The trials and tribulations of Batman and his alter ego Bruce Wayne are never ending. Yesterday, this column reviewed 2008’s “The Dark Knight,” which is generally considered the best “Batman” film. It was followed by “The Dark Knight Rises,” which came out in 2012.
As “The Dark Knight Rises” begins, Batman has been missing in action for about eight years. At the end of “The Dark Knight,” he took the blame for crimes committed by Two-face. Despondent on these outcomes, Bruce Wayne (played by Christian Bale) has become a recluse, who has a beard and confines himself to the stately rooms of Wayne Manor. One evening, he meets Selina Kyle (played by Anne Hathaway), a cat burglar disguised as a maid, who steals his late mother’s necklace. Bruce does research on Selina, who was paid to get Bruce’s fingerprints. Soon, he learns that a powerful new enemy, Bane (played by Tom Hardy), is working in the sewers of Gotham City. Bruce feels he has to return to the bat suit.
Like the other movies in “The Dark Knight” trilogy, this movie is very ambitious, with complex storylines and multi-dimensional characters. Because of this, the story is more interesting than ones from most other superhero films.
Christian Bale is every bit as good here as he was in “The Dark Knight” and “Batman Begins.” He knows how to command the quiet, brooding Wayne as well as the fierce, determined Batman. Anne Hathaway matches his abilities with her sultry Selina. Like Batman, she is a skilled fighter who wears a tight black suit. Tom Hardy makes a memorable villain. Like the Joker, Bane has a distinctive voice. His is a thick British accent. Unlike the Joker, he is much more physically strong than the title character. This adds suspense to the fight scenes. Another strong performance is by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who plays Blake, a young cop who becomes an ally of Batman.
“The Dark Knight Rises” is a worthy conclusion to a great trilogy.