By Natalia Messmer
When I was going to see the final film of the Batman saga, The Dark Knight Rises (2012) by Christopher Nolan, I did not have any expectations. My only concern was that the movie could be too long and at some point, boring (this is how I felt when watching The Dark Knight (2008) by the same director). However, all my fears evaporated instantly when I saw Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne, fighting for justice on the streets of Gotham City.
Eight years have passed after the events in The Dark Knight. Gotham City is now at peace thanks to the efforts of Commissioner Gordon and the police. However, a new menace appears on the horizon: a man named Bane, a brutal criminal, is planning to take the city under control with most cunning and dangerous modern technologies. Batman, falsely accused of the murder of Harvey Dent, disappeared from the city eight years ago. At the same time, an eccentric millionaire Bruce Wayne locked himself inside his manor and has not been receiving visitors due to his depression and health problems.
Such a promising beginning grabs the audience’s attention instantly and one is shown a new side of Batman: a weak person, suffering from a knee injury and walking with a limp, not believing in good and justice any more and, more surprisingly, not willing to risk his life again for society. A trivial accident (stolen family necklace in the Wayne manor) gets his attention and sets the hero back on track.
One of the new characters of The Dark Knight Rises is the burglar Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway). Having read in different magazines about the actress’ work on the movie, I was disappointed by her performance. True, the “cat”-burglar is sexy and smart, but lacks personal development. It is unclear which side she’s on (good or evil) and the only memorable scenes with her are when she rides a bike or fights kung-fu style.
The main villain of the movie is very threatening and convincing: behold Bane (Tom Hardy), the new “star” on Gotham’s criminal scene. He knows what he wants and how to get it done; he fears nothing and no one. It will be he who will turn the city to ruin and despair, giving Batman a lot to do in a short time (the threat over Gotham might remind of different apocalyptic scenarios in one of the most exciting series of the 2000-s, 24 with Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer).
The Dark Knight Rises is a perfect mixture of action and drama; it combines different elements of a successful movie: psychological conflicts, moral dilemmas, catastrophe scenarios and the one hero who can handle it all. However, for Batman this must be the end, since the film is supposed to be the last one of the saga.
I would like to mention the audience’s reaction in the cinema: one could feel positive energy in the room, people were excited about the film and could not wait for it to go on after the break (the movie is 165 min., which is quite long). At the end applauding has nearly started, which was for me a convincing sign of positive reception.