No pain, no gain. If that old saying can be taken literally, then Batman is about to gain a lot in “The Dark Knight Rises.”
Indeed, all three of the films in the critically acclaimed Dark Knight trilogy hang their hats firmly on certain forms of anguish. For “Batman Begins,” it’s fear: the story of billionaire Bruce Wayne overcoming his childhood traumas to become the hero he was born to be. For “Dark Knight,” it’s chaos: the Joker strives “to show the schemers how pathetic their attempts to control things really are,” and Batman and the people of Gotham City are around to show him how wrong he is.
Fear, chaos … what’s next? “Rises,” by all accounts, seems to center on pain. It’s at least in part a reflection of the viciously violent villain Bane, but examine the rest of Gotham and you’ll see other tortured souls, too — Bruce nursing his wounds from losing Rachel Dawes and demonizing Batman for the death of Harvey Dent, as just one example.
Speaking with MTV News at the “Dark Knight Rises” junket, director Christopher Nolan agreed that pain is a very present theme in his third and final Batman movie.
“Yeah, in a way,” he answered when asked if pain was “the guiding theme” of the new Batman movie. “Or consequences. There’s a lot about the consequences of actions [in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’].”
“There’s a lot about being true to where we left things and where we left the characters at the end of ‘The Dark Knight,’ ” he continued. “[We really tried] to push that forward, saying, ‘OK, where would that really go if we carried that story on?”
The answer to Nolan’s question, to hear it told by a certain pain-afflicted and pain-inflicting masked maniac, is very painful indeed. And call us masochists, but we can’t wait to see just how badly Batman gets beaten before the legend truly ends.
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