It's been eight years since the events that transpired in The Dark Knight. The death of Harvey Dent a.k.a. Two-Face (Aaron Eckhart), of which Batman (Christian Bale) has taken the blame, has propelled the once criminally infested city of Gotham into a society of lower crime rates under the Dent Act, a law that prevents criminals from getting parole and early releases.
Knowing this law is founded on lies and following the demise of his beloved Rachel Dawes, Bruce Wayne has become a recluse, hiding behind the walls of Wayne Manor. But “a storm is coming.” Beneath the seemingly peaceful metropolis, an underground revolution is brewing, led by Bane (a chilling Tom Hardy), an ultra-strong terrorist who will soon bring Gotham to its knees and reckoning. So Batman must rise again to save a city that has wrongfully scorned him.
In a season filled with popcorn-ready superhero summer flicks, TDKR is, ehem, the darkest and most gripping. Laced with Nolan’s signature brooding tone, the trilogy capper taps into classic film sensibilities. There’s a lot of melodrama involved, especially between Alfred (Michael Caine) and Bruce, whose adoptive father-son relationship hits a cathartic ultimatum, but it never borders on “too much.” A lot of the scenes (some of them shot in IMAX) have a sense of foreboding, especially when Hans Zimmer’s suspenseful score of banging percussions cues the audience for the potent terror about to be unleashed. The scale of its themes--war between good and evil, drawing moral lines, socio-economic crisis, anarchy, revolution and redemption–are a staggering practice of old school storytelling that you’ve seen both in film and in literature.
In a way, it seems like Nolan is alluding or paying homage to some of cinema and literature’s best and brightest; think Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather), think Roman Polanski (Chinatown), think Charles Dickens (of which his masterful A Tale of Two Cities served as the director’s inspiration and is even quoted at the end of the film), only instead of a Mafioso or a French revolutionary you have a man in a bat suit.
Next: Christian Bale, still in top form