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“The Dark Knight Rises”
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality and language
Runtime: 164 min
Release date: July 20
Shrouded in mystery and now synonymous with tragedy, the finale of director Christopher Nolan’s Batman series rises above to be a piece of genius.
To crawl inside Nolan’s mind to see how it works would be a trip worth taking. From the opening scenes to the ending credits, creativity blossoms. In short, Nolan needs to make more movies for us to enjoy. His smart filmmaking shines not only in his work with the Batman trilogy but also in the Academy Award-nominated “Inception.”
Nolan not only is a genius but also lies. The one thing he said he’d never do in one of his Batman films happened in this one, but everyone was glad to see it. I won’t spoil it for you.
It’s a thinking man’s superhero movie. Batman once again is needed in Gotham to rid it of a new villain. But his alter ego, Bruce Wayne, is plagued by loss and doubt that causes him to question his continued role as the city’s watchman.
The performances are as impressive as the director. Christian Bale continues his reign as Batman, arguably the best actor ever to don the cape and cowl.
I was a little concerned with the casting of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, but she filled the role with sassy charm. Tom Hardy (“Inception”) bulked up to play antagonist Bane and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (“Inception”) continues to prove that his acting chops have grown up along with him on screen.
The rest of the cast is equally impressive. One of the finest actors in cinema today, Gary Oldman, returns as Commissioner Gordon, Morgan Freeman reprises his role as Lucius Fox and Michael Cane offers a heart-wrenching performance as Alfred.
Marion Cotillard (“Inception”) and Matthew Modine (“Full Metal Jacket”) round out the cast.
There’s a large gap in the middle of the movie when Batman is missing in action, but other characters keep your interest.
The film is almost three hours long but doesn’t feel like it. At some points action drives the movie and other times it’s the rich characters that hold your attention.
“Dark Knight Rises” is a fitting end to the trilogy. It’s hard to pin down which entry in this series is the best because they all are masterfully crafted.
No. 3 is a must-see, capping off a summer of super-hero action.
The charm of Nolan’s Batman series is that it offers a bit of the possible in the impossible. Part of Batman’s uniqueness is that neither hero nor villain has super powers and there’s no alien intervention involved. It’s just a rich man with limitless gadgets who fight villains who stray a bit to the crazy side.
But that charm also is drenched in reality.
While movies are meant to be an escape from the reality of the world, a violent act in Aurora, Colo., reminds us there are real villains in the world. A review would be incomplete without sending prayers to the victims of the theater shooting and their families.
Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741 or bowsley@the
newsenterprise.com. For movie reviews visit her reporter page at www.facebook