There’s absolutely nothing predictable about this third film in the Batman franchise, and that’s one of the many joys of the movie, which will keep you glued to your seat for almost three hours.
First, there’s Christian Bale‘s broken Bruce Wayne. Bruce has hung up his Batman cape after rescuing Gotham City from the grip of the evil Joker and his crime-happy partners and he’s lost his will to have a life. The death of both his love, Rachel (Maggie Gyllenhaal), and his heroic alter ego Batman, who is now considered just a common criminal, have left him in the depths of depression for eight years.
Eight years! Bruce Wayne is an A+ moper.
It takes an encounter with an intriguing burglar, slinky Selina Kyle, played to perfection by Anne Hathaway to bring Bruce Wayne’s brilliant mind and achy, out-of-shape body back to life.
It’s fun to listen to the quick banter between the pair – seemingly opposites – he’s born rich, she was born poor, he stands for good, she’s slipped into the dark side – as they fight their inappropriate romantic attraction.
Then there’s crime Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman), who should be thrilled that Gotham City’s crime rate is at an all-time low, except that he’s tortured by the secret he created and perpetrated – that demonic two-faced Harvey Dent, is a crime-fighting hero.
The film in fact is packed with tortured souls. The prime force of evil in the film this time is the brainy, brute Bane who escaped a horrific pit hole of a prison where he was supposedly “born in hell, forged from suffering, hardened by pain.” He appears to be a total psychopath - remorseless, who cares and feels nothing for the victims of his murderous ways.
Finally, it turns out that enthusiastic, newbie cop, John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), is also concealing a tortured soul behind his open and seemingly naive face.
Once the action starts, and it begins quickly as Bane is revealed, plotting in the sewers of Gotham City with his terrorist-like gang, you know they are up to no good. What you don’t realize is that their demonic plans are even bigger than those of the masterminds of 9/11.
The key question is whether an out-of-shape, limping and also financially-challenged Batman can get it together to take on the new threat, even with a fabulous new toy (I won’t ruin it for you) and over the objections of his loyal man servant/father figure, Alfred (Michael Caine).
Will love for new woman and board member of Wayne Industries, Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard), re-invigorate him or will he end up in a triangle with bad girl Catwoman?
That’s all I want to reveal about the plot, which has lots of delicious twists and turns, but the film has a very pronounced Tale of Two Cities theme and we know our boy Batman has always been the self-sacrificing type.
So get your tickets and settle in for the best show of the summer.
Tragically, the film’s opening has been marred by the senseless murders and injuries inflicted by a madman. But there is nothing in the film which inspires violence. As always, Batman only speaks out and fights against monsters like alleged Colorado shooter James Holmes. Batman would be horrified.Bonnie Fuller
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