epic was never fully understood until I was able to finish watching The Dark Knight Rises. With this film, you’re being thrust into so many different events and characters it’s almost hard to take it all in, but when put in the hands of a story teller of this caliber, you can’t expect anything less than a miracle.
Christopher Nolan, with the help of his cast and crew, did exactly what he set out to do. He masterfully weaved together what he had done with Batman Begins and The Dark Knight and told the ending his story deserved and needed. And that is nothing short of miraculous. The heroic character that Nolan and Bale have slaved over has gone through quite the journey and every journey has to come to an end.
The Dark Knight Rises is that end. Ever since I was able to witness The Dark Knight four years ago, I called it my favorite movie, but upon seeing The Dark Knight Rises I realized that the two are right on par with each other. Batman Begins is just as flawless, but because it is a simple origin story that absolutely needed to be told the exact way it was told it wasn’t able to touch on the complexities, themes and emotions that The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises are able to delve into. My favorite word to describe a movie that I love is, and I don’t use it lightly, masterpiece. However, that doesn’t seem like enough for this trilogy. The Dark Knight Legend is not only the greatest movie ever created, it’s the greatest story ever told.
A+ for all three films in the trilogy.