If it's crap ... We'll tell you
It has been eight years since the climax of The Dark Knight and Gotham is not the city it once was. With Batman (Christian Bale) being blamed for Harvey's death the criminals Dent put away are still in prison. Bruce Wayne has long given up the cowl and has spent the past few years in recluse at his home. At a party honoring the anniversary of Harvey's death at Wayne Manor, Bruce encounters a woman attempting to steal his mother's necklace. Before Bruce can do anything to stop her she escapes and hitches a ride with a drunken Congressmen. The woman (later revealed as Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway)) then uses this Congressmen to fool some shady dealers by letting the police know of the Congressmen's whereabouts. Following a chase scene where police follow armed men through the sewers, Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) discovers an underground army led by the mask wearing mercenary Bane (Tom Hardy).
I'm going to start by saying that if you have the ability to, go see this in IMAX. 53 minutes of this film were shot for IMAX so you really would be getting your money's worth. That being said not seeing TDKR in IMAX will not take anything away from how fantastic this film looks. Christopher Nolan pulls out all the stops and spares not expense on making everything about Gotham feel real and alive. At some points you just have to step back from the film and look in awe at some of the shots he has created. However, being beautiful looking is not the only thing the film has going for it by a long shot. The acting by the ensemble cast truly is stunning, with some performances being bonafide Oscar worthy. Christian Bale I don't really even have to mention as he is great in just about everything he does. Anne Hathaway fucking nails her portrayal of Catwoman. In her first five minutes on screen you know just how perfect a job she is going to do. Joseph Gordon-Levitt as well delivers a heart felt performance as a cop who has not given up hope the Batman will return. Yet none of this would have mattered if Tom Hardy's portrayal of Bane had not been up to par, but luckily this is not the case. I found myself surprised by how genuinely terrifying he became in some scenes. There is a speech he gives atop a tank which left me with chills and really helps reinforce the darker nature of Nolan's Batmanverse. Bane does have a slight problem with his voice though. At points you can understand what he's saying as clear as day yet other times a few words can get lost in the mix. The point I can not stress enough however is that you should see Batman Begins and The Dark Knight before watching The Dark Knight Rises.There are too many subtle little elements that are apparent in all three films which give this trilogy a magnificent sense of finesse. The motifs alone are enough to give an English teacher a wet dream. Christopher Nolan had a lot riding on him to make this movie great, and he did it.
In the end people are going to ask, "Is this better than The Dark Knight?" No, but only because The Dark Knight had the Joker/Batman standoff which defines what makes The Batman universe so great. That statement should however in no way be misconstrued to be taken as a slight against The Dark Knight Rises. Which itself is the perfect cap to arguably the greatest trilogy set to film. Better Than Sex!