The Dark Knight Rises

July 20, 2012 - You could call this third film in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy The Dark Knight Meets Inception. Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman reprise their roles from Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Nolan recruited Inception stars Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tom Hardy to fill out the cast. And, he convinced Anne Hathaway to sign on as Catwoman.

The story picks up about eight years from the end of The Dark Knight. Dear, departed Harvey Dent has become a symbol of Gotham's successful war on crime, while Batman is persona non-grata. He hasn't been seen in eight years and neither has Bruce Wayne. He's become a recluse, living with Alfred in stately Wayne Manor and paying little attention as his fortune fritters away.

But, a cat-like thief named Selina is about to change that. She poses as a waitress at a cocktail party to steal Bruce's fingerprints and a strand of pearls belonging to his mother. The theft draws Bruce out of his isolation, but it also leads him down a dark and painful path that results in a face-off with a pain-driven terrorist named Bane and a scenario that could see his beloved Gotham being blown off the face of the earth.

Overall review: *** The previous film, The Dark Knight, clocked in at 2.5 hours, which was longer than it needed to be. This one is even longer at 2.75 hours, which is a lot longer than it needed to be, especially since a lot of the dialogue is bad. There are good points, however. Tom Hardy shines as the villain, Bane, and gets the best lines in the movie; Anne Hathaway was better than I expected; Christian Bale can do push-ups like nobody's business; the chase sequences and special effects are great; and the door is left open for the series to continue.