After the second installment, ‘The Dark Knight,” of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, many believed it was such a great success that the third won’t even come close to comparison. On top of this many don’t believe it could be a success because of Heath Ledger’s untimely death eliminating the chance of a reappearance by the Joker whose character has gone down in movie history as one of the best villains. As news of “The Dark Knight Rises” began to come to light there was a lot of doubt when fans learned Anne Hathaway was casted to play Cat Woman, who was originally played by Michelle Phifer. Cat Woman is supposed to be seductive and slightly insane and when people think of Anne Hathaway all they see is Mia from “Princess Diaries.” Hathaway in the past has been typed casted as playing the loving and innocent female role which causes a lot of speculation and the important question ‘can she pull it off?’ I personally think Hathaway is underestimated by viewers and will be able to pull off her role and actually surprise the audience at how dynamic of an actress she can really be. From seeing the trailer I think Hathaway has grasped the cold hearted and unremorseful side of Cat Woman but still shows a little bit of a heart when it comes to her relationship with Christian Bale aka Batman.
One thing I am concerned about is if Nolan put too much emphasis on the romantic relationship between Batman and Cat Woman. Their relationship is not supposed to be obvious when directors focus too much on romance in films like these it ruins the actual premises of the movie. It was obvious that the Joker would not be in “The Dark Knight Rises” but what about Two-Face? In the end of “The Dark Knight” Harvey Dent is thrown from an abandoned parking garage by Batman and we see he is dead but in a later shot it shows he has disappeared. If Nolan weren’t going to bring Two-Face back why would he tease the fans like that? I really thought Two-Face was going to return in the final movie, and I am very disappointed he isn’t. I think he still had a lot more to offer as a villain and even some unfinished business with the masked crusader. Maybe Nolan felt he couldn’t incorporate his story in with the new villains but still when it comes to Two-Face he doesn’t have any opinion of who he is fighting with he just wants what all the others want, to bring Batman down. I am still keeping my fingers-crossed that he will make a surprise appearance, which will really make fan’s jaws drop.
Now, for those who are not familiar with DC villains beyond the popular ones, you are probably wondering whom this new villain Bane, is. According to the comic, Bane was born into a fictional Caribbean prison called Pena Dura or “Hard Rock” which was an intense and amoral facility. His father, who was also in the prison, had escaped leaving his young son to live out the remainder of his sentence. While living in the prison, Bane developed extraordinary physical skills, self-educated himself along with learning from some of the most dangerous convicts. He committed his first murder at the age of eight and even murdered an elderly priest at Hard Rock who was the only one who gave a proper and classical education. Bane eventually became “King” of the prison and prison guards and controller soon became aware of this. They forced Bane to become a test subject for the drug known as venom which had killed every other test subject in previous tests. Prison controllers were shocked that not only Bane survived but it had greatly and dangerously improved the convicts physical strength and agility. The only catch with this was in order to gain this abnormal strength the drug must be administered into Bane’s brain every twelve hours or he would suffer negative physical side-effects. As Bane spent time in Hard Rock he learned of Batman and his legacy through other inmates. Soon his ambition turns to not only Gotham City but to destroy Batman who Bane becomes convinced is a demonic bat that had haunted him for many years in his dreams since childhood. As Bane believes it is fate for him to destroy Batman he eventually escapes from Hard Rock and makes his way to Gotham City to fulfill his destiny.
Now this was actually a short version of Bane’s existence and history with Batman but if I was going to tell you the whole story we would be here for quite a while. Bane will be played by “Warrior” and “Sucker Punch” actor Tom Hardy. This is not the villains first film appearance either. He was originally introduced and played by Robert Swenson in the 1997 “Batman & Robin.” In “The Dark Knight Rises,” Bane will join forces with a familiar and old villain, Ra’s al Ghul, who was in “Batman Begins” and will again be played by Liam Neeson. It is unsure how the two will become acquainted in the movie but in the comics, Bane encounters Ghul while on the search to find his father who according to the priest he killed was one of four men, a Santa Priscan revolutionary, an American doctor, an English mercenary or a Swiss banker. It is not said that Ghul is Bane’s father or not but it pretty much leads you to that conclusion when Ghul and Bane form such a deep and loyal bond with one another. With this alliance and the unpredictability of Cat Woman it is a sure combination that will not only mean Batman has his hands full but also gives a number of possibilities and twists Nolan could have in store for us. “The Dark Knight Rises” opens this Friday.