On July 20, 2012, director Christopher Nolans much anticipated finale to his Batman trilogy premiered worldwide. The Dark Knight Rises, featuring Christian Bale as the Caped Crusader himself, came roaring out of its opening weekend with a whopping $160 million in the US alone. This is great news for Warner Bros., as the movies budget had been approximately $250 million. After its summer debut, The Dark Knight Rises received high remarks from several sources of movie reviews. For instance, IMDb gave the movie 8.5 out of 10; Rotten Tomatoes ranked it at 87%; and Metacritic applied a 78% rating. Overall, the movie was well-received by movie-goers and critics alike.
From the opening scene, it is clear that no expense was spared in the making of this movie. Within the first ten minutes of the movie, the audience witnesses a fight in the sky between Bane, played by Tom Hardy, and the FBI. The entire fight takes place in the air, with the U.S. plane being torn apart by Bane and his followers. Take a look behind the scenes, and you will find a minimal amount of green screen and computer software was used to create this breathtaking opening scene. Instead, real planes flew through a real sky with real people in and on the outside of them in order to create the very real introduction to the movie. After these first few minutes of action, the audience is left in great anticipation for the next two hours of cinematic magic.
In addition to demonstrating how amazing the stunts and action of the film will be, the first scene also introduces the audience to the admirable, but mistaken character of Bane. As an opponent, Bane is truly a force to be reckoned with. Throughout the film, Bane and Batman face off in nearly every setting imaginable- inside a dark and dank sewer, zipping through the streets of Gotham on motorcycles, in a desert prison hundreds of feet underground, and on the outside steps of Gotham City Hall. Banes immense strength and skills in combat are apparent throughout these scenes.
However, the real source of awe in these scenes lies in the deadly determination of Bane to bring to fruition his own form of social order in Gotham. Time after time, the audience hears about Banes goal of tearing down the rich and corrupt of Gotham. Furthermore, Bane practices what he preaches, giving the audience an ample amount of examples of his dedication to the cause. For instance, Bane plans and executes a heist at the Gotham Stock Exchange, risking both life and limb to set up conditions for the next step of his master plan. Additionally, he refuses to change course even when paid a small fortune. No amount of pain and no amount of money is ever able to corrupt Bane. Bane is truly an unbreakable character.
This incorruptible nature is what makes Bane as memorable of a character as the Caped Crusader. As evidenced by decades of comic books and many movie adaptations, Batman is just as determined to bring justice to the City of Gotham. In his quest to help the downtrodden and the abused, Batman utilizes every bit of money, time, and energy at his disposable to achieve this goal. The fact that Batman faces off against an equally determined enemy keeps the audience on the edge of their seat every time the two confront each other. After all, neither is willing to give up, so surely one must destroy the other. Nolan does a fantastic job of keeping the audience guessing who will fail and fall all the way to the very end of the film.
With every release of a film in his Batman trilogy, Nolan has grown in his rich portrayal of not only the Caped Crusader, but the villain of each film as well. In this third and final installment, Nolan brings to life the world of Batman through elaborate settings and realistic stunts. The settings and stunts add to the real gem of the movie- the physical, political, and philosophical struggle between Batman and Bane. As both characters strive to change the corrupt city of Gotham, albeit through drastically different means, the audience is kept on edge. The seemingly undefeatable Bane carries nearly as much weight and influence in the movie as Batman, making Bane a truly unforgettable cinema villain. By creating a film not only about good overcoming evil, but instead about good and evil being equal matched, Nolan brings to life the best installment of the Batman trilogy.