The Dark Knight Rises
|The Dark Knight Rises is a 2012 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, who co-wrote the screenplay with his brother Jonathan Nolan and the story with David S. Goyer. Featuring the DC Comics character Batman, the film is the final installment in Nolan’s Batman film trilogy, and it is the sequel to Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008). Christian Bale reprises the lead role of Bruce Wayne/Batman, with a returning cast of his allies: Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth, Gary Oldman as James Gordon, and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox. The film introduces the characters of Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), a cunning cat burglar in search of a way to escape her past, and Bane (Tom Hardy), a militant revolutionary out to destroy Gotham City. The film deals with a Batman who has retired, but is drawn back into action by new threats to the city.
Christopher Nolan was initially hesitant about returning to the series for a second time, but agreed to come back after developing a story with his brother and Goyer that he felt would conclude the series on a satisfactory note. Nolan drew inspiration from Bane’s comic book debut in the 1993 “Knightfall” storyline, the 1986 series The Dark Knight Returns, and the 1999 storyline “No Man’s Land”. Filming took place in various locations, including Jodhpur, London, Nottingham, Glasgow, Los Angeles, New York City, Newark, and Pittsburgh. Nolan utilized IMAX cameras for much of the filming to optimize the quality of the picture, including the first six minutes of the film. A variation of the Batplane termed “The Bat”, an underground prison set, and a new Batcave set were created specifically for the film. As with The Dark Knight, viral marketing campaigns began early during production to help promotion. When filming concluded, Warner Bros. refocused its campaign; developing promotional websites, releasing the first six minutes of the film and theatrical trailers, sending random pieces of information regarding the film’s plot to various companies.
The Dark Knight Rises premiered in New York City on July 16, 2012. The film was released in Australia and New Zealand on July 19, 2012, and in North America and the United Kingdom on July 20, 2012. It received positive reviews and grossed over $1.081 billion worldwide. The Dark Knight Rises is currently the 7th highest-grossing film of all time, the second highest-grossing film of 2012, and the second highest-grossing superhero film of all time.
Eight years after Harvey Dent’s death, the Dent Act grants the Gotham City Police Department powers which nearly eradicate organized crime. Feeling guilty for covering up Dent’s crimes, Police Commissioner James Gordon writes a resignation speech confessing the truth, but decides not to use it. Batman has disappeared, with Bruce Wayne becoming a recluse. Cat burglar Selina Kyle obtains Bruce’s fingerprints from his home, kidnaps a congressman, then disappears. Selina hands Bruce’s fingerprints to Phillip Stryver, an assistant to Bruce’s business rival John Daggett, in hope of having her criminal record erased. Stryver double crosses Selina, but she uses the congressman’s stolen phone to alert the police of their location. Gordon and the police arrive to find the congressman, then pursue the criminals into the sewers while Selina flees. A masked man called Bane captures Gordon. Gordon escapes, and is found by John Blake, a patrol officer who grew up an orphan and has deduced Batman’s true identity from their similar backgrounds. Gordon promotes Blake to detective, with Blake reporting directly to him.
Wayne Enterprises is unprofitable after Bruce discontinues his fusion reactor project when he learns that the core could be weaponized. Later, Bane attacks the Gotham Stock Exchange, using Bruce’s fingerprints to bankrupt Wayne Enterprises. Alfred Pennyworth, concerned that Bruce has not moved on from being Batman, reveals to him that Rachel Dawes had intended to marry Dent before she died, and resigns in an attempt to dissuade him. Fearing that Daggett, Bane’s employer, would gain access to the reactor, Bruce asks board member Miranda Tate to take over his company. Bane later kills Daggett. After being promised the software to erase her records, Selina agrees to take Batman to Bane, but instead betrays him to a trap. Bane appears and reveals that he intends to fulfill Ra’s al Ghul’s mission to destroy Gotham with the League of Shadows remnant. He breaks Batman’s back and takes him to a foreign, well-like prison where escape is virtually impossible. The inmates tell Bruce the story of Ra’s al Ghul’s child, born in the prison and cared for by a fellow prisoner before escaping, the only prisoner to have ever done so; Bruce assumes the child to be Bane.
Meanwhile, Bane collapsed tunnels and traps most of the Gotham’s police underground. He kills Mayor Anthony Garcia and forces an abducted physicist, Dr. Leonid Pavel, to convert the reactor core into a nuclear bomb before killing him. Bane uses the bomb to hold the city hostage and isolate Gotham from the world. Using Gordon’s stolen speech, Bane reveals the cover-up of Dent’s crimes and releases the prisoners of Blackgate Penitentiary, initiating a revolution. The wealthy and powerful have their property expropriated, are dragged from their homes, and given show trials presided over by Dr. Jonathan Crane, where any sentence likely means death.
After months of recovery and re-training, Bruce escapes from the prison and enlists Selina, Blake, Tate, Gordon, and Lucius Fox to help stop the bomb’s detonation. While the police and Bane’s forces clash, Batman defeats Bane, but Tate intervenes and stabs Batman, revealing herself to be Talia, Ra’s al Ghul’s child, who escaped the prison aided by her fellow prisoner, Bane. She plans to complete her father’s work by detonating the bomb and destroying Gotham, but Gordon blocks her signal, preventing remote detonation; Talia leaves to find the bomb. Bane prepares to kill Batman, but Selina kills Bane using the Batpod. Batman pursues Talia with the The Bat, an aircraft developed by Fox, to bring the bomb back to the reactor, where it can be stabilized. Talia’s truck crashes, but she remotely destroys the reactor before dying. With no way to stop the detonation, Batman uses The Bat to haul the bomb over the bay, where it detonates.
In the aftermath, Batman is presumed dead but is honored a hero. With Bruce also presumed dead, Wayne Manor is left to the city to become an orphanage, and Wayne’s remaining estate is left to Alfred. Fox discovers that Bruce had fixed The Bat’s autopilot, and Gordon finds the Bat-Signal refurbished. While visiting Florence, Italy, Alfred witnesses Bruce and Selina together. Blake resigns from the police force and inherits the Batcave.