The Dark Knight Rises is one of the most popular movies among my generation. It’s the final installment in the Dark Knight Trilogy, following the adventures of the eponymous hero, Christian Bale’s Batman. The movie was directed by Christopher Nolan and released in July of 2012. Since then, it has continued to rake in the money at the box office.
If you’re unfamiliar, The Dark Knight Trilogy is a series of Batman movies that began with Batman Begins, released in 2005. The final installment, The Dark Knight Rises, is the most recent movie in the series. While it’s great that audiences have been pleased by the movie, I couldn’t help but notice that many film critics seem divided on whether or not it’s a worthy film.
Why Should You Care About The Dark Knight Rises?
Well, let’s be honest. The Dark Knight Trilogy is one of the most popular film trilogies of all time. The first two movies, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, are still among the highest-grossing movies of all time. With a total box office revenue of over $1 billion, it’s fair to say that Warner Bros. was pretty happy with how the trilogy turned out.
So perhaps it’s not much of a surprise that the studio decided to end the trilogy on a high note, with a Batman movie that lives up to the legacy of the other two films.
Despite the overwhelmingly positive reviews that The Dark Knight Rises has received so far, it’s important to keep in mind that it is still a very popular movie among audiences and that its reviews aren’t exactly reflective of the general public’s opinion.
The Dark Knight Rises – An Unexpected And Worthy Endgame
Looking back on The Dark Knight Rises, I have to admit that I wasn’t quite prepared for how the movie would end. While I knewthat Bane was going to be the main antagonist of the movie, I had no real inkling as to how it was all going to play out. When the movie first came out, I remember thinking that it was a bit of a downer, mainly because it followed such a fantastic arc that Batman had taken us on throughout the movie. But once I got into the swing of things, I started to see the film for the masterpiece that it truly was. For those of you who may be wondering, here’s a brief recap of Batman’s journey so far.
The Dark Knight is set in the not-too-distant future, where a tyrannical figure, Commissioner Gordon, has banned Gotham City’s residents from wearing masks and using guns. To enforce this law, he created the Batman, a counter-terrorist unit that combats gang crime and corruption in the city. Batman is completely dedicated to fighting injustice and is willing to go to extreme lengths to protect the people he loves.
Four years later, we meet up with the Caped Crusader again. This time, he’s returned to Gotham with his arch-nemesis, the Joker. The Clown Prince of Crime is a larger-than-life character who has orchestrated a perfect plan to kill Batman and send Gotham into a spiral of chaos and crime. Using the resources of Wayne Enterprises as well as the help of two of his top-notch henchmen, the Joker sets about to fulfill his diabolical plan.
The Dark Knight Rises opens with a bang as two of the Joker’s henchmen, named Ra’s al Ghul and the Huntress, crash the billionaire’s birthday party that Bruce Wayne (Batman’s alias) was throwing in his mansion. They’re after the Joker, who’s disguised as a guest at the party. The Joker manages to escape via a secret tunnel and sets about to ruin Bruce’s life and kill those he loves. During the chaotic aftermath of the botched heist, Batman comes to the rescue and pursues the villain throughout the city, saving the lives of those who were in danger and stopping the Joker’s plans along the way. When everything is said and done, Bruce Wayne accepts his ultimate fate and dedicates himself to helping others, becoming the role model that the city needs.
In the end, The Dark Knight Rises turns out to be an unexpected and worthy endgame for Batman. While it wouldn’t be easy to top the amazing legacy that The Dark Knight Trilogy has, Christopher Nolan and his team of writers have done just that. Even in this day and age, of superhero movies and big-budget spectacles, The Dark Knight Rises stands out as the definition of a modern superhero movie.
What Is The Best Possible Ending To The Dark Knight Rises?
While some may argue that The Dark Knight Rises is a downer compared to the previous two movies in the trilogy, I beg to differ. In my opinion, it’s definitely an improvement. And that’s a big part of the problem. We, as movie fans, have gotten so used to the over-the-top action that we’ve come to expect in a superhero movie, that it took a special kind of genius to craft a story that didn’t feel like a retread of the previous two films. If you’ve seen them, then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
Instead of rehashing the same plot points that appeared in The Dark Knight and Batman Begins, Christopher Nolan and Co. came up with an original story that would work for the big-budget finale of the trilogy. And it’s a doozy. While much of The Dark Knight Rises’ story line plays out in a similar fashion to The Dark Knight, it still distinguishes itself by not being a direct remake or prequel. But instead, it feels like a complete story in its own right.
Like I said, much of The Dark Knight Rises story line plays out in a similar fashion to its predecessor. We first meet Bane as he’s being held prisoner alongside the other major villains, the Scarecrow and the Joker. The three are forced to take a pledge of allegiance to Ra’s al Ghul, who’s also being held prisoner. Once the other two villains have escaped, Bane vows to free Ghul and has him as their warden. Along the way, the two men discover a shared hatred for Batman, who is now considered a symbol of oppression, and set about to shatter that symbol by any means necessary.
But that’s not all there is to it. In the vein of the original Batman movie, there are several subplots that all play into Bane’s plan. First, there’s Emily Thorne, a beautiful and intelligent woman, who becomes entranced by Bruce Wayne. She helps him escape from prison and the two fall in love. However, she has a past that she keeps secret and that’s not one that Bruce is willing to accept. Second, there’s Thomas Wayne Jr., Bruce’s son, who believes that Batman is a disgrace to the family name and is determined to take him down. He goes so far as to drug and sexually assault his own mother in order to get his hands on incriminating evidence. Finally, there’s Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce’s loyal butler, who dreams of seeing his master walk the halls of Wayne Manor again. In order to ensure that happens, he devises a plan to help the retired Batman continue his fight against crime.
The Best Possible Outcomes For The Villains Of The Dark Knight Rises
Speaking of plans and schemes, let’s take a quick look at how the various villains of The Dark Knight Rises fare in the end. Some of them are winners, others are losers, but all of them play an important role in the big scheme that Bane sets about to fulfill.
The Joker is one of the most interesting characters in the movie. Coming off of the massive shadow he cast over the previous two films, many expected The Dark Knight Rises to bring back the Clown Prince of Crime. Instead, we get a very different and unexpected villain, whose entire goal is to ruin Bruce Wayne’s life through a twisted game of cat and mouse. He makes his money by selling counterfeit goods and ripping off businessmen. The Joker is a brilliant manipulator and that’s exactly what makes him such a danger. As much as I hate to admit it, he actually ends up being one of the most effective villains in the movie. His plan is very interesting to follow, especially since his motives change and evolve as the story progresses.
Of course, there’s also the issue of Bane’s plan. We knew going into the movie that he was the main antagonist. But up until the very end, we didn’t know just how dark and twisted his plan was. Once we do find out, it creates a complete narrative circle. Bane wants to destroy Gotham and its inhabitants, but he needs the help of the Joker and the other villains in order to do it. It’s a really cool plot twist and one that sets up the next film, The Dark Knight Part II, which arrives in theaters in March of 2014.