I have to say I did wonder what the general viewer would make of the last part of this Batman trilogy, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. Essentially, you’ve had the three stages of the Batman. His birth and source of training via Ra’s Al Ghul, his greatest battle against the Joker and Two-Face and now, his demise or retirement against Bane, depending on how you look at it. For the casual viewer, Ra’s Al Ghul and Bane have been added to the mix now. There is also an inferred reason why Bane wears that mask although it does make me wonder why he didn’t choose to where a prosthetic.
After the death of Harvey Dent aka Two-Face in the second film, ‘The Dark Knight’, it is some eight years after the Batman takes the blame for the murders, the Dark Knight is gone and Bruce Wayne (actor Christian Bale) has become a wounded recluse. Considering that over five hundred mobsters have been locked up, the three thousand plus police officers of Gotham City have managed to stop any big crime operation happening again. It isn’t until a lady cat burglar (actress Anne Hathaway) posing as a maid at a charity banquet at Wayne Manor infiltrates Bruce’s private quarters, breaking into his safe and although nicking a string of pearls, is more interesting in making a copy of Wayne’s fingerprints. It intrigues Wayne enough to find out not only who she is but what is needed with his fingerprints.
His absence and expenditure to on an alleged failed fusion power reactor because it is too dangerous for Gotham City has somewhat left Wayne Enterprises less than benevolent with its charity funding. It’s also allowed the activities of the masked Bane and his gang to take control of the sewers as a hideout to start implementing a diabolical plan which starts off with the near assassination of Commissioner Gordon (actor Gary Oldman) and to trap the entire police force. Bane also succeeds in draining Wayne’s money via a stock exchange deal gone wrong and capturing and arming the fusion power core as a bomb, using it to warn off the US military from entering Gotham City and releasing the criminals to take vengeance for their incarceration. Bane is also aware of Bruce Wayne’s alter-ego and steals the Wayne research transport and weaponry. Somewhere along the way, he also fights the Batman and nearly breaks his back before shipping him to Hell On Earth, the underground prison where he himself was brought up and nearly impossible to escape.
It is up to a weapon-less Bruce Wayne to have his back repaired (should I say holy slipped disc?!) and escape the prison and beat Bane. Any more than that, is definitely spoiler territory.
There is a lot of movement in this two hour twenty minute film and the most surprising thing is reducing Alfred’s role when you would have thought he would have stood by Bruce. Then again, had Alfred been around, he would surely have died trying to stop Bane stealing the Batman armoury or tried to rescue Wayne from his prison. As such, I can accept his absence but less the reasoning behind it.
I’ve only touched on the cat burglar’s role through out all of this. If anything, she becomes more of a supporting character than a real nuisance to the Batman. The absence of Commissioner Gordon, laid up in bed after being shot for a chunk of the film, means much of the real running around is placed in the hands of an up-and-coming new detective John Blake (actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt). It does make you wonder what happened to Gotham’s detectives as they surely weren’t amongst the police numbers stuck underground.
There are areas which you’re not supposed to think over too much. Like how did a special forces unit get into Gotham City from outside and did Bruce Wayne find the same way back in or have another way, when they were warned any intrusion would have meant an immediate detonation of the bomb. If it was so viable, why not risk sending more forces in rather than have Bane hold the rest of the USA to ransom by not interfering. I mean, they wouldn’t really have anything to lose, especially if they discovered that the bomb would ignite regardless after 23 days.
Something else to ponder on is just what did those prisoners in the ‘Hell On Earth’ eat? Was food thrown down to them or did they grow their own in that little hole of sunlight?
The Batman might have saved Gotham City but even a fusion reaction would have had some fall-out which would surely have killed all those nearby eventually.
It’s an interesting film but there are too many convenience plot elements to take certain things out of the equation. I mean, why would James Gordon’s wife leave him considering she survived far worse previous to the eight years calm after the last film? Alfred (actor Michael Caine) deciding to leave than see Bruce Wayne die doesn’t have much faith in him. Lucius Fox (actor Morgan Freeman) seems to lead a charmed life in the art of survival.
Unlike the previous two Dark Knight DVDs, this version only has one DVD and a single extra, looking at the life of Bruce Wayne. All other such goodies are left for the Blu-ray version which I think is grossly unfair and is an increasing trend amongst the SF and comicbook blockbusters in the latter half of 2012. If I hadn’t wanted to review the film and got this copy at low price, I think I would have waited even longer for either the price to drop lower after its customary three months out or for the hope of a DVD special edition. I sincerely hope the studios change their mind over this new policy as quickly as possible.
(Region 0 (the US piracy warnings are a giveaway: pub: Warner 5000151239. 1 DVD 160 minute film with limited extra. Price: £ 9.99 (UK) if you know where to look)
cast: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Tom Hardy and Morgan Freeman
check out website: www.warnerbros.com