2012, USA / UK (PG-13). Director: Christopher Nolan. Writers: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer. Cast: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Meryl Streep (uncredited) with Leonardo DiCaprio (uncredited).
The latest blockbuster coming from the complicated mind of Christopher Nolan is almost impossible to review without giving the simplest spoiler. The movie, in fact, is so full of twists and turns, not to mention underliying themes that – like in its predecessors Batman Begins (2005), The Prestige (2006), The Dark Knight (2008) and Inception (2010) – make audience go out of the movie theater, rushing to the toilets, peeing altogether, and discussing it like true moviebuffs and aficionadoes.
Many has thought that the movie opens where The Dark Knight left us. In Nolan’s universe, however, The Dark Knight Rises was about the three main characters played by Michael Caine, Tom Hardy, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt who used to be consecutively Miles, Eames, and Arthur. They were trying to find Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) who was thrown into the limbo, thinking he was living a happy life in a paradise-like dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream. Within a dream. The three leading characters were banished to a universe more chaotic than a limbo, called Gotham City.
The set-up was so subtle only mindreaders like me could sense it. Both Christopher and Jonathan Nolan wrote a script that theatrically tricked the audience by inserting a new character from The Devil Wears Prada (also written, directed and produced by Nolan). Andrea (Anne Hathaway) had realized that her former evil boss Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) had been correct all the time. “Journalism would make you poor. Be a fashion editor instead!” said The Iron Lady. Made poor by her own idealism, Andrea now dressed up fashionably as a burglar, and started to steal fashion stuff from the boutiques, and made headlines in Vogue, Runway, Us Weekly, and MAD Magazine. She is now using a new name, Selina Kyle. No more Emily.
Have I given away too much? Well, there’s more.
In Gotham, Eames terrorized the society with his apparatus, and realized that he was once a boxer named Tommy Conlon. Arthur, in the meantime, had gotten over his summer fling with Summer, and decided to devote his life to the society as a police officer. All these characters were gathered by Nolan in the quest to find out who is Batman, which apparently – MAJOR SPOILER COMING! – is that illusionist from The Prestige (2006) played by Christian Bale! He had created a major illusion over Gotham City that he was a masked vigilante!
With so many subtexts and hidden twists, The Dark Knight Rises is indeed the greatest summer blockbuster in July 2012, and Christopher Nolan’s most daring movie in the third quarter of 2012. Enough said, because I have sworn before the society that I would not reveal any spoilers.