Film review: The Dark Knight RisesBy Joe Finnerty
December 11, 2012
EXPLOSIONS, high-tech gadgets, a sinister villain, a reluctant hero and a huge budget, The Dark Knight Rises – just released on DVD – really does have it all.
The final outing for Christopher Nolan’s Batman is a fitting end to the popular trilogy and provides a couple of hours of action-packed drama.
The film picks up straight from where the previous instalment finishes, almost providing a ‘previously on Batman’ intro to bring viewers up to speed.
Eight years on from his run in with the Joker, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), aka Batman, is in hiding having taken the fall for the death of the popular district attorney Harvey Dent.
Happy to spend his days in solitude alongside faithful servant Alfred (Michael Caine), Batman is plunged back into action following the arrival of Bane (Tom Hardy), a new terrorist leader.
Things go from bad to worse and eventually Batman, alongside a new ally in Catwoman (Anne Hathaway), is forced to use all his tools to protect his beloved Gotham City, which over the years has seen its fair share of lunatics.
Hardy’s performance as Bane is one of the highlights of the film. His version of Bane in The Dark Knight Rises couldn’t be further from the terrible, bumbling incarnation in the 1997 film Batman and Robin. His portrayal is inspired, achieving a deeply sinister edge through his calm voice and delivery of comedy lines – think Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber in Die Hard.
The supporting cast is also excellent and reads like a who’s who of movie greats. Morgan Freeman returns as Lucius Fox, Gary Oldman is back as Commissioner Gordon and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception and Looper) plays a vital role. Nolan’s hints to what has gone before via quick flashbacks and quotes works really well to link it into the trilogy.
But this reliance on what has gone also stops it from being a five-star film on its own. The ending also seems a little rushed compared to the long intro and middle and the time frame of certain events is a little sketchy.
The fighting sequences with Batman taking his anger out on various goons as he makes his way to Bane aren’t quite as polished or exciting as other superhero films, for example in The Avengers, which is a little disappointing.
But overall The Dark Knight Rises is a great way to end the trilogy and has a real symmetry with previous events.
It will be interesting to see where the franchise goes from here.