As interpreted by director Christopher Nolan and actor Christian Bale, Batman is a dark, brooding character.
In the case of “The Dark Knight Rises,” Batman — and his rich alter ego, Bruce Wayne — is about to hit bottom before he contemplates rising to previous glory.
“The Dark Knight Rises” is a long, complex presentation of a cartoon character. While bouncing at will, this movie is an odd mix of the old with the new. At once it is deeply introspective and serious, then nearly interleaves the absurdity of the old “Batman” television show. Intense character developments are overlaid with unfathomable, implausible scenarios.
The action is fine, but one shouldn’t care what motivates Batman beyond good, evil and the American way.
In the process of introducing new characters – Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) — we see Bruce Wayne defrauded of his business and fortune, and lose his trusted butler Alfred. Also, unbelievably, Batman is showing signs of age.
At his lowest, he meets Bane, who is a very formidable adversary on Batman’s best day.
Bane captures an injured Batman and sends him to a deep dark prison in Timbuktu. Then Bane manages to totally isolate the island of Gotham, having captured the police force and stolen a nuclear device. Gotham is under criminal siege; time for Batman to reappear. He escapes the prison and somehow finds his way back to Gotham in time to neutralize the nuke.
Compared to the Jack Nicholsons and Heath Ledgers of yore, Tom Hardy (Bane) is not very interesting, and the combination of so much personal angst weighs heavily on the fight of good versus evil.
I like Christian Bale in this role, but it is Hathaway that really performs. The movie is relatively dull and disappointing, with a fine ending that barely salvages it.
Jim Wigge is a retired engineer, Cazenovia resident and film-aficionado, who reviews movies for the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached through the editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.