Review of the movie have been mixed and the third movie suffers by virtue of not being able to delight and surprise; expectations from the audience are elevated, and the bar was already set pretty high with the first two movies.
Nonetheless, I highly recommend you discard the negative reviews and the marred launch from the truly awful Colorado tragedy - tell me gun control is not required now - and GO SEE THE MOVIE. Make up your own mind. As a movie experience it's pretty fantastic and well worth slogging through the nearly 3 hour running time; you don't want to have to go the toilet as you'll miss key elements of the third act.
I don't intend this commentary to be a spoiler, but you should stop now in case you think I give away any of the movie.
So in summary, after the events of the first movie - the swell of the criminal world in Begins; the surge and eventual becalming of crime in The Dark Knight, the 3rd movie opens with a city that is calm and at peace and on the rise. Inequity in rife but present, and the city is almost screaming out that it's all about to end, yet no-one is really listening. And into this. Batman emerges as (much) older, mourning and burdened with a worn-down body. He's not the man he used to be - in the first act, it's easy to see how he is both drawn back into the world and seduced at the same time by the stunning Anne Hathaway, playing the role of a 'catwoman' without ever been called that.
The rise of the criminal Bane is breathtaking to behold, and the easy collapse of the calm world without much effort - a poor nod to the effects of finance and banking blandly executed - as is the humbling of our hero and the shattering of everything he thought he was. It hurts to watch - not only from the physical torment, which is pretty brutal - but also the mental shattering that goes with it. Unlike real people who's mind breaks though, Mr Bat recovers quickly enough with lots of press-ups and grim determination.. if only life were really that easy!
Unfortunately, the third act has both some fantastic twists worthy of this movie and carries on the dark vision of the world.. and then ends with the most Disney of endings I never expected to see. All the buildup, all the pain, all the reality about the fragility of life and the futility of men's deep plans.. has such a happy ending I walked out feeling like I'd eaten too many lollies (which I had).
Ah well. Work past that ending, and focus on the events leading up to it, and you have gritty truths on what it means to plan, to age, and to see what you thought was something different, actually unravel quickly and be shown to be nothing more than folly.
Mr Batman speaks to those who have hit 40, and presents a view that is very sharp and very familiar to anyone who's been there and come back. It's a stark reminder for the career minded who focus so much on what they are doing that they are lost inside the monster they create; Batman in his alter-ego, for most folk I would guess their work, business, stage persona or other 'this is me' activity.
Batmans denouement is not his realisation that he is mortal; that's easy. It's the revelation that in the moment he makes all the difference, moments later that difference is gone and the world has moved on, leaving him with breakages that cannot be repaired. He has to do his piece, but he has to step aside and let other's do the same and more. In creating the symbol of hope, in creating the persona to rally around and nurture, he needs to exit and let others carry on.
It's humbling. It's a solid parable for anyone too wrapped in what they do so much they can't get past it.
GO SEE THE MOVIE.
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Comment by richwill, on 24-Jul-2012 14:12
Well said Antonios. It is the rarest of occasions that a theater erupts into applause at the end of a movie and The Dark Knight Rises had it in spades.
My teenage son and his mate were raving about the movie all the way home. The twists and turns resulting in an ending that opened up opportunities for future directors to explore beyond the solo Knight was epic (note the careful anti-spoil crafting).
This is definitely one for the Blu-Ray collection. One of the most enjoyable movies I’ve seen in a great while. Go see it!!
Comment by kiwitrc, on 24-Jul-2012 14:28
Have to say this re your gun control comment, the guy who did the shooting said I am the Joker and proceeded to shoot em up. Maybe fewer Batman movies or less violent movies may work better?