The Dark Knight Rises (2012) – Film Review

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Director: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine

Certificate: 12

by Dan Berlinka

The Dark Knight Rises, the final part of Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy is unlikely to disappoint anyone who’s come this far. As before, the tone is sombre and melancholy. This emphasises the cost and consequences of the caped crusades and, for the most part, the impressive action sequences avoid overwhelming the characters at the story’s heart.

There are several additions to the excellent established cast. Anne Hathaway is beguiling as Catwoman. Joseph Gordon Levitt nails it as a fresh-faced cop. In a really outstanding turn, Tom Hardy’s super-villain Bane demolishes the screen. It’s a performance that’s all the more remarkable because, given that he’s in a mask, most of his emotions are only in his eyes.

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“Sheer scale”

Of course, the film is not without its flaws. Despite the generous running time some scenes feel rushed and certain elisions leave plot holes in their wake. Although I’m not for a moment suggesting the picture should be longer. It just about sustains the 165 minute duration. I doubt many would feel short-changed if there was half an hour less of it.

But more than anything, the seriousness, the reverence and the self-conscious importance of the enterprise, may leave some viewers (well me, anyway) thinking ‘yes, yes, that gloomy brooding is all well and good but this IS still a bit of comic book silliness, isn’t it?’

Nonetheless, summer blockbusters that respect the intelligence of their audience are very much to be applauded, and the quality, commitment and sheer scale on offer, make this well worth catching on the biggest screen you can find.


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