when Batman shows his muscles


Batman (Christian Bale) in “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012), by Christopher Nolan.

The movie is impressive. Terrifying even. The pre-credits are reminiscent of the opening sequences of james bond, weighted with substantially more brutal power. This opening marks the entry on the scene of Bane, a new super-villain with a mouth grafted with a kind of metallic gasworks from which escapes the voice of an English lord.

Bane is not the Joker. He is not here to laugh. It’s kind of a post-9/11 butcher. A guy with colossal strength, a power of destruction in its purest form, which leads the film towards an apocalyptic horizon.

Far from the Gothic aesthetic of Tim Burton, which referred to the New York slums of the 1970s and 1980s, Nolan’s Gotham is a city of the 21and century, prosperous, shining in the fires of triumphant capitalism. By staging its collapse, the filmmaker offers a monstrous but striking representation of the endemic crisis of the capitalist system and the terror inspired by cataclysms, whether natural or chemical, appearing as two sides of the same reality. .

Return of a libido

After the success of Batman Begins and of The Dark Knighthis first two parts, Nolan was inspired by The Dark Knight Returns, Frank Miller’s comic strip (1986) depicting a fifties and embittered Bruce Wayne. In this third film, he is past superhero retirement age, has drawn features, walks with a cane. The death of Rachel, his beloved, took away his last reason for living. The challenge of getting him back in the saddle, and of the epic battle that will oppose him to Bane, can thus be summed up in that of a return to a libido that too long years of security and prosperity had destroyed. The title of the film, moreover, does not say anything else.

To find a little thrill, nothing beats a good old war and Nolan does not hesitate to stage one in the streets of Gotham, between an armada of convicts released from prison and the full contingent of the municipal police. . It will take no less for his hero to let himself be seduced by Selina, the new bouncy and sexy Catwoman (formidable Anne Hathaway, shapely in a latex catsuit).

In this monumental fresco, we find Alfred, the faithful butler and guardian of Bruce Wayne (Michael Caine), Gordon, the loyal but fallible commissioner (Gary Oldman), Fox, the mysterious boss of the Wayne Foundation (Morgan Freeman), Foley, the short-sighted cop (Matthew Modine)… And a newcomer, young Inspector Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, all right), an orphan raised in the Wayne Foundation and potential future Robin.

The filmmaker makes this little world swirl around in a great game of masks, where each one reveals a dual nature. Too absorbed by his big show scenes, he partly misses this dimension, entangling his characters in wordy tirades that are not very credible.

The Dark Knight Rises. American film by Christopher Nolan. With Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman (2 h 44). TMC

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