First off, for those of you who have not yet seen what is perhaps the biggest movie of the year The Dark Knight Rises , stop here. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Now that that’s out of the way…
This film is certainly a fitting end to what many consider one of the best superhero series of all time. It is a creative blend of heart-pounding action and tender emotional content. The film opens 8 years after The Dark Knight ended. Since the untimely death of Harvey Dent, otherwise know as Two-Face, Batman has hung up his cape and Bruce Wayne has gone into seclusion. Batman took blame for Dent’s death even though he was in fact saved Gotham from Dent’s potential reign of terror and The Joker’s antics. Soon enough, however, he is called back into action as Gotham City faces its most dangerous threat yet.
In The Dark Knight Rises , Batman comes at odds with the villain Bane, who, it turns out, is basically the Occupy movement incarnate. He praises anarchy while encouraging “The People” to reclaim Gotham City for themselves. The rich, including Bruce Wayne himself, are demonized by Bane and his cronies and blamed for the increasing chaos in the fictionalized metropolis. Sound familiar? The conservative themes are heavy and less than subtle in The Dark Knight Rises . The villains are anarchist “Occupiers” while the hero is a sympathetic billionaire who uses his wealth to help out his fellow citizens. I couldn’t help giggling with glee when Batman looked at the camera and said “War,” echoing the popular phrase of late blogger Andrew Breitbart. Those on the left who claimed that the villain “Bane” was a symbol of Mitt Romneny’s company “Bain” obviously spoke too soon. The Dark Knight Rises is a conservative film through and through.
As the name implies, this film certainly became rather dark at points. The hopelessness residents of Gotham felt at the hands of Bane was palpable. The Dark Knight Rises is violent throughout, but not overwhelmingly graphic. It’s certainly not a film I would recommend showing to a 10-year-old. However, the violence is appropriate for the movie’s plot and doesn’t take away from the heart-wrenching emotions and inspiring theme.
Overall, I would give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars. I hesitate to give it 5 out of 5 because no film is perfect (however, this one does come close). It is no doubt the best film of the trilogy. I was certainly in love with the film’s conservative message, but what really struck me was the heavy symbolism. The Dark Knight Rises is not about Batman. It’s really not about Bruce Wayne either. Batman is not a man, he’s a symbol. As Bruce Wayne himself said, he is whatever Gotham needed him to be. In The Dark Knight Rises, the people needed hope and a symbol of unity. When that figure is unreliable, everything descends into chaos. With the political and cultural chaos all around us, perhaps we need a few more “Batmans” in our world today.
Originally posted at Lean Reviews