Seven years ago, Christopher Nolan embarked on a journey to bring a more grounded, realistic and mature Batman to the masses. And now in July 2012, the culmination of that journey has finally arrived.
I must confess, I myself am a Nolanite - I have followed his directorial career since the release of ʻMementoʼ and have always admired his ability to continually focus his films upon the principles of plot and characterisation, which is sorely lacking in a lot of Hollywood blockbusters.
The Dark Knight Rises sees Christopher Nolan return to Gotham City and reunite with his regular cast and crew, to deliver the final chapter of this incarnation of the Batman story. Set eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, Batman has disappeared and Bruce Wayne has become a recluse, holed up in his mansion. The Gotham he once knew is no longer a haven for criminals, but has purged itself of crime, due to the enactment of the Harvey Dent Act. That is until Bane, a masked terrorist comes to Gotham, to finish the work that Raʼs Al Ghul started. With the threat of destruction facing the city, Wayne realizes that the Batman must rise, one last time.
Such has been the anticipation surrounding this film that perhaps it never really did stand a chance of surpassing or even equalling the critical success of The Dark Knight. Unfortunately, the film didn’t live up to the hype. Although there can be no doubt that this is a technically exquisite film. The ever expanding and uncontrollable plot and the lack of characterization, which has been such a hallmark of Nolan’s previous films, leave this movie some way short of the genre defining The Dark Knight.
I would go as far to call this the weakest feature film Nolan has directed to date. Though in saying that, one must be conscious of the unparalleled quality of Nolan’s previous works. The Dark Knight Rises is a solid film. From the wonderful cast to Wally Pfister's jaw dropping cinematography, to the continually impressive musical score by Hans Zimmer.
I enjoyed the movie, but nonetheless it left me extremely disappointed. I was hoping for so much more. One thing is for sure though – this is without doubt the greatest comic book movie trilogy to date. What Christopher Nolan has accomplished with this series will perhaps never be bettered. Nolan has created a legacy, one that is more than just a man in a costume, scrambling across rooftops fighting crime. He has single handedly redefined a genre.