Commentary

August 3, 2012

In theaters

Fly Over: ‘Batman: The Dark Knight Rises’

Stunning, if you have the attention span

by Airman 1st Class Kate Vaughn

In light of the tragic events that unfolded on the premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colo., I found it somewhat challenging to devote my full attention to the movie I had waited such a long time to see.

It wasn’t so much that I was scared to be in a movie theater; it was that I had mixed feelings about watching a movie that 12 people went to view, but never got to see the end.

However, I decided to go ahead and see the film.

The much anticipated conclusion of “The Dark Knight” trilogy brought back Bruce Wayne, aka Batman (Christian Bale) and Alfred (Michael Caine), while bringing in new characters, including Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), who leads audiences to assuming this is the introduction of “Catwoman”, and the new villain “Bane” (Tom Hardy).

It picks up with a somewhat decaying Bruce Wayne, eight years after the last movie, having sworn off his heroic lifestyle as Batman living in his mansion in a safe and evil-free Gotham City.

But, as anyone would assume, Gotham can’t stay rid of evil forever, especially with Batman taking a break from rescuing those who can’t protect themselves.

After encountering the sneaky thief, Selina Kyle (who is somehow tied into the fast approaching danger), Batman decides it’s time to put the suit back on and maybe even whip out a cool new ride or two in order to keep Gotham City safe.

The movie follows the previous themes of good and evil, not to mention touches on some hot topics of today’s debates. The very idea of America’s dream for freedom seems to shine through Batman himself, as he is fighting for the freedom of Gotham citizens.

Batman delivers lines like, “A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat over a little boy’s shoulder to let him know the world hasn’t ended.” It can be interpreted that the director and screenplay writer Christopher Nolan is perhaps trying to get a message to his audience that goes deeper than stunning action scenes and special effects.

It’s always refreshing to get more than a quick action fix out of a movie, and Nolan was rewarded for it. The movie raked in over $160 million opening weekend.

However, the 165 minute film left me losing my place in the story and seemed to go on a little too long. It could have done without some of the dialogue and even some of the action scenes, but my attention deficit disorder leaves that opinion neither here nor there.

The ending was my favorite part. No spoiler alerts here, but it satisfied my craving for a happy ending and still left a little room for my imagination.

“The Dark Knight Rises” may live in infamy as the background to the worst mass shooting in recent U.S. history, but as America mourns for Aurora, it can also take a message from the film regarding the massacre itself: Evil exists in this world and always will, but as Americans, just like the citizens of Gotham City, we will find a way to prevail even in the face of tragedy.

“The Dark Knight Rises” is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality, and language.



About the Author

Kate Vaughn
Kate Vaughn
Kate Vaughn is a full time radio and television broadcast producer and fan of self-help books and historical biographies. Some of her favorite writers include David McCullough, author of "1776" and "John Adams," as well as columnists George Will and David Brooks. Her favorite movies include "Game Change" and "The Dark Knight."


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