“Sometimes a man rises from the darkness. Sometimes the pit spits something back.”
When we drill down to sum up The Dark Knight trilogy in simplest terms, what many will see emerge is a guy in a bat suit. There is no getting around it, and probably why The Dark Knight was shut out in 2008. At the same time, Nolan’s epic also represents the crest of a changing tide in Hollywood away from adult-centered dramas and towards films aimed at younger audiences. They are the most reliable ticket-buyers, after all, even as the voting adults in the Academy sit back with their arms folded across their chests thinking, not on my watch. In general, I side with the Academy on this simply because I am bored by most of the effects-driven films Hollywood puts out, sequel after sequel, utterly predictable, the wow factor fading not ten minutes after you leave the theater.
But to me, Christopher Nolan’s handling of The Dark Knight surpasses expectations, and ultimately elevates a well worn, exhausted genre. For that reason, his last film in the series deserves to be recognized. The Dark Knight Rises is the only true epic in the trilogy. Yes, I said epic again. Yes, I know it’s about a guy in a bat suit. It is still an epic narrative with epic scope. While delivering all the usual thrills of a typical superhero movie: the villain/hero unearthed by Nolan reveals deeper ideas about humanity as a whole.