The thing I like about Batman is he, similar to Jesus, is the extra-ordinary in Human form. Most Superheroes rely on a back-story that is filled with tales of outerspace origin, or freak accidents giving them special abilities. Batman is just a perfected Human using his abilities and gifts for a greater way. As a kid, many hours after school were spent watching the cartoon series the current films are based off, and more hours spent on a Sunday learning the superhero stories of Jesus and his merry men. My observation? Batman gets the chicks, Jesus had the tricks. 'The Dark Knight Rises' is the final piece of the Christopher Nolan trilogy and a modern pop-cultural masterpiece. It is one of those rare films, like Lord of the Rings or Police Academy, where the third film is better than the original two before it. I couldn't help but see a few biblical thematic undertones.
In the apocalyptic Gotham setting we have themes of sacrifice, resurrection, hope and occupation. There is also the battle of good vs evil and the contrast of darkness and light.The film takes place in an environment that is almost End Times for the city of Gotham. Batman is 8 years gone, after his reputation died a sacrificial death for the greater good of the City. The true believers are now awaiting his second coming, hoping he'll deliver them justice and be their Savior from total destruction. True to form, the Dark Knight rises to overcome the controlling forces and free the people from their oppression... but not before a good ol' street fight.
The massive street fight scene looks like what would happen if the Macy's Street parade was choreographed by the maker of 'Braveheart'. Interestingly in this film, Batman does alot of his work in the daylight, which is strange for a Bat. He is helped out by a Cat-burgling woman, (who really deserves a moniker...maybe Stealing Lady?) who is both a help and a hindrance in his efforts. Also along for the ride is Commissioner Gordon who spends most of the film scowling, probably because his Bat Signal got smashed and doesn't work anymore. Just use a torch and some paper, Gordy!
Bane, who is probably one of the best and complex villains ever created, is a creature of the dark, coming up from the ground like a devil out of Hell. The physical stature of the guy, combined with his idealogical masterplan and Transformer voice-mask make for one memorable baddie. The shoes of Heath Ledger's Joker were big ones to fill; due to the intense portrayal of that character and also because the detail wardrobe went to, providing Ledger with actual Clown shoes. Bane delievers on all this. Batman, in continuing his Christlike role, comes from the heavens courtesy of a new Batjet. Obviously Bruce Wayne wasn't getting his value out of the carbon tax, so decided to up his footprint by introducing a jet as his primary mode of transport. I suppose sustainable Batman-on-a-bike wouldn't really work. This film does though.
There has been alot of extra stuff going on around this film, in light of the shootings in Colorado, but I think it is important to remember why people go to the cinema. It's not a place to be feared. It is a place for escapism, where a few pure hours of entertainment can be enjoyed taking in films like 'The Dark Knight Rises'.
It's a place to stretch our minds, to stuff ourselves with overpriced stale, salty corn, to pash with our teenage crush or just cop a casual feel, to laugh and cry and think. Today I went into this film with great expectations and I wasn't dissapointed. I left entertained with a handful of theological musings...but not once did I feel unsafe, and that's just the way it should be.