The Dark Knight Rises, the final film in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, serves as a fantastic bookend to the series. When I think of some of my favorite literary trilogies, the middle chapter usually remains my favorite. The idea of pulling from the first installment, leading into the final installment, and still telling a complex and fascinating story seems to pique my interest more than the beginning or end. This third film picks up on many of the ideas from Batman Begins and is sure to use a more epic canvas presented in The Dark Knight to express them. The ideas of morality and terrorism from the second film are still here, but they've been partially supplanted by ideas of class warfare and the personal salvation that Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) began to face the moment he fell down the hole in the back of Wayne Manor.
Batman has remained such a fascinating character because of how he has faced much darkness and continues to perservere. Therefore, writers David Goyer, Christopher Nolan, and Jonathan Nolan realize how to play with pushing Bruce to his limit and pay homage to Bat-writers from Frank Miller Scott Snyder. The rest of Nolan's crew are once again at their best. Tension-building cross-cutting and juxtaposition in the editing, a resounding and layered score, and some of the best cinematography for a noir-ish and stylized blockbuster... I can't say enough kind things and I realize that anything I say hasn't been said before. I do recognize some of the criticisms about the need for a constant level of action at certain parts, but the quieter scenes still stand out and are handled beautifully that their impact is not lessened by say a car chase or a fist fight. Nolan's filmmaking can be described as relentless. There is enough purpose to the chaos he presents to warrant study leading to a result that can feel weighty. I loved digging into Following, Memento, Insomnia, The Prestige, and Inception- but as a comics fan, I just sort of let these films pass by me and not think or pick them apart too much of it.
The cast is also great. Hathaway and Bale have fantastic chemistry and Hardy presents a new menace much different from those played by Neeson and Ledger. Over the course of three films, Batman has been given a very unique world to inhabit. I look forward to seeing if someone else will pick up the mantle soon. Sorry, nothing that unique to add to the conversation, but in this case I kind of like it that way