There is an unfortunate rule to comic book movie series. The first movie is awesome, priming the viewer to the promise of excellence inherent in the title, the second movie is even better, as there is no character introduction necessary and that time allocated to great storytelling, and the third is absolutely AWFUL, taking on too much and just failing to deliver. That is not a problem for the Dark Knight franchise. The third Christopher Nolan Batman film maintains a tight grip on the Batman character and provides a nonstop thrill ride.
Describing it is quite difficult, as a great deal of the joy comes from the surprises worked in throughout the plot. I think what has made the movies work throughout is that they aren’t written like a comic book plot. They are structured more like straight action films. Perhaps that is why Batman seems so fresh in them. No matter how you look at them, the Nolan brothers and David Goyer have concocted their final masterpiece in the Dark Knight oeuvre.
Eight years have elapsed since the conclusion of “Dark Knight” with Batman taking the wrap for Harvey Dent’s crimes as Two-Face. In the environment caused by this lie, crime has all but ceased and Gotham has experienced an extended period of prosperity. However, with the advent of a mysterious masked man (Bane) on the scene the house of cards built by Batman and Commissioner Gordon’s gambit begins to shake.
What makes “The Dark Knight Rises” work is the way in which is interconnected with the other two. This may be what separates this franchise from “X-Men”, “Spiderman”, the original “Batman” and “Superman” movies, and “Fantastic Four” just straight up was terrible. “Batman Begins” built towards “Dark Knight” and both directly pertain to “Dark Knight Rises.” The plot is predicated off of the events of both, offering new challenges and characters, but at the same time improving and accentuation its predecessors. Ra’s Al-Ghul’s League of Shadows, as well as his jihad against Gotham from “Batman Begin” tie directly into the threat featured in “Dark Knight Rises,” while the lie generated by the creation of Two-Face and the fall of Harvey Dent is the fuel that lights the fire.
Again, avoiding specifics, what the movies does best is being a Batman movie. While admittedly not written like a usual Batman story, it maintains the spirit of who and what Batman is. Right from the start, back in 2005, the Nolans and Goyer got that Batman isn’t a cape and cowl or even Bruce Wayne. Yes he is a sum of those things, but added into the equation is an abstract idea. Batman is rarely seen by people, even his adversaries, so what he is becomes a larger than life idea that strikes at the heart of that which he combats. This being the case, the film concludes in a way that is the most appropriate. I understand that this review didn’t really explain much about the movie, but you should be watching it anyway . . .