|Still from The Dark Knight Rises|
Expectations are impossibly high for Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, the Finale to his epic Batman Trilogy. Fans of its two Predecessors however, have little to worry about here. This Installment introduces us to a battle-worn Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) eight years in exile after Batman is seen as being responsible for the death of Gotham's Community Pillar, D.A. Harvey Dent.
Gotham however is under-siege with the imminent danger brought-on by a menacing presence with a Terrorist Agenda, Bane (Tom Hardy). Although she appears immediately as a Foe, the beguiling Burglar Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) is called-upon by a soon to be out-of-exile Batman to save the City of its greatest threat yet. Will this be enough we wonder, and at what lengths will Batman go to in order to protect a City which continually has shunned him despite his good intentions?
The Dark Knight Rises is without a question a Work of Art. The Film is breathtakingly-shot, with some masterfully choreographed Action sequences and first-rate performances from the best Hollywood has to offer. At the same time, it presents some thought-provoking parallels to the World we live in and also Humanity today - if only we all had an all-consuming drive for Justice and Selflessness like Batman... Perhaps as we approach possibly a Post-Obama Era even, this Film needed to be made as a reflection of the Collective Consciousness and where we stand right now in the continuous War against Terrorism.
Bale as always can be counted upon to deliver and he does so once again with understated charm. A hardly-recognizable Hardy is terrifying to watch as Bane - deliciously ruthless, albeit lacking enough dimension for my liking, considering his outstanding range as an Actor. We never really get a true sense of what lies beneath his unquenchable thirst for Destruction. Gary Oldman as the vulnerable Jim Gordon and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake round-out what quite possibly is the Dream Team of Ensemble Casts. I however, cannot mask my excitement for Hathaway's irresistible portrayal of Catwoman/Selina Kyle, silencing any doubt that she could really pull-off that daunting assignment. Dare I say she might even find herself in-contention for her second ever Oscar Nomination?
If The Dark Knight Rises could be faulted for one thing, it would be that Nolan is over-ambitious. In what really should precisely be a Story of a Hero against a Terrorist, its potency is diluted with the abundance of too many integral Characters and the Story Lines accompanying them. This pushes the Film unnecessarily longer than it really needs to be, just-shy of the three-hour mark. Nonetheless, this still very much is a Blockbuster of another Caliber. Warner Bros. releases The Dark Knight Rises wide on July 20, 2012.