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Movie Review – The Dark Knight Rises

Eight years ago on my 16th birthday I went to a midnight screening of Batman Begins with my father and a few friends. I was excited for a new Batman movie, but I had no idea what I was about to get invested in. At the end of the movie when Batman flips over the Joker card everyone went nuts. I knew we were in for a sequel or two, but I never could have guessed the magnitude the following films would have on my love for the Caped Crusader. The Dark Knight was so good I saw it in theaters 10 times, with three of the viewings occurring in the first 24 hours of the film’s release. So itʼs very easy to say that Iʼve been patiently (hah!) awaiting this movie for quite some time.

***SPOILERS AHEAD!***

The movie opens with the IMAX scene that was shown before Mission Impossible, where we are introduced to Bane and they take down a plane in midair. We then cut to a squeaky clean Gotham City. No one has seen Batman in eight years, who as far as the public knows and still believes is the murderer of Harvey Dent. But not only have we not seen Batman in eight years, apparently Bruce Wayne has become a recluse as well. Heʼs compared to Howard Hughes by the other members of Gothamʼs high society. With Gotham being clean it seems there is no longer a place for Batman, but it doesn’t look like Bruce has moved on from the mantle.

I know itʼs early, but I feel like I canʼt get more in to the story without giving away a lot of the story. But what I can tell you is this: the first half of the movie is slow. Some parts are even a little hokey. I was sitting in the theater thinking to myself, “What if this movie sucks? Iʼll never be able to live this down with all the hype Iʼve given it.” But the movie does pick up. And when it picks up, it really gets moving. I found myself on the edge of my seat wondering how everything was going to play out. The ending is nothing short of perfect. I already know thereʼs a lot that people are going to bitch about and some people might not like the ending, but I think it was exactly how it needed to end. I was actually sitting in my seat smiling when the credits began to roll.

Michael Cain plays an Alfred Iʼve never seen before. Heʼs upset that Bruce still feels the need to have Batman be a part of his life. He really just wants to see him put Gotham behind him and start his own life. Their relationship gets tested pretty hard in this film, which was different to see, but I enjoyed it. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays John Blake, a cop whoʼs had a bit of a rough upbringing, but wants to do good no matter the cost. As always he does an amazing job, but he plays a much larger role than I originally thought he would (no complaints here). Anne Hathaway nailed the role of Selina Kyle. After watching her I canʼt think of anyone who couldʼve done a better job. Sheʼs the Catwoman Iʼve always wanted to see on camera. It was like she was pulled straight from the comic book. Sheʼs sly, sexy, manipulative, and everything else I wanted to see.

I must say that Tom Hardy does an absolutely outstanding job as Bane. His voice is exactly how Iʼve always pictured it in the comics, and he had the attitude and body language of the character down to a science. I was shocked at how often I had to remind myself that it was Tom Hardy while watching the movie. His fights are incredible, but along with his physical scenes, his crime scenes were also done very well. His presence on screen is so overpowering at times you feel threatened just watching him. Bane is definitely the biggest villain weʼve ever seen Batman face on the big screen and any future Batman movies will have to really up their game to beat Christopher Nolanʼs take on this character. He does super crime without overdoing it or making it campy. All the threats Bane dishes out to the city of Gotham feel real.

The last eight years of my life have been wrapped around this series, and more recently this specific movie. Waiting for the next bit of news to pop up on the internet. Waiting for a new trailer to come out. Looking for casting news, big or small, on what characters would come to life through Christopher Nolanʼs eyes. After eight years Christopher Nolan has brought an ending to what will be one of my favorite trilogies of all time. Heʼs raised the bar to a level that may not be reached again in a Batman film, and Iʼm 100% okay with that because I will be watching this movie over and over and over again. This movie gets the easiest 5 out of 5 Nerdskulls that Iʼve ever given. Thanks for this awesome ride Christopher Nolan, and for giving Batman fans all over a new standard of awesome.

Born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, I am a new generation of Nerd. I earned my nerdy education from years of watching television and film as well as reading countless comic books. I gained my masters degree in nerdiness by working at Maximum Comics and hosting for Nerdlocker.