In The Dark Knight Rises, Selina Kyle, never referred to as Catwoman (Anne Hathaway), informs Bruce Wayne, aka Batman (Christian Bale), that a storm is coming. While she may be alluding to the fact that the burly madman Bane (Tom Hardy) has come to town, the line could be more in tune with moviegoers. There’s a somber feeling in the air here, but it feels completely applicable as we all know that this is the final chapter of the Christopher Nolan-led franchise. Bale is done; Nolan is done. Where does that leave us? In an opening scene, Commissioner Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) states that he believed in Harvey Dent; well, I believe in Christopher Nolan.
After the phenomenal success that was The Dark Knight how could it possibly be topped? It appears that Nolan has adapted the ways of the League of Shadows. Theatricality and deception are on full display, and he has more than a few tricks up his sleeve. Writing his series’ farewell alongside his brother Jonathan (with co-story credit going to David S. Goyer), Nolan knows full well that he must leave with a fond adieu—even if it may never live up to everyone’s expectations. What viewers may forget is the same thing that they forgot when Lost began its finale after six brilliant seasons. Preconceived notions are everything and you must remember, these have, and always will be, Christopher Nolan’s Batman films.
In The Dark Knight Rises’ prologue, a plane is about to go down in the middle of nowhere as Bane kidnaps a scientist in midair. Meanwhile, in Gotham, everyone is honoring Harvey Dent Day at Wayne Manor with speeches by Mayor Anthony Garcia (Nestor Carbonell) and Commissioner Gordon. The legacy of Dent lives on eight years after the events in The Dark Knight as Gotham is finally living in peace with all the criminals locked up. But what the citizens don’t know is that Dent lived up to his alter ego and Batman saved Gordon’s son’s life from the hands of Two-Face. These days, Batman is wanted for Dent’s murder and Bruce Wayne lives in the east wing of Wayne Manor as a Howard Hughes-style recluse.
At the Harvey Dent remembrance, Selina Kyle breaks into Bruce’s safe, making off with his mother’s pearl necklace. Bruce knows that she has also stolen his fingerprints. Selina is handing them over to John Daggett, a Wayne Enterprise rival, who is using Bane to bring Gotham to its knees. What Daggett doesn’t know is that Bane has his own plans as well and wants to turn Bruce’s well hidden clean energy source into a nuclear bomb. The only person Bruce trusts with it is Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard). Hothead John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is on the case, who seems to be the only person working within the Gotham Police Department who has a clue, both literally and figuratively. Meanwhile, Bane is on the loose, turning the streets of Gotham back over to its people, i.e. the condemned of Gotham Prison and initiates the ticking time bomb Bruce has feared all along.