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Dark Knight Rises, The (2012)
Friday, July 20, 2012
Intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality and language
Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Josh Pence, Nestor Carbonell, Alon Aboutboul, Matthew Modine
Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer
It has been eight years since Batman vanished into the night, turning, in that instant, from hero to fugitive. Assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon both hoped was the greater good. For a time the lie worked, as criminal activity in Gotham City was crushed under the weight of the anti-crime Dent Act. But everything will change with the arrival of a cunning cat burglar with a mysterious agenda. Far more dangerous, however, is the emergence of Bane, a masked terrorist whose ruthless plans for Gotham drive Bruce out of his self-imposed exile. But even if he dons the cape and cowl again, Batman may be no match for Bane.
Dark Knight Rises, The (2012) | Preview
Why Batman Dies
Back in 2009, Batman and Detective Comics came to an end after a long, illustrious publishing career. Batman himself was long gone due to the events of Final Crisis, and the end of these two issues turned out to be a sort of a eulogy for the Dark Knight. Neil Gaiman was pretty much given free rein to bring these titles to a close however he wished, and so the story known as "Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader" was born. Well, here we are in 2012, and another Batman saga is coming to an end. Christopher Nolan is bringing his own take on the Batman mythos to a close after a seven year journey that started with Batman Begins in 2005, rose to a crescendo in 2008 with The Dark Knight, and now is coming to a definitive (and hopefully appropriately epic) conclusion with The Dark Knight Rises. After this movie, Nolan says that Warner Bros. will have to continue their Batman film franchise with some sort of "reboot" because this will be an ending with no opening for further sequels for this particular take on Batman. I love that idea of bringing this trilogy to a firm conclusion, but if there's one thing I learned from Gaiman's "Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader," there's only way to bring any Batman story to a true, definitive, conclusion: Batman has to die.
Because of all the talk about how The Dark Knight Rises is the final movie for Nolan's trilogy and how it brings this story full circle and to a true, firm ending, speculation has run rampant on what that means for the fate of Batman. Will Batman die? He is facing Bane, the villain that broke his back and put him out of commission for a time in the comics. Will Bruce Wayne die but will the legend of Batman continue? Will someone take up the mantle of the Bat and carry on Bruce's quest after he's gone? Those questions won't be answered until the film's release later this week, but I just have this feeling that in order to truly end any sort of Batman story, it must end with Batman's death. I think it's very probable that's what happens in The Dark Knight Rises. Either that, or Bruce Wayne is killed but someone carries on the legend of the Batman to continue to inspire the citizens of Gotham City. I just can't see any other way of really ending any sort of Batman saga, and part of that is due to the insights of Gaiman's excellent ending to Batman's story in the comics.
In "Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader", an ethereal Batman gets to attend his own funeral. As he watches, he sees allies and villains alike come forward and share a few thoughts about Batman, who he was and how he died. All of these stories are different, but they all hold one common element; the fact that Batman does indeed die. When asked what he's learned by watching these events, Batman says, "The end of the story of Batman is, he's dead. Because, in the end, the Batman dies. What else am I going to do? Retire and play golf? It doesn't work that way. It can't. I fight until I drop. And one day, I will drop."
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