SPOILERS....SPOILERS.....SWEET BABY JESUS SPOILERS AHEAD.
There the warning has been issued so no whining can occur. Oh my god...I think this might be my favorite in the trilogy as of right now. I'm writing this after viewing it so I'm still coming off the high of watching it and just being in love with how the story came together perfectly without missing a step. This won't contain a second by second summary, but an overview and thoughts on the film.
We jump eight years into the future with the city of Gotham still in a state of mourning for it's fallen hero Harvey Dent with a holiday and laws have been passed in his name, they elevate him to almost a state of sainthood. The city of Gotham is finally free of it's corrupt officers and organized crime due to the Dent laws. Batman is still vilified for taking away their hero and Gordon is seen as a relic of a past that Gotham would like to forget. Bruce has become a hermit in his own home and life as the party goes in Dent's name. I love the fact that we see these two people struggling with how Rachel and Harvey deaths. Bruce has the luxury of hiding from the world and wallowing in his pain, while Gordon has to deal with the public, hiding his pain and losing his family and friend. The happiness of the city they love comes at a heavy price for both of them.
I love the fact that we finally get a decent live action Selina Kyle/Catwoman. Anne Hathaway was amazing and just fun to watch on screen. Any time she was on the screen you never knew where she was going to go and how you were supposed to feel about her. We didn't get a lot of background on her character and I really didn't care where she came from or any of her back story, I cared about where she was going. Her desire to get the 'Clean Slate' program seemed be just another game to her. Even if she did wipe her identity as Selina Kyle could she give up who she is? Hathaway held her own against some serious heavy weights and stole the scene almost every time. I know that this was Nolan's last film, but if they were to do another Catwoman film I would love to see this version of Catwoman/Selina Kyle.
Tom Hardy as Bane was one of the best performance's I have seen next to Heath Ledger's Joker. Not only did this man use physical fear to bring people in line, he was unbelievably charismatic to bring people under his sway and get them to do anything for him, even die in plane crashes or kill themselves without revealing anything. Due to the theater I was in it was hard at times to understand some of Bane's speeches, but the scene where he just kicked the snot out of Batman and Bane's men look away speaks volumes how terrified they are of this man. (Just a small geek moment for me-Bane's right hand man was played by Josh Stewart who plays William LaMontage Jr on Criminal Minds and I had a small fan girl sqee)
I was half spoiled/half guessed that Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard) was Talia al Ghul and the surprise of her turning against Bruce was sort of ruined for me, but the character was another one that was fun to watch on screen trying to finish her father's work of ruining Gotham. I have to give this character credit for waiting over eight years to have her revenge. It speaks to the type of character she is and if they were to have a movie just about her and how she came to be I would like to see it.
If someone had told me years ago that the kid from 3rd Rock from the Sun would become a great blockbuster star and be in a Batman movie I would have laughed. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was the best casting choice for this role and all the scenes he had with Gordon and Bruce were just great to see. I'm still not sure how I feel about him figuring out that Bruce was Batman all on his own when he was younger when no one else ever had.
The best moments in this movie come between Bruce, Alfred and Gordon. All three of these men are trying to come back from the darkness and the lies they told to protect what they loved and it's clear the emotional toll it has taken on them. The scenes between Alfred and Bruce were almost heartbreaking to watch. The moment were Alfred tells Bruce that he wishes he hadn't come back to Gotham because he wanted him to be happy was even more heartbreaking than when he finally tells him the truth about Rachel's letter. The moment when Gordon sees the repaired Bat Signal was touching, even though he wasn't physical there it was Bruce's way of telling Gordon that they were still friends and that he could still count on the Batman.
This was the perfect way to wrap up the series and I love the fact that even though we get a passing of torch we get a perfect wrap up and for once Bruce gets a happy ending by hanging up the cowl and had this been in the hands of any other director I don't think this would have been handled as well and wouldn't have been as satisfying.
Thank you for following the series.