If there were ever a film that demanded the most hype, it would be the top of this weekend’s box office. The Dark Knight Rises is following one of the most celebrated superhero films in the history of the genre, as well as one of the most acclaimed performances of a villain of all time.
In fact, the question on everyone’s mind is not why this film took the box office. You’re not reading this article for that, because it was inevitable that Nolan’s conclusion would satisfy such a simple task. The true question is how it’s going to take all the records it’s going to break.
For a film about pain, it’s strange, inconsistent, and even foolish to include characters from the mythology of Batman that are associated with silliness, here meaning Robin and Catwoman. Robin may have been the result of Nolan mostly just getting along with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, an everyman who could rather use stretching his range.
The same all goes for Marion Cotillard. However!
Catwoman was planned. As Batman Begins hinted at Two-Face, so did The Dark Knight casually hint at cats in the future. As the plot’s theme for The Dark Knight Rises became clearer, it was more evident she was a misplaced character. The series needed some humor, but The Joker more than sufficed.
But don’t mistake this film for just another superhero installment because of its flaws. Nolan’s visual talent went for an exercise here rather than improved its form, and that’s still not saying very little. The man has talent, even though all his films look blue, and it’s clear he mostly pushed for a technological achievement this time around.
The script may have suffered to accommodate his visual flair, which aimed to create a flamboyant sense of grandeur. But the film succeeded in becoming grandiose. Relying on new characters to push the gigantic vehicle forward, the IMAX accomplishments are nothing less than extraordinary, and will surely draw in audiences wanting the summer blockbuster of all time.
And don’t forget, here Nolan has made a surprisingly human, and even sympathetic character out of a built billionaire. That’s no easy task. He captured the formula required to make a successful Batman film, and took it for one more run rather than expanding it.
As a final statement, I’d say Christopher Nolan didn’t intend a trilogy; he had too much story to tell, and tried to clump it up into one final film, out of exhaustion of being tied to the series. But it’s one hell of a ride, and regardless of its mistakes, it’s maturity and underlying ruminations are still leagues ahead of its peers in the genre.