The Dark Knight Rises lived up to my expectations of the final installment of the prolific Christopher Nolan Batman saga. A final installment is always hard to exceed the individual presumption attached to it (inevitable let-down). The other two movies (Batman Begins and The Dark Knight) were so good and built on each other that it's hard to continue to *rise* to a level above them, which is what we are always expecting. We expect that the 3rd movie will be bigger, better, and have more impact than the others, because it has to, it's the END!
Maybe this is where the catch-22 lies. Can we take a movie trilogy and break it up into the individual parts and critique it without the bias/biases from the other parts in the saga? Because if we can, The Dark Knight Rises is an extraordinary movie! The problem is we are constantly comparing it to the other movies (Batman Begins and The Dark Knight) throughout the time we're watching it.
So what I am going to do is take the finer points of The Dark Knight Rises and highlight them outside of the trilogy, so hopefully we see the true brilliance of this film:
- Social commentary reminiscent of Charles Dickons: A Tale of Two Cities where there is a broken class system. The rich are gaining more and more wealth with no regard to social responsibility while they oppress the poor and continue to perpetuate the growing socioeconomic gap (sounds a lot like the Industrial Revolution... Or our society today).
- Christopher and Jonathan Nolan's uncanny ability to write a script with superheroes and villains that are relatable and human. The characters are developed so much that the world they live in is reality and the choices they make and/or struggle to make is completely believable (irregardless if the foundation comes from a comic book)
- *Spoiler* Joseph Gordon-Levitt: the true side-kick Batman has always needed. He speaks his mind, he is anchored in integrity, he knows Batman's true identity, he was orphaned, and his real name is Robin. The Nolan bros. were able to work in the iconic "boy wonder" into the story without compromising the truth of the story.
- Last but not least, Anne Hathaway in a cat woman suit riding the bat-bike... Need I say more?!
- The Dark Knight
- Batman Begins
- The Dark Knight Rises