The third movie in director Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, is now difficult to be seen outside of the context of a horrific act of gun violence by a mad man and the follow-on to one of the most successful films of the last decade, 2008's The Dark Knight. However, to me, it was my most anticipated film of the year because it is the new film by my favorite director. Nolan's previous film was the brilliant Inception, my favorite film of 2010.
The Dark Knight Rises stars Oscar winners Christian Bale, Sir Michael Caine, Marion Cotillard and Morgan Freeman. Also in the cast are Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman. The film's screenplay was written by Nolan and his brother Jonathan Nolan. The film's story is credited to Nolan and David S. Goyer (Dark City, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight).
As expected, the film has set the box-office aflame, although not at quite the same torrid pace of the record setting The Dark Knight. That movie made over $1 billion worldwide, and grossed $533 million dollars domestically. It has a current rating of 94% on rottentomatoes.com while the sequel has a rating of 87%. The sequel The Dark Knight Rises grossed $353 million domestically in the first 17 days of release, which is about 11% below where The Dark Knight was at that point.
So, which film is better? I would unequivocally answer that The Dark Knight Rises is the better movie, and clearly the best of Nolan's Batman trilogy. Having seen the film twice in its first two weeks of release, I can summarize the high points of the film.
They are: Hathaway's performance as
The script is engaging, and includes some very nice twists and surprising reveals at the end. That is not to say that the plot hang together completely, but the central questions posed by entire trilogy such as "What are the implications and complications of an ordinary man with extraordinary resources who decides to put on a mask and fight crime and evil in a crime-ridden city?" The way Nolan resolves these issues in the third film are extremely satisfying and one walks out of the theater appreciating the way the three films work together as a cohesive and continuous story.
The Dark Knight Rises is not just an excellent example of a summer superhero movie but is also an example of simply a very good film, and finding one film which is able to exist as examples of both of these is quite a rare thing indeed.
Title: The Dark Knight Rises.
Director: Christopher Nolan.
Running Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes.
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some sensuality and language.
Release Date: July 20, 2012.
Viewing Date: July 23, 2012 (and July 28, 2012).
Overall Grade: A/A+ (4.083/4.0).