The release date for The Dark Knight Rises is just months away and the anticipation is building everyday. Batman Begins was well received by fans because it redefined his origins for new audiences and gave us a unique glimpse at how he became Batman. Then the sequel was released and surpassed any expectations anyone had of it. With tremendous acting, a unique take on many characters and a story full of thrills and action, some might say that the Dark Knight is one of the greatest movies ever, like me, and the sequel to that movie is just a few short months away. Many fans are asking the question, “will it be as good as The Dark Knight or will be better”? And each of us has answered that question in our own way. As for me, I like to look at all the facts before I make my verdict.
Acting and character development is what helped make The Dark Knight such a great film, so the creators of The Dark Knight Rises were lucky that they maintained the majority of their main cast of characters. Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine and many others will be reprising their roles from the previous two films. But each sequel sees at least a couple new faces to keep the movie original and different from its originals; new faces such as Anne Hathaway as Catwoman or Tom Hardy as Bane. Many past writers and artists of various forms of Batman media have said that in order to create a successful Batman story you need good heroes, but more importantly, a creative cast of villains. With the death of Rachel Dawes in The Dark Knight, Hathaway’s Catwoman presents a new love interest for Batman, but as of this point we are not sure if her intensions are for good or for personal gain. I assume that they will stay true to the modern version of the character and have her classified as an “anti-hero” rather then a villain because she isn’t out to hurt anyone; she’s just looking out for number one. Hardy’s Bane on the other hand is most definitely the villain of the story. Other then Ra’s Al Ghul, no other villain in these lines of films has been much of a physical opponent for Batman. The Scarecrow used fear, the Joker attacked him physiologically and Two-Face was just mentally corrupted. Bane is more then a physical match for Batman in the film, which is apparently using the version of Bane originally seen in his early comic book career. I feel sorry for the fans that only know the mindless Bane from the 90’s Batman & Robin movie, because in the comics Bane was stronger then Batman, but just as smart as him as well as we will see in the upcoming blockbuster.
The fact that Bane will be a physical and intellectual match for the Caped Crusader will pose a problem in this movie considering that it takes place roughly seven years after the events of The Dark Knight, meaning that Batman would be just over 40 years old. I predict that Bane will be the toughest opponent Batman has ever had to face and when their final battle arrives, the legend will fall, but that’s just my prediction. Along with the expected problems of Catwoman, the (supposed) cameo from Ra’s Al Ghul (Lazarus pit anyone?) and his daughter Talia and the fact that Batman has been cast as a murderer by Gotham City, its going to be quite a struggle for the aging Batman/ Bruce Wayne.
No matter what happens when the movie is released in July, it will be amazing, whether it is as good a film as The Dark Knight or not. The combination of new villains, terrific cast and characters and the action, thrills and drama that every Batman story brings, The Dark Knight Rises could end up being a masterpiece of a movie, and I hope it does.