More than any other director, Christopher Nolan has made the superhero movie into an art form. With his films “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight,” Nolan managed to use the larger-than-life characters of the Batman franchise to produce compelling commentaries on real issues like vengeance and greed. The conclusion to his Batman trilogy, “The Dark Knight Rises,” is sure to be a box office smash when it opens on July 20. It certainly is one of the most anticipated movies of the summer.
What can be said about the film’s plot? The notoriously close-mouthed Nolan has not revealed much. What is known is that “The Dark Knight Rises” takes place eight years after the events of “The Dark Knight.” After taking responsibility for Two-Face’s murders and fleeing Gotham City, Batman returns to find it under siege from two new villains unlike any he has encountered before. Bane is a terrorist intent on destroying the city, posing both a physical and mental threat to the Caped Crusader. On the other hand, Selina Kyle (it is unknown if she is ever actually referred to as “Catwoman” in the movie) is a sleek burglar who uses high-tech gadgets to her advantage. As if those deadly antagonists were not enough of a challenge, the Gotham City police force is also against Batman, whom they believe is a menace – not a hero. Can the Dark Knight overcome the odds, as well as his past demons, to save the city?
Most of the cast from the previous two films returns for “The Dark Knight Rises,” including Christian Bale as the title hero, Michael Caine as his loyal butler Alfred Pennyworth, Gary Oldman as Police Commissioner James Gordon, and Morgan Freeman as Batman’s armorer Lucius Fox. Portraying the villains are Tom Hardy as Bane and Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle. In supporting roles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Gotham cop John Blake, while Marion Cotillard plays Miranda Tate, a possible love interest for Batman. Liam Neeson will also reprise his role of Ra’s al Ghul in a cameo, and Cillian Murphy is rumored to once again appear as The Scarecrow.
“The Dark Knight Rises” is sure to be a historic movie when it opens this summer. Not only will it probably break attendance records, it also serves as the end to one of cinema’s most intriguing film series.
Sean Quinn can be reached at email@example.com.