Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Darkest Part of The Dark Knight Rises

With the modern trilogy of Dark Knight films, director Christopher Nolan no doubt takes the Batman franchise a long way from the colorful and campy (Bam! Pow!) 60's sitcom.  And the vision has never been grimmer than in The Dark Knight Rises, thanks in large part to the murderous and cunning thug Bane--who comes across as a mix of Darth Vader and the latter half of Mad Max's Master Blaster, and who sports a face mask that looks like a H.R. Giger rendition of Cthulhu.

Bane is both a wrecking ball of a combatant and a criminal mastermind; he orchestrates incidents of spectacular terrorism that are truly disturbing to behold.  For me, though, the darkest part of The Dark Knight Rises doesn't involve Bane directly but rather the actions of his minions in the wake of Gotham's occupation.  I refer to the scenes of a kangaroo court presided over with maniacal glee by a surprise character from an earlier film in the trilogy.  Good citizens of Gotham are given the choice between execution and exile, but those who opt for the latter might second-guess themselves after discovering what "exile" actually entails.  I don't want to give too much away to anyone who has yet to see the film, but I'll just say that the sentencing is fiendishly clever and, for the victims of this hard reign of terror, literally chilling.

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