July 20, 2012 The Dark Knight Rises
Studio: Warner Bros. Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality and language.
It's been eight years since Harvey Dent's death...a murder that Batman took the fall for.
No one except Commissioner Gordon knows that Dent had actually transformed into the villain Two-Face...and that Batman had saved the city.
In the wake of the former DA's death, Gotham has cleaned up its streets. With Batman retired and thousands of gang members behind bars...the city is enjoying a period of relative peace. But trouble is coming.
Bane is the bad guy. He's a dangerous mercenary who has his sights set on Batman's home turf. The two meet and for the first time the Dark Knight is defeated.
Director Christopher Nolan says this is his last installment of the Batman franchise. And he manages to go out with a bang.
"The Dark Knight Rises" is similar in tone and texture to the other two films in the series. It's grim and gritty, with the villain's plan seemingly unstoppable. But its also about the power of hope and the strength that comes with it.
Christian Bale delivers another solid performance as both Batman and eccentric billionaire Bruce Wayne. He's surrounded by plenty of familiar faces, including Gary Oldman, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman.
However, it is the newcomers to this series who add the most to this final chapter. Tom Hardy's Bane is a terrifying combination of brute force and conviction. Joseph Gordon Leavitt's earnest young Gotham City cop longs for the return of Batman. Marion Cotillard's philanthropist wants to team with Wayne and give the world clean energy.
But it is Anne Hathaway's Selina Kyle who is the movies' brightest spot. Her cat burglar, who is never referred to as Catwoman...is a conflicted crook whose main concern is to look out for herself. Her performance is energetic and authentic...she is a welcome addition.
This chapter is bigger than the previous two...with exciting action sequences coupled with deep psychological questions.
It is also a satisfying end to Batman's story arc. If this is Nolan's swan song with the character, he has served him well.
On my rating scale, "The Dark Knight Rises" earns a HOME RUN.
COPS Tonight at 8:00 PM Stupid Behavior No. 5
After a man crashes into a sign and takes off on foot, he collapses complaining of heart trouble; officers find meth and possible stolen items in a suspect's pocket; a couple argues over a damaged wall