The Wright Stuff Reviews: “THE DARK KNIGHT RISES”


Directed by Christopher Nolan

Written by Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan

Starring Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon Levitt and Tom Hardy


“Holy Epic Batman!!!!!!”

If young Dick Grayson had witnessed the 2 hour and 40 minute monstrosity that is Christopher Nolan’s “THE DARK KNIGHT RISES”, I feel that these would have been the only words that he would been able to muster…as “EPIC” certainly and appropriately fits the bill.

After 4 agonizing years of waiting, the Caped Crusader makes his much anticipated return to the big screen in this, the blistering finale to the now classic trilogy that began with 2005’s “BATMAN BEGINS” and 2008’s “THE DARK KNIGHT”. A trilogy that I would rank with the best of the best, be it the original “STAR WARS” trilogy, which for sheer quality and scope it surpasses and of course “THE LORD OF THE RINGS”. Pretty heady company indeed, but absolutely deserving. And Nolan does not let this series end on a whimper. No my friends…he takes out the Batman Saga in a glass shattering, ear drum popping roar!

In “THE DARK KNIGHT RISES”, eight years have passed since the events in “THE DARK KNIGHT”. Gotham lives in relative peace and Bruce Wayne resides in Wayne Manor, a recluse hiding form public view, the Bat Cowl seemingly hung up forever. But there is something on the horizon, something menacing, and something evil that just might stir the Dark One out of his self imposed prison sentence: an evil in the form of Bane. Forget The Scarecrow. Don’t even fear The Joker. Never before has Batman faced an opponent as formidable as Bane, a vicious mercenary with the hulking physique of a bodybuilder, shaven head and a grotesque mask leaving him a towering cross between Darth Vader and, well….Satan I guess.

Bane you see has come to Gotham to finish the job started by the late Ra’s Al Ghul. Wanting to bring the city to its knees and leave it in ashes, he punishes it for its sins, greed and decadence. Matching Batman in cunning and far surpassing him in physical strength, the outcome of his plan is up for grabs until the very last breath; truly a citywide showdown for the ages. One army led by Bane, the other by The Dark Knight. It stands as on the great climaxes in film history.

Returning to aid Batman are Bruce Wayne’s loyal butler Alfred (Michael Caine), weapons expert Lucious Fox (Morgan Freeman) and Police Commissioner Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman). Among the new faces are Blake, a young idealistic Police Officer played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt; Miranda Tate, a member of the Wayne Enterprises board of executives played by Oscar Winner Marion Cotillard and last but certainly not least, Selena Kyle, a very familiar Cat Burglar played deliciously by Anne Hathaway.

I just want to talk about Anne Hathaway for a moment. When I first starting seeing images of “THE DARK KNIGHT RISES”, one of the first I saw was a shot of Hathaway in her Catwoman getup, straddling the Batpod. I was, like a lot of people, VERY skeptical that 1) Catwoman would even be a credible character, and 2) that Hathaway would be able to pull it off. Well, rest easy because she is just terrific, pulling off a nearly impossible task, bringing great credibility to a very chancy character that could have sunk the film.

As for Bane, with his massive build, menacing swagger and distorted voice, Tom Hardy takes one of the Comics great heavies and makes him one of the screens great villains. He is terrific, all eyes and body language. Not an easy thing to pull off…

The rest of the cast is top drawer as well. Bale brings his usual seething authority to the dual roles of Bruce Wayne and Batman. Caine, Freeman, Levitt, Cotillard and the rest bring their “A” game as well, which at this point is to be expected in anything directed by Christopher Nolan.

As for the film itself, Nolan has created a massive tale, the first real Superhero Epic since 1978’s “SUPERMAN”. Bringing all of the threads of “BATMAN BEGINS” and “THE DARK KNIGHT” to their conclusion with equal parts gripping character study and mind blowing action, “THE DARK KNIGHT RISES” will easily rank as the best film of the Summer and one of the best of the year.


Roy Wright

The Wright Stuff