By Aaron Dickey, Contributor
“A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a little boy’s shoulders to let him know that the world hadn’t ended,” said Batman, one of America’s most revered superheroes, in the final installment of the Dark Knight series, “The Dark Knight Rises.” From the creative mind of writer/director Christopher Nolan, audiences are immediately encapsulated with emotion, taking them on a roller coaster ride they soon won’t forget.
Set eight years after “The Dark Knight Returns,” a new terrorist leader emerges by the name of “Bane”; dead-set on overthrowing Gotham City’s finest, thus forcing Batman to resurface despite his tumultuous reputation after the events of “The Dark Knight,” in which he took the rap for Dent’s crimes. Batman pledges to protect the city from the fate Bane has promised to inflict upon it.
“The Dark Knight Rises” is truly a cinematic experience to behold. The movie exceeded my expectations in terms of action and entertainment. The soundtrack highlights many of its incredible scenes, and at times, it takes your breath away. The film features excellent performances by the entire cast. Christian Bale is as always, a great Batman. Anne Hathaway truly becomes “Catwoman,” as Michele Pfeiffer once did. Although their interpretations may vary, both were equally effective. Tom Hardy as the main villain “Bane” completely shattered my expectations. One of the best superhero movie villains I’ve ever seen. The terror caused by him is completely believable and quite menacing.
The supporting stars such as; Marlion Cotilliard, Michael Cane, Gary Oldman, and others all did well in their respective roles. Now I know most will miss Heath Ledger as the Joker. I hope, however, people don’t compare Tom Hardy’s performance to Heath Ledger’s. The two characters are very different, both in their divisiveness and in their ability to withhold an audience’s attention.
The sheer size of the film is a spectacle itself, but surprisingly you don’t get lost in all the explosions and extravagant action scenes. However, I suppose there will never be a film made without reason to gripe. I found myself more worried about the pain from sitting than the emotional final minutes after almost three hours in a cramped theater seat. Despite the length, I highly recommend this film, because it is amazing. The film is a true lasting legacy in a long line of superhero story telling. One that is easily imitated, but never duplicated.