The film takes place eight years after the Jokers reign of chaos on Gotham and Harvey Dent’s death. I love the opening of the film, there is such strong dramatic irony between the audience and Gordon (Gary Oldman), as he knows the truth of what happened to Harvey and is feeling the guilt for covering it up, we know the truth, but he can’t tell anyone at this eulogy. We get the sense that Gotham is falsely recovering, but darkness still looms heavily over the city and Gordon knows it. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) is now a recluse after retiring Batman, but a new threat is rising in the form of guerrilla terrorist, Bane (Tom Hardy), and there is only one person who can stop him. Batman must return. Quite the set up indeed.
The newcomers, Joseph Gordon Levitt as John Blake and Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, both give good supporting performances, although nothing extraordinary, but they both inhabit their characters and do it very well. And then we get to Tom Hardy as Bane. It was always going to be one hell of a tough job following up Heath Ledger as the villain, especially when the last time we had seen Bane the character was in 1998 when he was grunting and repeatedly screaming his name like an absolute moron. Yeah, fuck you, Batman and Robin. That aside, Hardy as Bane is superb, and was really the perfect villain for the film He’s a villain who was physically superior to Batman, while also holding his own in the intellect department. His voice and actions are menacing and, quite honest, scary! Whilst Bane is nowhere near as compelling as the Joker, he is still a good villain for the film.
Now we get into the, ah, slightly controversial, smaller aspects of the film that I don’t really like or think could be fixed up a little (gulps and prepares for fanboy assassination, I STILL LOVE THE MOVIE). Okay, Bane getting *killed* by Catwoman still really, really bugs me. It’s probably my biggest complaint with the entire film, I just don’t like it. You build up this insanely strong character, this epic battle that is ensuing between the oppressed and the oppressors, Batman and Bane…and then you have him quickly get shot by Catwoman on the Batpod… I think it’s a tad lazy to be completely honest, and kind of disrespects the character that’s been set up.
- Batman sacrifices himself in the most heroic way possible. Yay Batman you did it!
- Bruce donates all his remaining assets to the orphaned children, tying up Blake’s story line…oh yeah, his name is Robin as well ;)
- Bruce Wayne somehow figured how to install autopilot on the bat…when he specifically said he didn’t? Okay… oh, we’re still going.
- Bruce somehow survived the explosion and is now having a wonderful time in some cafe that Alfred talked about earlier…
- Alfred is totally cool with this, and doesn’t lose his shit like anyone would when you just find out the person you just buried and cried over is literally sitting 10 meters in front of you.
- Blake takes up the mantle of the Batman. And END.
The Dark Knight is still a great film and a fantastic end to a revolutionary, artistic and entertaining trilogy. Personally, it is the weakest of the trilogy and just doesn’t have that same memorability and impact that the first two films had. But, it still contains superb acting, storytelling, music and characters, while also offering a nice, complete end to the trilogy.