[Caff note: spoilers abound in the post-article comments area. You were warned. As well, Omega-Level sends out love, thoughts and best-wishes to everyone grappling with the DKR midnight shooting tragedy in Colorado]
How is anything supposed to follow The Dark Knight? Nolan’s trilogy ender will reap enormous numbers of attendees and box office dollars solely based on people wanting another TDK. Another round of dark, violent and unpredictable chaos in Gotham. Another villain as jarringly memorable as Ledger’s Joker. And another story that transcends comic roots and becomes lovingly embraced by the mainstream as a ‘crime saga’.
This might hurt your appreciation of Rises as it nearly did mine. In so many ways, this film feels like a direct sequel to Batman Begins. It notably takes the few elements it needs from the trilogy’s second chapter – Harvey Dent’s ‘legacy’, Rachel’s death and Bruce’s need to pass the mantle on – and forgets about the others, rejoining the stream Begins established seven years ago.
It’s awesome that the film feels like a much more appropriate bookend to Nolan’s trilogy in that regard. My fear was that the runaway success and rampant permeation of the Joker and TDK into popular culture would mean that everything about Rises would follow from, and be influenced by TDK, and only TDK. Not so. Not so at all. I’m definitely still a little dizzy off the high of the midnight venture to see this, and I’m sure I missed many more vital connections to TDK, so take his all as a sleep-deprived first gut reaction.