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Christopher Nolan’s thrilling Batman trilogy comes to an end in this conclusion of epic proportions. But does the movie live up to the years of hype? Or does Nolan fall short in this last attempt at directing the Dark Knight. My review.

First off I want to send my condolences to the people who lost their lives in the Colorado movie theatre shootings. It was a tragedy and I write this review in your honor and memory. RIP.

Also, if you missed my article earlier this summer on Christopher Nolan check it out and see how this film stacks up to his previous work. The link is…….here.

Now on to the review. Let’s start it out with the word incredible. This movie is incredible. I chose the word incredible because I believe it stands above great but below epic, perfect, and all of those other out of proportion phrases the internet has been linking to the movie. This is a tough movie to attack because so many people have adored the first two that they can become blinded by flaws and faults in front of them. Maybe they choose not to see them or they look past. Either way they are there.

The Dark Knight Rises takes place eight years after the events of The Dark Knight and picks up with a new terrorist threat in the form of the super-man Bane, played wonderfully by Tom Hardy. Batman (Christian Bale) has been labeled a criminal after the confrontation with Harvey Dent and the death of Dent and Rachel Dawes has sent Bruce Wayne into becoming a recluse in his mansion with a bum leg. I don’t want to dive too much into the plot because let’s be honest, everyone and their cousin is seeing this movie right now.

As I stated in my first paragraph there are flaws in this movie. And the one gaping hole that started it all was the first act which contained the parts where we are introduced to Bane, diving into the solitude and depression of Bruce Wayne, and meeting new characters such as Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard), and Foley (Matthew Modine). When it comes to introducing Bane, Nolan does a fine job of getting us to begin to fear the giant of a man that is this terrorist. From the beginning of the movie, we are sparked with fear as he literally takes a plane out of the air, while on it. The problems with the first half are with the second two parts. The solitude of Bruce Wayne is interesting or at least could be if he was given some interesting reason to be in this state. But we aren’t given one other than he is mad about his girlfriend(ish) dying. Luckily Alfred, played masterfully by Michael Caine, saves the day and interjects some life into the comings and goings of the act. The new characters introduced, while they could be important, mostly fall flat as we are given little to no information on who Tate or Foley are but are told to respect them. Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle/Catwoman is a shining spot though as he abrasive sexuality and incredible chemistry with Bale makes the scenes she is in quite enjoyable.

This first act is what really hurt this movie because it was just so rough and lethargic. I feel like Bruce Wayne is depressed for no reason because it has been eight years since Rachel’s death I feel like becoming a hermit is not the correct course of action. But even though I could see that being the action taken by this character, I wish Nolan would of given us stronger support around it to make it more bearable especially with no Batman around. Thank God for Michael Caine!

Now the second and third act pick up what was lacking in the first and start to make this the movie that we were expecting. Once Bane becomes more prominent in the story and Batman comes out of hiding, I started to enjoy the ride a lot more. Tom Hardy, while not in any way being able to touch Heath Ledger’s Joker, takes a different path. Instead of being a more mind games adversary for Batman, he defeats the Dark Knight with brute force and a lot of it. His character’s strength is in the fact that he’s just plain stronger than Batman and honestly the entire movie I didn’t know if Batman could defeat this guy! He also was given a interesting, even if a little tangled background, that makes his villain different from the Joker because we know what led up to him becoming what he is. I like how Batman was put into the weak position and forced to train himself back up. I felt like that was a great way of incorporating both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight into the Batman character and Bale gave easily his best performance of both characters as he stripped of his identity and left nothing. As much as I like Marion Cotillard though I did not like her character Miranda Tate. She became a way too forced love interest for Bruce Wayne and her role in everything was wavering until the end.

Finally I want to talk about the third act which was the last hour. That was epic. All those exaggerated terms would fit in describing this. It was very fulfilling end and was very thrilling and suspenseful. Nolan captured that suspense he had throughout The Dark Knight and injected it into this last hour. The ending was great and perfect. It didn’t need some twist, it was great as it was. All the chaos and fighting throughout the city was greatly shot as Nolan did a fine job of bringing the city together for this final showdown between Bane and Batman. It makes you sad that this will be his last Batman movie.

In conclusion, I hope I didn’t give you the idea that I disliked the movie because I didn’t. It was a great movie and one of the best of the year so far. While it had some story holes and lazy plots, it still stood tall as a strong Nolan movie and great superhero flick. While I don’t see it as better than The Dark Knight, it’s probably the second best of the trilogy. I recommend seeing it, especially in IMAX.

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