A Fire Will Rise (Contains TDKR Spoilers)
A fire will rise, and rise it has. Christopher Nolan’s final instalment of his Batman franchise has wrapped up his series perfectly. Since Batman Begins Nolan has stated that he wanted to make a finite series, and conclude it. That is exactly what he has done here in his seven year run with Christian Bale (Batman) , Morgan Freeman (Lucius Fox) , and Michael Caine (Alfred). Bruce Wayne has overcome his parent’s death with the help of Ra’s Al Ghul in Batman Begins turning his fear of bats into his greatest ally and spreading the fear into his enemies. Of course, Al Ghul had turned on Batman and forced the two of them to duel out their differences in Batman Begins making Batman a better fighter, and understand his true responsibilities. In The Dark Knight Batman was faced with a crazed lunatic, Heath Ledger’s the Joker, who tried to rip Gotham apart and turned their beloved defense attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckheart) into the crazed villain Two Face. The Dark Knight Rises takes place eight years after Dent’s death which Batman inevitably took the fall for so Gotham could have serenity.
The Dark Knight Rises has an outstanding runtime of 166 minutes making it the longest Batman movie in history, but rightfully so. The franchise introduces some new characters, some of which cannot be mentioned due to spoilers. Anne Hathaway does make her Bat debut as the sexy, sleek cat-burglar Catwoman, who does justice for the role. Her predecessor Michelle Pfieffer, did an outstanding job as well, but Hathaway brings an outspoken sense to the role. Bane, played by a recent Nolanized favourite Tom Hardy, nails the role as the muscle-bound sociopath born from hell on earth. In the comics, Bane is established as a muscle head fed by Venom to show his absolute strength and physique but no personality, thankfully Nolan gives Bane the role he truly deserves. Bane is outright vicious and intimidating, but with the lack Hardy has to work with his eyes speak for themselves. This is what gives him the edge, the sheer fear that is embraced with the cinematography and acting on Hardy’s part brings a new darkness to the Batman villain, Bane.
Batman faces his greatest challenge with his opponent Bane who is more powerful and better equipped than him. With being Bruce Wayne for eight straight years, and not making himself Batman for Dent’s actions, it gave Bane the competitive advantage in fights because he never rested. The first encounter between Batman and Bane, Bane utters to Batman “your victory is also your downfall”, showing that even though he was Gotham’s unspoken saviour, hanging up his cape gave him a disadvantage.
With this being the final instalment of Nolan’s perfectly crafted and executed Batman franchise, one should take a look back at Batman Begins and The Dark Knight before watching The Dark Knight Rises to fully understand and embrace in the awe-dropping conclusion that is The Dark Knight Rises.