In a movie filled with terrorist acts, it's downright impossible to view this film without the tragedy amid the opening still infiltrating the mind. Much like Heath Ledger's posthumous performance in "The Dark Knight," we're constantly reminded of people gone too soon...and unnecessarily. We go to the movies for escapism - but, this time, we're escaping nothing. Instead, we're being confronted by an ugly truth. So often we say to ourselves, "there's nothing to fear. It's only a movie." But how can we forget when the movie itself serves as a constant reminder? We can't. All we can do is try to move forward. So, in an effort to move forward, here's my take on "The Dark Knight Rises."
(WLTX) - It's been eight years since the Batman showed his lower jaw on the streets of Gotham City. After being blamed for the death of their beloved mayor, Harvey Dent, he has chosen to elude the public (much like his reclusive alter ego, Bruce Wayne). Now, however, there's a new menace afoot who's so dangerous that he was expelled from the League of Shadows! Only a fellow member would even be capable of challenging him. And there's only one who is willing to "rise to the occasion."
But, despite the public's unfavorable opinion of him, Batman does have a few allies. A young cop, with a similar upbringing, is proud to serve as his wingman. And a mysterious cat burglar can be very helpful - provided that she's working on the right side of the law. If she's not, both he and Bruce Wayne are flirting with disaster.
"The Dark Knight Rises" easily lives up to the standards previously set by director Christopher Nolan's first two films. As promised, it's dark, ominous and about twenty minutes too long...again.
In the past, I've often had trouble understanding Christian Bale when he dons the mask. This time, however, he was much more coherent. Bane, on the other hand, seems to have inherited the muffled delivery - despite a dignified, Sean Connery-style dialect. And, while Anne Hathaway was not the public's first choice as Catwoman, she attacks the role with vigor and is even more impressive as Selina Kyle.
Now, on a more ironic note, the action sequences didn't necessarily overwhelm - but the story's depth and mystery more than made up for it. The film concludes with plenty of speculation about Gotham's future, allowing people to theorize their own epilogues.
On my personal scale, it ranks as number three in the trilogy (and that may be entirely due to the horrific events in Colorado) but I loved the closure it brought to a solid series. Maybe now isn't the right time - but, at some point, everyone should get around to seeing "The Dark Knight Rises."
By Lee O. Smith, News19 Movie Reviewer