The City Sentinel

Batman’s “Dark Night” trilogy concludes in glory: The best film of 2012, thus far

Patrick B. McGuigan Story by on July 23, 2012 . Click on author name to view all articles by this author. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
by Patrick B. McGuigan
Executive Editor
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Christian Bale returns as Bruce Wayne – The Batman – in Christopher Nolan’s new film, “The Dark Knight Rises.” The trilogy Nolan has crafted ends on a high note, with the best installment yet.
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Ultimately, nearly every performer with face time on screen contributes to the end result. The film’s most significant characters include Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake, a beat cop turned detective and Gary Oldman reprising his stellar presentation as Commissioner Gordon. There’s Morgan Freeman as Lucius the entrepreneur who keeps the flame of Wayne greatness alive, and Michael Caine in his finest performance yet as the faithful man-servant, Albert.
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But these foregoing words sketch less than half the brilliance of this motion picture’s stars.
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Tom Hardy is the villain, Bane, a sinner so seemingly unrepentant and a brute so deliriously evil that we cannot possibly find in his character a spark of sympathy, and yet by the end we do.
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Two powerful female performances emerge in this 164-minute movie – worth every minute.
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French actress Marion Cottilard as Miranda, for a time the focus of Wayne’s reborn affection for life, and Anne Hathaway as Selina is a cat burglar without peer, and every bit a match for The Batman’s brains and skills.
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Hathaway delivers arguably the most intriguing character in the story full of complexity and layers.
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The film script is faithful to the duality that has marked this series in each installment – the fight between good and evil is in every nation, every state, every city – indeed in every human heart.
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The effects, widely noted in the early reviews, serve the story ably.
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It remains a mystery that a graphic novel – an edgy modern comic book series – inspired these stories echoing realities St. Paul described in Scripture, and which the Russian patriot Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn evoked in his narratives: “The line between good and evil runs through every human heart.” Theologically, this is dangerous territory, yet it matches the tenor of our times.
Rarely has a movie intended as popular entertainment more deftly captured the sorrows and joys of life, the tension between liberty and license, between order under justice and tyranny under chaos.
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In the end, the brave young cop may set aside the structure and order that comes with a law enforcer’s badge – yet with good humor we are offered at least a hint that another story might be lying “out there” in Nolan’s fertile mind and magnificent technical ability.
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How many stories have evoked Charles Dickens’ masterful closing lines from “A Tale of Two Cities”? Too many, perhaps – but in this case, well done.
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If you love great film-making, the technology of modern cinema at its finest, see “The Dark Knight Rises” on the big screen.
If you admire and appreciate spectacular performances by some of the finest women and men that modern Hollywood can offer, go see these stellar characterizations at your local movie house.
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Go, if you love to see a tale that matters, well told – entertaining and yet edifying. Get to this movie so you can see for yourself why it will be one of the most successful movies of the modern era.
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This film has it all: spirit and flesh, love and hate, glory and ignominy, revenge and pity, mercy and justice, righteousness and venality, cowardice and courage, condemnation and redemption.
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“The Dark Knight Rises” is, thus far, the best film of 2012.

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