In Batman Begins, Bruce fought a man that had deep, obscure connections who would try to bring down Gotham City using everyone's deepest, darkest fears as their own weapon.
In The Dark Knight, he fought a man who would push him to break his only rules of no killing and bring him into anarchy, no matter the cost.
This time, things are brought farther than ever before.
This would be a hard to do, review-wise, considering how impressively complex the film is, in every aspect. Story, character development, plot twists, technical, everything. Christopher Nolan's become a big name for a good many reason. Not the least of which has been recreating Batman for this new generation while retaining to Bob Kane's original idea.
When the news was unveiled tht Chris would be coming back, there was speculation of who the villain would be, with the popular idea being the Riddler (played by Johnny Depp). Finding out it'd be Bane, I admit, I was VERY hesitant, namely because of how Joel Schumacher had ruined Bane. I admit, even though I loved watching the 90's animated show as a kid, I never actually read the comics as a kid, so I didn't know how Bane was- a master manipulator, strategist who knew a couple secrets to bringing Batman down. And he's best known for his iconic image of breaking Batman's back in the first issue of the Knightfall miniseries.
For this film, things had to be taken far. Very far. Farther than we could imagine.
And Bane was incredibly well-done as a terrorist who actually was intensely terrifying, even if he wasn't completely faithful to the comics (he was Hispanic, not a Brit). Nonetheless, he was a mystery to behold, with bits and pieces of his past being told, and just enough to get under my skin.
It's been 8 years since the Joker and Harvey Dent/Two-Face went on an anarchic rampage through Gotham City, and though Batman wasn't the that did it, everyone blames him for killing Harvey Dent, Gotham's White Knight. To make sure Harvey's image was never tainted, Bruce made sure Batman was seen as the criminal everyone sought him out to be. And make Harvey the impeccable, noble lawyer he set himself up to be in everyone's eyes. And, in the process, Bruce has become a recluse, with rumors of how he may look.
Things get off to a strange start when, at an 8-year anniversary held in vigil of Dent's death, a woman dressed as a maid tries to get something and is caught doing so, but more than one thing is being set in motion. The obvious was what she was caught trying to steal. The less obvious... I'll leave you to see the movie for those details.
Nonetheless, we're introduced to Selina Kyle in a very classy way. And she does prove to be a mystery. As does the other potential love interest for Bruce, Miranda Tate.
Somewhere else int he world, a new terrorist has set in motions plans that complex meaning and many factors that will play into it all, not the least of which if painful fear.
Very soon after the anniversay vigil, we find out how manipulative Selina can be, and without any revealing details, I'll simply say there are many ways to get what you want if you know your way around.
Something else I really appreciated was the nods to the previous films. If a film in the end of a series didn't include nods to its predecessors, I would find it irritatingly stupid. In this case, it had appropriate nods to both previous Nolan Batman films, as well as substories from Alfred. Beautifully done, Christopher. Very beautifully done.
Something else I noticed (though after the film), that I don't think the director intended, was a Biblical theme that's next to never thought about. The world think s of political reigns and regimes as "rise and fall of", whereas the Bible (and now this film) has the theme of "fall and rise", even when "rise" is more of a challenge. Batman has many challenges of falling (including a horrifyingly great homage to one of the most notorious comic book images between Batman and Bane). And only from finding where his true strengths lie rising up to meet the challenges can he truly become stronger.
DKR also has a dystopian theme that, like any other dystopian films, presents the flaws of a society run by a truly crippling and terrifying dictator (in this cas, not a politician, jsut someone who's the epitome of ruthless).
In the end, this legend does have to end, and though I won't say how, loose ends are tied, mysteries along the timeline get hinted at and explained in different ways (not a single way was done wrong). Along with the last 30 seconds showing hope for the future, no matter what. All of it, beautifully done.
Only gripes I have were Bane's vocals, through the pretty loud background music, or just on his own, there were times I couldn't understand Bane. That's it.
Now, if you'll excuse, it's time I go back to watch the second movie I've ever watched more than once in theaters that count at all. And third Batman movie I've ever watched in theaters (great job, Chris!).