"When Gothem falls, You have my permission to die..."
The film is about fear and how we must overcome it. Even if we aren't afraid fear is what keeps us going. We need to not be afraid, but we embrace it to push forward. Another theme of the film is the symbol of heroism. It can come from anywhere, but it takes one icon to carry it forward. The last major theme of the film is Moving on. There is only so much one can do and they have to know when enough is enough. A lot of heavy themes, but handle with great care.
The film is very well written and directed. We get a lot of nice sweep through the city and some really heart pounding moments. The fight scenes are well choreographed and feel as if it too is telling a story. I really like how the movie weave in the cities inner politics with the action. Even the movie is near 3hrs long, it is packed with a lot of meat. There never seems to be a dull moment. It feels like you're getting your 3hr worth of entertainment. From a dialogue point it is great too. However, at time it can feel sort of cheese mainly towards the end when Wayne has to escape from somewhere.
The characters and acting are all great. I feel like Christian Bale has finally refined his role as Batman. I felt his emotions and his body language spoke volumes. The new entries are great from Joseph Gordon-Levitt to Marion Cotillard and the older characters are just as great. My two favorite stand outs are Michael Caine and Anne Hathaway. Caine, as Alfred, really gave a powerful performance, one I think is worthy of an Oscar nomination. One scene in particular is the confrontation between Albert and Wayne, some really powerful stuff. Hathaway, as Selina, is sly, sleek, and sexy. She stole almost every scene she was in. She's a strong character with a lot of depth. She's funny, emotional, and very smart. The only disappointment is Tom Hardy as Bane. Nothing wrong with his acting, he actually gave a great performance. My only problem is that Bane is such a intimidating character with a lot of layers, but his voice ruins his impact. The voice is so over the top and cartoony that it doesn't fit in the very grim and real world Nolan created. Almost every time he spoke I was slightly detracted from the film.
Overall "The Dark Knight" is a really good film with a lot of depth and fully realized characters. However, the final confrontation between Bane and Batman is incredibly lack luster and the plot twist is incredibly stupid and contrived. It not only ruins the credibility of Bane, but also makes certain motivations unclear. Fortunately the very last scenes make up for most of the fall that the plot twist brought. I give is a very very very high 4/5, a satisfying conclusion to one of the biggest trilogies of the past decade.