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“You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”
Dark Knight Trilogy artwork by Robert Algeo.
The Dark Knight Rises, directed by Christopher Nolan, is a movie of and about extremes. It is a movie that demonstrates what happens when men, cities, action and franchises are pushed toward the furthest edges of what was thought was possible and the inevitable tumble towards decimation that occurs when those edges are just underfoot. It is a movie of extreme length (165 minutes), extreme set pieces (featuring what must surely qualify as a cast of thousands), and extreme audience anticipation.
The Dark Knight Rises attempts to meet the challenges of these wrenching expectations with pure popcorn bravado. Every moment in the movie is bigger, badder, bolder and more brazen than the last. From the hauntingly acrobatic opening action sequence all the way through its final bittersweet moments of closure and discovery, The Dark Knight Rises is an exciting, thoughtful and provocative action movie that wonderfully punctuates Nolan’s vision of Batman, while also exaggerating some of the more problematic aspects of this now decade-long superhero renaissance taking place throughout our summer cinema.
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