Okay, the bottom line...'The Dark Knight Rises' directed by the mega talented Christopher Nolan, is not only the very best comic book hero movie ever made, but in my opinion, it's worthy of an Oscar nod. That's how good it is.
The film, which was written by Nolan and his brother, Jonathan, with story by David S. Goyer, picks up 8 years after the death of Gotham's, D. A. Harvey Dent, as well as the demise of Bruce Wayne'/Batman's (Christian Bale) soul mate, Rachel Dawes.
For those of you who may have forgotten, Dent is the dude who went psycho and became the super evil 'Two Face'. Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) convinced Batman to take the fall for Dent's murder so he could implement extremely harsh anti crime laws.
And it worked. For the last 8 years, Gotham City has been crime free. Problem is...everyone thinks that Dent was a hero and Batman a villain.
And speaking of the Batman...He's been hiding out in his mansion, suffering from depression and an assortment of physical ailments. In other words, he is one messed up Super Hero.
But soon everything is about to change for Batman and for Gotham.
To quote Selma Kyle, aka Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) as she dances with Bruce at a charity ball, thrown by wealthy philanthropist, Miranda Tate (Oscar winner Marion Cotillard), 'There's a storm coming, Mr. Wayne.'
And that's putting it mildly. The storm comes in the form of a man known as Bane (Tom Hardy). Bane is a former member of The League Of Shadows. He's big, bad, brutal and extremely lacking in the looks department. In fact, the dude looks like an alien, thanks to a leather tubular mask that covers most of his face.
Oh and I should mention that Bane sounds a lot like, Darth Vader.
Terrorist Bane has two goals. Destroy Gotham City and crush Batman.
To say this guy has major anger issues is putting it mildly. You really can't blame him too much. He spent his formative years in a dark pit and most of his face has been destroyed. But hey, no one's childhood is perfect.
What I really loved about 'The Dark Knight Rises' besides the spectacular set pieces (74 minutes of the film was shot with the big Imax camera) the story hooks you on a deep emotional level, lifting it above your typical 'comic book super hero' movie.
Batman/Bruce Wayne is tormented. His heart is broken and he's lost his direction in life. Even his loyal butler Alfred (Michael Caine) begs him to get out of the house and start living again.
And eventually Bruce/Batman does just that....
The supporting cast, including Joseph Gordon Levitt as policeman John Blake, and Morgan Freedman, as inventor Lucius Fox are all wonderful.
Anne Hathaway, besides looking great in a cat suit, brings just the right amount of humor to her part.
The stunts, the vehicles, the action are just what you expect them to be and more. Plus there are a couple of surprises you won't see coming.
I gave 'The Dark Knight Rises' which opens in theatres Friday July 20, 2012, 5 bagels out of 5 (my highest rated film of 2012).
Check out our funny video for John's thoughts and his rating.
Two Jews on Film - By Joan Alperin Schwartz
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