…based on Bob Kane’s Batman, written by Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan, and David Goyer, directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Tom Hardy.
The Dark Knight Rises, the third installment of the Nolan brothers’ take on the Batman Mythos, has been criticized and praised alike with heavy-handed gusto by media and culture critics. You’ll hear how it’s violent, bleak, self-indulgent. It’s epic, intricate, spectacularly visual. Dark Knight Rises is guilty of all. The film also carries considerable baggage: the crazy expectations that seem to accompany any Chris Nolan project, the legacy of the last film, the Dark Knight, which receives too much credit for a number of reasons, not to mention carrying the standard for the entire DC Comics/Warner Brothers line. A crushing weight, Man-of-Steel worthy.
And Batman and the Nolans are up for it. This is an awesome film. Awesome in its most literal sense. DKR pushes the boundaries of super-hero/anti-hero narrative. It engages in multi-layered, multi-generational story telling. It takes this version of Batman – a contemporary characterization that still retains the essential elements – breaks him down, examines his ethos, and brings him back from the brink. Visuals, performances, character arcs – its’ all there. The movie is a cut or two above…
And DKR does not achieve this in a vacuum. Nolan and company employ a secret weapon (that’s not so secret to comic book fans): years and years of great Batman stories from DC Comics, including Knightfall, which introduced the Bane character, but most importantly the great Frank Miller treatise, The Dark Knight Returns.