Reader review: The Dark Knight Rises

My greatest surprise in The Dark Knight Rises was miraculously avoiding a tide of spoilers after the first midnight screenings in the US on 20 July. There are few things less welcome after watching a story unfold over seven years than to have someone ruin it by revealing too much.

I went in with just my fading knowledge of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight to go on in terms of Chris Nolan’s vision of Gotham. I find that it was a well-made movie, faithful to the source material but also adapted for a different medium in a new time. In closing Bruce Wayne’s story, Nolan looks at the growing gap between the so-called 99 percent and the elite, as well as more general themes like revenge, hope and sacrifice. It is a somber vision of the world through the lens of a powerful billionaire who puts on a superhero’s cowl by night.

The Dark Knight Rises has all the makings of a successful final chapter but don’t worry if it’s your first. Having seen the other two will enrich your viewing, immersing you deeper in the story. Having not seen them won’t ruin the experience because everything you need to know for the movie to make sense is revealed within the 164-minute viewing.

Bringing a popular story arc to a close has always been difficult – in books, in movies and on TV. This latest Batman series of movies, starting with Batman Begins, has been the most popular, most commended and most financially successful film version of the story since Bob Kane and Bill Finger drew him into existence in 1939. Millions of fans around the world have an emotional stake in it. A handful even turned ugly when some critics didn’t like it.

The film’s legion fans can’t face the idea that it isn’t universally loved. Many likely also can’t face that, for now at least, Batman’s story is over.

Top among that set must be the studio, which pulled in an unbelievable R12bn from the first two parts of the trilogy. Fortunately, director Chris Nolan has more than paid his dues. His 2010 surprise hit Inception brought in a further R7bn. This means he is free to be an artist and not worry too much about the details.

Having seen the movie, I can say I wish the director and his superb team would just keep at it but he had a grander vision. So I bid Batman farewell, for now

Disclaimer: This is an article written by a Channel24 user. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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