The Dark Knight Rises

The amount of information about The Dark Knight Rises on the Internet right now is, well, overwhelming. The shootings in Colorado have certainly, and understandably, drawn a lot of media attention and created a tragic cloud over something that is supposed to be a joy in life.
I won’t get much into it, but what happened saddens and scares me. It seems in the world we live in now, the shootings could have happened anywhere and as David Carr so poignantly writes we’ll always be wondering why.

That said … I do want to talk about The Dark Knight Rises in all its heroic glory. I am going to have to write around certain plot points, which is going to be very difficult given the surprise role Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays in the film and well, you know, because I adore him so much.
First things first, to summarize Christopher Nolan’s trilogy conclusion overall, it does provide closure in all the right places and yet could stand on its own if someone who has not seen Batman Begins and The Dark Knight decided to jump on board now.
But for true fans hooked since the beginning, the film does pick up about where The Dark Knight ends. I had just watched that one before going to the theater Sunday, actually, and finished a refresher on Batman Begins recently as well. 
Compared to Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, the special effects, stunts and fight scenes are bigger, better, and more catastrophic for Gotham City in Rises.
Acting-wise I think Michael Caine’s performance topped them all for his character, Alfred, who was also very pivotal in the plot this time around. (Softies, like me, may shed a tear or two in some of his scenes).
Unlike the heroes, villains are hard to rank in the Batman trilogy. While Tom Hardy as Bane may have nothing on Heath Ledger’s the Joker, he was terrifying, even just by the look in his eyes.
Christian Bale continued to master the fallen hero with anger issues/fearless crusader with his mind set on saving Gotham City. And that voice, I am starting to wonder if it’s computerized.
And now, ladies and gentleman, the award for standout performance goes too … JGL!!!! Sure, Gary Oldman reprises his role as the top cop in Gotham City very well, but there always has to be a rookie looking to rise out of the shadows.
Nolan draws some comparisons between Batman and Blake (Gordon-Levitt’s cop character), especially with how they translate anger they’ve developed from their past into the will to help others.
Gotham City does need its heroes.
With all the anticipation for The Dark Knight Rises, I am sad its over. I do believe Christopher Nolan has walked away from his franchise, even though there is always the small glimmer of hope he would continue it forever. He’s just that good.
Since his brother Jonathan Nolan and David S. Goyer have been along for the Batmobile ride (and attached to many other of his projects) there is always the possibility they would be next in line to continue the comic book saga. 
I’ll be honest, here’s where it gets tricky. I clearly can’t say what happened at the end of the film, but it is not at all what I expected.
One article I read, I can’t find the link anymore but I think it was on HitFix, posed the question of “What does “The Dark Knight Rises” mean?

Is it related to Batman’s return to Gotham City in the aftermath of Harvey Dent’s death to face his inner struggles and fight Bane or a sign of what’s to come when his dust settles?
The answer is subjective. Nolan really leaves it up to the viewer to interpret his ending and what’s to come from it. Based on what I saw I want more, but if it has to end when the cute little boy sings the National Anthem, then it has to end.

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