Relive ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ with Greg Cox’s Thrilling Novelization
I may have criticized Tim Lebbon’s literary adaption of The Cabin in the Woods for adding relatively little to the film’s experience, but I felt quite differently after devouring Greg Cox’s official novelization of The Dark Knight Rises. Not only did I revisit the events of the movie with exceptional clarity, I also came into contact with characters that I never had time to meet during Christopher Nolan’s epic movie.
Given the dexterity with which Cox converts Nolan’s screenplay to the page, it’s not surprising that the author is well-known for transferring numerous other film and television properties into novels. Cox’s frantic, vivid prose is a perfect match for Nolan’s intense Batman story. Right from the opening scene on the airplane, Cox sucks you into the action with his frightening descriptions of this high altitude interrogation and heist. I couldn’t stop reading, especially when I came across brutal passages like “He threw open the cargo door. Cold air invaded the cabin as the wind outside howled like a soul in torment.”
In the film, The Dark Knight Rises, director Christopher Nolan and actor Tom Hardy work very hard to make the villain Bane into a cruel, vile bastard. As a result, whenever Hardy is on screen as Bane, he is a physically imposing and incredibly intimidating bad guy. Somehow though, Cox manages to make Bane even more menacing in the book with his graphic descriptions of Bane’s atrocities, “Despite his muscular frame, Bane moved with the speed and ferocity of a wild animal. Bones shattered beneath his expert blows. Ribs cracked, shins and knees and collars snapped. Blood spurted. The guards never had a chance.”
Perhaps the most entertaining part of Cox’s novelization is the personality that he provides to nameless characters from the film. Instead of being mindless drones, Bane’s henchmen are living, breathing, thinking humans with names like McGarrity and Petrov. When you start to understand that their unflinching loyalty to Bane is derived more out of fear than respect, they start to become a bit more sympathetic. Their concerned inner monologue during the movie’s stock market robbery and ensuing motorcycle chase also dials up the anxiety during Batman’s pursuit.
If you can’t wait until the DVD comes out to revisit The Dark Knight Rises or even if you just don’t want to spend over 10 dollars to see it again in the theater, Greg Cox’s novelization is an engaging, cost-conscious way to relive the gripping conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Cox doesn’t merely do justice to adapting the film; he seizes the opportunity to enhance its story with colorful language and additional characters.
The Dark Knight Rises novelization is available in stores and online at www.titanbooks.com.