The Dark Knight Rises

Starring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Summary: The final chapter in Nolan’s Batman trilogy picks up eight years after the events of the Dark Knight. Batman (Bale) has taken the blame for Harvey Dent’s crimes, effectively making Dent a martyr and Batman a fugitive. As a result, Gotham has survived in relative peace for the last eight years without Batman. Suddenly a new threat arises in the form of Bane (Hardy). Bane’s plan is to rectify the social inequalities of Gotham by instituting martial law and giving power of the city over to those he feels are oppressed (i.e. the criminals). Batman is forced to come back to protect the city, but the years haven’t been too kind on him. Ultimately, Bane proves to be a much tougher adversary than Batman ever thought.

As much as I love this movie (and I really do), sometimes I wonder how different it would have been if Heath Ledger hadn’t died. His performance as the Joker was iconic, so much so that Nolan refused to mention the joker in this film so that it would not undermine Ledger’s performance. Don’t get me wrong, I think Tom Hardy is a great actor and he did a great job with Bane, but the Joker was definitely a hard act to follow. Having said all that, I feel the movie was very well cast. All of the actors owned their roles, especially Tom Hardy and Anne Hathaway. I know some fans were less than enthused over Nolan’s choices for villains and then the casting for those roles as well, but it turns out his instincts were right and both actors rose to the challenge. At 165 minutes this is the longest Batman movie ever made (also the longest movie Nolan has directed), and yet I never wanted the end credits to appear.

Trivia: Around 10,000 extras were used to shoot the Gotham Rogues scene in Heinz Field. Some of the Pittsburgh Steelers played Gotham football players, including Hines Ward, Ben Roethlisberger, and Troy Polamalu.

Rated: PG-13 – For intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality and language

Grade: A