A few months ago, I was a kind wife and agreed to receive 'The Dark Knight Rises' on DVD for Mr. TBaM. I'm not a personal fan of Christian Bale as Batman, I prefer old school Michael Keaton, however, I knew Mr. TBaM really wanted to see this, and so I found myself sat in the living room with my laptop for comfort while he watched the film. Only I didn't get very far with blogging that night as I became engrossed in the film. Sorry Michael! Over to Mr. TBaM to tell you why:
In 2005, Christopher Nolan reinvented cinematic Batman. Out went the cartoon heros and villains – no more Arnie dressed as an icicle, no more Clooney having the most recognisable jaw in the modern world yet being undetected by Gotham's finest, and DEFINITELY no more Chris O'Donnell and "that" batsuit. In their place, Christian Bale brought on a more rounded and thoughtful Bruce Wayne than any prior incarnation, and Nolan delivered stories bearing a much closer resemblance to the source material, yet with the same level of complexity that you'd expect from any of his other films.
2012's Dark Knight Rises starts eight years after the events of The Dark Knight. As Wayne intended, Batman is a wanted man, whilst Harvey Dent is remembered as the hero that Gotham needed. Commissioner Gordon is stepping down, but will he be tempted to finally tell the truth about the events of the past? As the third film of the trilogy, DKR has its own story to tell as well as resolving elements of the previous two. As such, it introduces a new villain – Bale, excellent played by Tom Hardy – as well as a new hero, Joseph Gordon Levitt's John Blake. Considering that both had also been in Nolans previous hit film, Inception, it's fair to say that even before the film starts expectations are high.
Thankfully, it delivers. Bale has the skill to deliver everything expected of him and makes his portrail convincing both as Batman the hero and Wayne the businessman (Robert Downey Jr take note!). Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman all offer excellent support, although Anne Hathaway as not-actually-referred-to-as Catwoman is more forgettable.
As for the plot, it is difficult to describe too much without giving away spoilers. There are some stunning action sequences – in particular, the sequences in the underground prison, and the siege of Gotham at the end. Anyone familiar with the original comics would probably not fall into the same assumptions as the rest of us, but even when all the secrets are revealed there's more than enough to sustain a second or even a third viewing.