Both Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale have made it painfully clear, they're done with Batman. Which, if you're a fan of the character, makes the closing credits of "The Dark Knight Rises" very sad indeed.
The two have given movie fans one of the most powerful trilogies in film complete with three separate stories and a wealth of characters that evoked a wide range of emotions.
Nolan's stories were just that; amazing stories set in the world of one of the comic industry's darkest heroes. And the final installment in the series does not disappoint, it does those involved proud.
Batman has been out of the game for eight years, and along with his disappearance, Bruce Wayne (Bale) has become a recluse, holed up in a wing of his huge mansion. He is cared for by devoted butler Alfred (Michael Caine) and seen as a mystery by the rest of the world.
Crime has been cleaned from the streets with the Dent Act, and Gotham no longer needs Batman, or Police Commissioner Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) for that matter.
Crippled from his crime fighting, Wayne is content to spend his days lurking around the mansion until a new evil arises in the form of masked mercenary Bane (Tom Hardy). Bane, trained by Batman's mentor Ra's al Ghul and an ex-communicated member of the deadly League of Shadows, arrives in Gotham with designs on completing the League's destruction of Gotham.
Gotham needs Batman to return when Gordon discovers Bane's existence and network in the sewers of the city and lands incapacitated in the hospital. A young cop, John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who believes in the Batman, helps encourage Batman, a few years beyond his prime, to re-engage and help save the city from the madman's reign one more time.
A cat burglar named Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) is caught in the middle between Bane's forces and Batman, playing both sides of the fence to her own benefit.
Bane bests Batman, leaving a crippled Wayne in a foreign prison, as he continues his reign of terror and destruction on the wealthy citizenry of the city. Wayne is forced to watch a television as the events occur, unable to do anything to stop it. Slowly Batman begins his recovery, challenging himself and embracing his fear, as he plans his escape with intentions of facing Bane once more and saving his city from a destructive atomic bomb.
Great work from Morgan Freeman as re-occuring character and Batman confidant, Lucius Fox; and newcomer Marion Cotillard, as Wayne's business partner Miranda Tate.
This movie isn't about the action, though there's plenty of it. The 2 hour and 45 minute production is story-based and the ending does the series justice, wrapping things up nicely.
While "The Avengers" was a great comic book movie, "The Dark Knight Rises" is just a great movie period, set against the backdrop of comic book characters. The acting is amazing by all involved, the musical score hits the mark thanks to Hans Zimmer, and the film editing and direction, makes this one of the top films of the year. Even non-comic book types will enjoy this. I can't recommend it enough.