Friday, 20 July 2012

Film Review: "The Dark Knight Rises" (2012)

"I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss. I see the lives for which I lay down my life, peaceful, useful, prosperous and happy. I see that I hold a sanctuary in their hearts, and in the hearts of their descendants, generations hence. It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known." This famous passage is at the heart of The Dark Knight Rises. This superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, who co-wrote the screenplay with his brother Jonathan Nolan and the story with David S. Goyer. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is the third and final installment in Nolan's Batman film series, and is a sequel to The Dark Knight (2008). When Bane, a former member of the League of Shadows, plans to continue the work of Ra's al Ghul, the Dark Knight is forced to return after an eight year absence to stop him.

Warner Bros. president of production Jeff Robinov had hoped a third film would be released in 2011 or 2012. Nolan only agreed to a third film on the basis of finding a worthwhile story. By December 2008, Nolan completed a rough story outline, before he committed himself to Inception (2010). Following the success of the Joker in The Dark Knight, studio executives wished for The Riddler to be included as the primary villain. However, Nolan wanted the antagonist to be vastly different than the previous incarnations and committed to using Bane instead. It was not until February 9, 2010, that it was announced that Nolan had "cracked" the story of a sequel to The Dark Knight and was committed to return to the project. Shortly afterward, it was announced David S. Goyer and Jonathan Nolan were working on a screenplay. Goyer would leave the project during pre-production to begin work on Man of Steel (2013); Jonathan continued writing the script based on the story by his brother Chris and Goyer. The film's storyline has been compared with the story arcs in the Batman comic book series Knightfall (1993), The Dark Knight Returns (1986) and No Man's Land (1999).

The film stars Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Matthew Modine. The cast gave spectacular performances, especially to Bale, Hardy and Hathaway. Bale gave his best performance yet as the caped crusader. Hardy and Hathaway gave brilliant renditions of Bane and Catwoman.

Visually breathtaking and emotionally powerful, The Dark Knight Rises is a moving and satisfying conclusion to a great trilogy. It is such a crowning achievement, such a visionary use of all the tools of storytelling, such a pure spectacle, that it can be enjoyed even though it is not as powerful as The Dark Knight. If it didn't take a hundred and sixty-four minutes to end the trilogy, it could have been the best movie of the year. However, as it is, it's just one of the great achievements in film history. It is a film, when viewed, that is not even possible to understand this film without knowing the first two. To conclude, this highly dramatic and emotional conclusion to Nolan’s trilogy was masterfully told.

Simon says The Dark Knight Rises receives: