I wanted to rank my top favorite superhero movies for the year after watching The Dark Knight Rises but after the movie, I felt that it would not be apt. This final chapter of the rebooted Batman series did not at all feel like a superhero movie. It was on a league of its own, not necessarily above but definitely a cut better than most movies produced this year.
In the comic book series, Batman has the distinction of being the only (?) superhero with no superpowers. He was not bitten by no radioactive spider, exposed to gamma radiation nor bestowed any magical objects or mutant genes that allow him to do superhuman feats. He does, however, have the infinite resources of the Wayne family fortune. He has his technology and he has a trusty butler that serves as his moral guide.
In this final installment of the Batman series, all these are stripped off and we are left with a broken man whose only resolve is to save Gotham.
As Bruce Wayne loses everything that used to define him, we see the classic tale of Job in a superhero context. And just as Job held on to his faith, Wayne willed himself to rise up to save a city that has hunted him down for the last eight years, the same city that his father helped build.
Powerful performances by the cast brings a very human feel to the film. Absent was the usual loudness expected from a superhero movie. Instead there was a quiet foreboding that enveloped every scene.
When Selena Kyle tells Bruce that he no longer needs to fight as he has given Gotham everything, he tells her, "Not everything. Not yet." There we know that he is willing to give the ultimate price for Gotham. In all his humanness, I silently proclaimed him as the world's greatest hero and shed a tear for his valiant effort.