Christopher Nolan concludes the Batman series, which commenced with “Batman Begins” (2005), followed by “The Dark Knight” (2008), with “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012).
Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), the eccentric billionaire and Batman, has taken a hiatus from fighting crime saying “There’s nothing out there for me.” For eight years, Commissioner James Gordon (Gary Oldman) rids the streets of Gotham of crime. However, as night falls onto Gotham City, the Batman awakens.
Bane (Tom Hardy), a terrorist leader and a former member of the League of Shadows, with his imposing stature, casts a dark, overwhelming shadow on Gotham. Bane’s presence throughout the film is intimidating to both the citizens of Gotham, the audience, and at times, even the Batman. Born in darkness, raised in hell and trained by Ra’s al Ghul, Bane isn’t someone to trifle with.
Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Caine), Wayne’s confidant, worries for what lies ahead. Knowing Wayne’s heartbreak and his gross state of fatigue, Pennyworth explains to Wayne that Gotham “needs Bruce Wayne, your associates, your knowledge. It doesn’t need your body, or your life. That time’s passed.”
Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) is a master thief who, for a “clean sate,” affiliates with Bane. When she realizes that she cannot get what she’s looking for, and recognizes the ruination of Gotham, and particularly Batman, Kyle helps safeguard millions from death.
Bane takes control of Wayne Enterprise’s nuclear fusion device and modifies it into a weapon of mass destruction. He informs the world that if anyone interferes, the weapon would be triggered. Bane also obstructs all exits from the city and if any Gotham residents tried to leave, there would be no more Gotham.
Because Bane is physically more powerful than Batman, their brawls are successful in demoralizing and creating a sense of insecurity. All hope is lost when Wayne is crippled and imprisoned and Bane leaves him a last message – “When Gotham is ashes, you have my permission to die.”
Nolan’s approach to “The Dark Knight Rises” makes the film very realistic at times. Directing coupled with stimulating compositions by Hans Zimmer create fight and battle scenes that absorb the audience. Nolan complies with previous movies and introduces a new vehicle for the Batman. The Batwing, invented by Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), is the latest addition to Batman’s collection of transportation vehicles. Similar to some of Batman’s previous toys, the Batwing sees an untimely expiry.
The spotlight of the master villain is swung towards an apparently innocuous character. Villains seldom emerge victorious in the overall scheme of action-heroes. With the help of Kyle and the police department, Gotham recovers from what seems like an expected doom. Though welcome, the anti-climatic demise of the wrongdoers creates a somewhat gaping hole in the thrill.
The film is an emotional roller coaster filled with anguish, affection, fear, excitement and panic. Thought it deviates from some of the original characters, writers have not done injustice to them. All main characters are well established and undertake importance in the story line.