The Horn is excited to head to Dallas this weekend for the annual Dallas Comic Con held at the Irving Convention Center. You may recognize names like William Shatner and Nathan Fillion, but there's much more to DCC than television actors. Check out the premiere artists attending this year's con.
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Check out The Horn's review of Christopher Nolan's final installment of his Batman trilogy.
When we last saw Batman in “The Dark Knight,” he had taken the blame for Harvey Dent’s death and been outcast by Gotham. At that same time, Bruce Wayne outcast himself, becoming a recluse at the rebuilt Wayne Manor. He spends eight years holed up in his room, yet is quick to return to society after an encounter with Selina Kyle, a burglar hired to steal his fingerprints. When he tracks her down she warns that a storm is coming, one that will rock Gotham to its core and level the playing fields of the economic classes of the city. That storm turns out to be Bane, a super terrorist with a plan to crush Gotham in a move that is essentially Ra’s al Ghul and The Legion of Shadows revisited.
Batman is in a position to represent more than just himself as an individual hero; he stands for justice, vigilance, self-sacrifice, and standing up for those who don’t have the power or resources to do so.
The epic nature of this film cannot be understated, and it probably needed more than its two hours and 55 minute run time to pay fair dues to the how grandiose the action becomes. It takes a while for Bane’s overly complicated plot to come into focus, but once it does Nolan’s final installment of his Batman trilogy begins to shine.
This movie’s strength is also its weakness, however. What made “The Dark Knight” so effective was its relatively simple story. Batman versus The Joker. And what made it work so well was how true the story kept itself to what The Joker is and always has been: an orchestrator of planned chaos. Bane’s terrorist plot is so complicated, and his motivation so clouded, that it takes nearly the entire movie to pull everything into perspective. Rather than a complex path through a simple story, “The Dark Knight Rises” takes a complex path through an unnecessarily complicated story. As a result, the storytelling is a mess, though a mess full of great ideas that eventually manages to gel.
There are so many characters to introduce that the first act seems clunky and rushed, which sometimes makes motivations and connections difficult to decipher. We do get two great new additions to Nolan’s Batman franchise here, however: Anne Hathaway’s brilliant master burglar Selina Kyle, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s hotheaded young-hero-cop John Blake.
Selina Kyle is essentially the catalyst for Wayne’s return and Batman’s redemption, and her story’s resolution is both completely obvious and utterly satisfying. John Blake has the only real character arc out of everyone, and his final moments in the film may be the best and most rewarding moment in the entire trilogy. Every other element of the film is relatively straightforward: Bane does what he’s famous for in the comics, corporate greed threatens WayneCorp, Lucius Fox has all the fun toys, and not every new character is what they appear to be.
Though the epic scale of “The Dark Knight Rises” is a double-edged sword, what helps it pull Nolan’s trilogy together is how it sticks to Nolan’s central theme: the Batman being a symbol rather than a hero. Batman is in a position to represent more than just himself as an individual hero; he stands for justice, vigilance, self-sacrifice, and standing up for those who don’t have the power or resources to do so. And that point is made very clear in this movie with its final sequence.
This film sets the bar for comic book epics, even with its flaws. It’s not the best Batman movie ever made, but it provides great closure to Nolan’s run with the caped crusader. After all, how much deeper into the darkness of the Batman franchise can Nolan go?