The Dark Knight Rises has finally arrived, and since the filmmakers and star Christian Bale have already announced that it will be the final chapter in their illustrious bat-trilogy, for the first time in nearly a decade there is no new Christopher Nolan Batman film to look forward to.
And while The Dark Knight Rises is a remarkable triumph, tremendous achievement and thrilling experience, it’s still hard to call it a perfect film due to an unnecessarily long running time, an arguably too-late-to-have-the-intended-emotional-resonance plot twist, and several narrative logistical problems.
I also could have done without a menopausal Alfred getting misty-eyed every time he’s on screen.
Regardless, even if over time it becomes clear that TDKR is in fact the weakest in The Dark Knight trilogy, it remains a spectacular film that provides Bat-fans everywhere with an epic cinematic adventure for the Caped Crusader and serves as a worthy conclusion to one of the greatest film series of all time.
Here are the 3 best things about The Dark Knight Rises:
1) ANNE HATHAWAY
If The Dark Knight Rises proves anything, it’s that Chris Nolan knows what he’s doing when it comes to casting. Despite an initial lack of enthusiasm for the news that Heath Ledger would play the Joker in The Dark Knight and Hathaway Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman) in its sequel, both actors went on to steal the show in their respective films with fantastic, faithful and wholly original interpretations of Bat-villains.
So, pretty much the opposite of this polar bear slipper-wearing ass.
In TDKR Anne Hathaway’s Selina Kyle is crafty and cool, and every time she’s on screen the actress exudes a morally ambiguous charm while kicking ass as Gotham’s most dangerous and notorious cat-burglar.
2) IT PUTS BRUCE WAYNE BACK IN THE SPOTLIGHT
If I had one complaint about the brilliant film The Dark Knight, it’s that when compared to its predecessor Batman Begins, TDK spent significantly less time showcasing and focusing on the emotional development of Bruce Wayne, which resulted in the film having a lesser character arc for the Caped Crusader.
However, The Dark Knight Rises puts the character of Bruce Wayne / Batman back in forefront, and although it may have several significant plot holes, in many ways the film manages to combine the grandeur of The Dark Knight’s story with the intimacy of Batman Begins attention to Bruce Wayne.
In many ways, The Dark Knight Rises is a true hybrid of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, due its shared emphasis on Bruce Wayne’s personal struggle and its epic (albeit inferior to TDK’s) narrative.
3) IT’S A DEFINITIVE ENDING
With the record-breaking success of this summer’s The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, comic book movies have never been more valuable to the studios that produce them than they are now.
Which is why most comic book movies have, and will continue to, leave the door open at the end of the film in order for there to be sequel potential. What’s remarkable about Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises is that it is a final and definitive end for his Batman universe.
While it’s likely the Batman franchise will continue in 2016, the character won’t be played by Bale and will exist outside the Nolan-verse we saw in Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.
As a result, Nolan is able to do something that filmmakers of movies like Iron Man, The Avengers, X-Men – even Superman — have never been able to do. Christopher Nolan gets to say good-bye.
Despite the fact that the film may have more flaws than his previous two Batman films combined, there’s no denying that with the ending Nolan crafts in The Dark Knight Rises that he offers fans something that is very rare when it comes to comic book movies — closure.
Nolan’s Bat-swan-song is fitting and epic, and when you consider that the chances of such an insanely lucrative franchise ever showcasing such a definitive end for their star character again are virtually nil, it makes you appreciate what Christopher Nolan has done even more.
The cinematic journey Nolan’s Batman took may have been finite, but the grandeur of the groundbreaking and unique superhero he created is not. Christopher Nolan’s Batman will endure.