The Dark Knight Rises (Christopher Nolan) - 2012

One thing can be said about this Batman (Christian Bale).  The guy can take a punch.  Batman takes a real beating from a big guy (Tom Hardy) in a Darth-Vader mask who is apparently still upset about a bad prison experience.  Batman also seems to be able to heal quickly from serious injuries.  This is the final movie in the Nolan trilogy - Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008).  Alfred (Michael Caine) wants Batman to retire and so does director Nolan.  The villain Bane has a huge army of mercenaries living in the Gotham City sewers.  They plan to terrorize the city and then detonate a thermo-nuclear device as a grand finale.  Batman finally limps out of semi-retirement to rescue the city with the help of Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) who brightens every scene that she decides to enter.  The Gotham police department also fights back although they are outgunned by the Bane army.  Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) leads the police from a hospital bed with the assistance of a fearless young cop (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who acts a lot like Robin without the colorful cape and shorts.  Although Nolan is done with the Batman story, it is beyond belief that 70 years of comic books stories could be boiled down to a short trilogy.  The ending sequence left room for another director to take the baton. [JAM 7/29/2012]