The Dark Knight Rises
To sum things up quickly and painlessly, I’d say The Dark Knight Rises is what would happen if you combined Batman Begins with Occupy Wall Street. Now, if you don’t want to read ahead through some spoilers, take that sentence and let it steep a little.
After the death of Harvey Dent, the streets of Gotham have since been cleansed of all criminal scum over the course of eight years – this has been eight years without any sign of Batman and Bruce Wayne has since become a recluse. Now comes the rise of a new force, a brute army of mercenaries lead by a masked man who goes by Bane (played by the extraordinary Tom Hardy) who strives to return the streets of Gotham to its rightful owner, the “people.” And of course, by “people,” he means the mentioned criminal scum – now it’s up to Batman to save the city that turned against him.
Christopher Nolan had said countless times before that he only wanted to make a trilogy, so as a final chapter, I’ll be honest: the only aspect that has some closure is Batman/Bruce Wayne as a character. Granted, it’s really all been about Bruce Wayne, but some of the events in the film make some assumptions that are rather hard to ignore.
For instance, how did Bane know exactly where Fox’s arsenal was? How did Blake find Commissioner Gordon after it was established that it would be “impossible” to find him through the pipes? What did Gotham do to Bane to make him do this? (Okay, I know he was hired by some corporate scumbag, but his motivations are never really known – even at the reveal there are still questions.) What’s Selina’s story and why should we care? Who’s running the water and electric companies during the lock-down? How did the trapped policemen get food and water without anyone noticing? Why did the League of Shadows target Gotham to begin with – in fact, why was Gotham so goddamn special? Also, after the government’s Special Forces failed they gave up and blockaded the city – that’s a little hasty isn’t it? The terrorism was happening literally for months and they gave up that quickly? And what ever happened to Lucius Fox? Because he would definitely be needed near the end. One more thing: wasn’t Harvey Dent’s crackdown in effect before his transformation and death? He was still a good person before the accident (who gave his all to stop crime-lords), so why is this scandal so particularly appalling?
Aye aye aye! (Spoilers end.)
It’s a shame really, there was really so much potential here and the result is underwhelming. I liked Bane as a villain – he was scary, intriguing, and a force to be reckoned with. I just wish there was more drama with his initial confrontation (the big one), as well as in the Pit (a sequence that should had been much more agonizing to experience). Selina Kyle, on the other hand, was lacking all sorts of good stuff. Though I appreciated Anne Hathaway’s ferocity, I really felt she was underdeveloped, to the point where she was just a pretty little plot-helper.
Though I remain unsatisfied, I was glad to see that at least Bruce Wayne found some solace. Now, to clean up the mess he left Gotham in.
Final Grade: B+
Okay, now that I’ve had some sleep and thought a little more, I understand Bane was just continuing the work of The League of Shadows by plaguing the streets with fear to spite the man who turned his back on the League. Even still, I feel as if Bane’s revenge plot wasn’t nearly as profound as it should have been at this stage in the franchise.