The Dark Knight Rises is Christopher Nolan’s conclusion to his Batman trilogy, and it is a fitting last entry to end an extremely popular and successful set of movies. Although I would say The Dark Knight is the most notable of the three due to Heath Ledger’s haunting performance as the Joker, I think the The Dark Knight Rises may be the best overall movie. Rises contains a perfect blend of action, drama, and emotion, interspersed with brief comedy; Overall, a much more agreeable mixture than the constant fear and disturbing emotional tension seen in The Dark Knight.
While the second film seems to focus more on the Joker and Harvey Dent / Two-Face than Batman at times, Rises sharply returns the focus to Bruce Wayne. Bruce’s emotional and physical challenges are at the core of the plot, making him much more open and personal to the audience. Christian Bale does a great job portraying these dilemmas and feels much more dynamic than the previous movies. Anne Hathaway and Joseph Gordon-Levitt also have excellent roles as new characters. Hathaway’s Selina Kyle / Catwoman is mysterious, playful and sexy. She does a magnificent job capturing the essence of the character, and is a fitting contrast and companion for Bale’s often serious Batman. Gordon-Levitt is also excellent as a hotheaded detective working under Commissioner Gordon. The main villain, Bane, is extremely physical compared to the physiological torment provided by the Joker, but he remains just as devious and terrifying. There are multiple surprises and twists throughout the film, ensuring that viewers will be stuck on the edge of their seat. And finally, the conclusion is very fitting; it ties up loose ends and provides resolution for the various plot lines, ending the trilogy in a very satisfying way. Overall, The Dark Knight Rises is a great final installment to a fantastic trio of films that should remain the gold standard for Batman movies for the foreseeable future.