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Movie Review

Dark Knight Rises

Christopher Gildemeister

Release Date: 7/20/2012

MPAA Rating: PG-13 : Description: IIntense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality and language

Retired from his role as Batman and a billionaire recluse, Bruce Wayne is lured back into action when he is robbed by the Catwoman. But Batman soon confronts a much greater foe: the terrorist Bane, who cuts Gotham City off from the rest of the country, imprisons its police force, inspires its citizenry to revolution against "the corrupt who have kept you down with myths of opportunity" – and who threatens to destroy the city with a nuclear bomb. But behind Bane lurks an even more sinister threat.

Like the previous films in the franchise, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises is dark and violent in the extreme. Hundreds are slaughtered in the film, as Bane's thugs wage open war on the police and innocents, using guns, bombs, and most other forms of weaponry. Bane frequently murders his victims by grabbing their head and snapping their neck. An extended sequence features Bane brutally beating Batman and breaking his back before imprisoning him to be further tortured. Batman is also graphically stabbed and undergoes other injuries. Bane also forcibly performs a blood transfusion on a man, as well as massacring many people in public venues.

The film is also replete with imagery likely to be particularly disturbing to younger viewers, such as a bombing terrorist attack on a football stadium while a little boy is singing the National Anthem. Other content is limited but present. Language includes multiple uses of the words listed above. Batman is frequently seen naked above the waist, and Bane spends the entire movie shirtless. Bruce Wayne also has a liaison with a lover in front of a fireplace, though no breasts or genitals are shown and the actual sex act is not depicted. Though its lead character is a comic-book superhero, the violence in The Dark Knight Rises is a far cry from the comic-inspired fantasy action in such movies as Captain America or The Avengers. Instead, The Dark Knight Rises seemingly glories in brutality, and creates a bleak depiction of the world overrun by terrorists, characterized by a dismal mood likely to frighten any youngster exposed to it.

Parents are strongly cautioned that the PTC does not recommend this film for viewers under age 16.