The Dark Knight Rises is the third and final installment in director Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. The story takes places eight years after the events of the last film, eight years since Batman vanished into the night and assumed responsibility for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent in the hopes that it would benefit the greater good. But when a new villain threatens to destroy Gotham City and cannot be stopped by law enforcement alone, Bruce Wayne is forced to adorn the black armor once again.
The film introduces several new characters: John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a young police officer whose loyalty lies in doing what is right and not blindly following his superiors. Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), a cat burglar working for Bane in hopes of obtaining a device that will erase a person’s criminal history and giving her the chance to start a new life. Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard), who encourages Bruce Wayne to rejoin the rest of the world and continue his father’s philanthropic work. Loyal butler, Alfred (Sir Michael Caine), Commissioner of the Gotham Police, James Gordon (Gary Oldman) and genius inventor, Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), also make a return to help Bruce Wayne become the Dark Knight once more. A new villain also enters the fray that is just as intelligent, resourceful and a better combatant than Batman (even breaking Batman’s back at one point, depicting a classic scene from the comic series) – Bane (Tom Hardy), a terrorist portraying himself as a liberator of the people.
Production staff really outdid themselves in making this film superb in every detail. In regards to the dramatic aspect, filming took place in several different cities across the world including New York, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, London and Jodhpur. By amalgamating different cities, staff members helped to make his imagination of Gotham resemble the description of the city given in the comics. Costume specialists helped to give Bain the appearance of a lucha libre (masked wrestler), which coupled with his resourcefulness and intelligence helped to create the perfect villain.
The Dark Knight Rises takes place in an apocalyptic time with nuclear warfare threatening to destroy Gotham City. Cinematography experts helped to reinforce this doomsday ambiance by having Bane and his henchmen blow up all the bridges that lead out to the city, trapping the entire police force underground and unleashing the hooligans from the city jail in a scene that resembles the “Storming of the Bastille”. The federal government also abandons Gotham, leaving the people of Gotham to fight the battle on their own. Even scenes that do not take place in the city show the helplessness of the times. When Bruce Wayne is imprisoned in foreign jail, Bane decides to “torture his soul” by having him watch the events unfold in Gotham on a television set while he is trapped in a virtually inescapable prison.
Director Christopher Nolan stated that this film would mark the end of his interpretation of the Batman trilogy. However, the end of the film leaves the viewer with a final surprise: John Blake’s legal is revealed to be Robin John Blake, a reference to Batman’s comic book sidekick, and inherits the Batcave after Batman’s “demise”. This leaves the possibility open to an additional installment in the Batman franchise, and with the critical and financial success of the series, it may be a smart move for Warner Brother’s to make (copyright owner’s to the series).
The film also leaves the viewers with a final message: a hero can be anyone. Whether it is placing a reassuring grasp on the shoulders friend, letting him know that things will get better, or helping a stranger on the side of the road who is having car troubles. Nolan’s final episode is an earnest attempt to give a deserving end to a much-loved series. With cool gadgets, fast-paced chase and fight scenes, complex characters, and a story line that will keep you on the edge of your seat, fans of the Batman series will not be disappointed.