The Dark Knight Rises – review

The epic Nolan Dark Knight trilogy came to its conclusion in The Dark Knight Rises, following a veteran Bruce Wayne who steps back into the Batman mantle to face a new menacing threat to Gotham in Bane, starring, Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine.

The Dark Knight Rises, so much to talk about, Nolans trilogy comes to an interesting in a movie that was far from the beloved masterpiece that The Dark Knight was, firstly we get a reluctant Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) who has hung up his cape and hasn’t been Batman for 8 years after facing off with the Joker Bruce is in poor physical shape as well and Gotham has for the most part been doing okay. That is until Bane (Tom Hardy) shows up and threatens Gotham with unintelligible mumbling and an atomic bomb, of course, this brings Bruce back into the game and is the inciting incident of the story.

One thing that has to be noted off the bat (no pun intended) is the cast, none of Nolans’ Batman films have a bad cast at all but the casting this time around is so, so on point, featuring some returning characters from the previous two films, as well as some brand new ones in Bane (Tom Hardy), Blake (Joseph Gordon Levitt), Catwoman (Anne Hathaway), Bale still gives a good, memorable performance though not his best in the trilogy. But Tom Hardy is easily the MVP of the film and fully envelopes himself as Bane, bringing an impressive physical presence and a menacing aura about him and onto the not so great, Marion Cotillard brings a lacklustre performance as Nyssa in an otherwise impressive roster of actors while Anne Hathaway is also great as Catwoman and captures the feeling of mischief, fun and rule breaking the character has been known for.

Nolan is brilliant at crafting fictional worlds of great scope and it’s no different this time around, Gotham feels like a real city with some questionable Police decisions and people in power making mistakes – which happens. And a maybe less noted but important thing about the film is the costumes which are all great, Bane ‘looks’ like Bane albeit not 8 feet tall like his comic book character but Hardy still cuts an imposing physical figure and he has a great screen presence in scenes, hearkening back to Nolans’ gritty depiction of Batmans’ over the top world.

Action wise, the film isn’t as focused on it as much as it was a feature in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight with more of a focus on the main conflict between Batman and Bane but the existing action here is done well, the set pieces in the film are big in scope and also look great, shot beautifully on HD cameras to give great visual detail and and a grand scale to certain set pieces, Gotham has never looked this good on the big screen and it the visuals are fantastic. The things that let The Dark Knight Rises down as a Batman fan can be perfectly summed up in 3 words – needs more Batman, also there’s some bland acting and plot threads that seemed rushed to their conclusions.

And while not being the Batman film to satisfy a lot of Nolan or Batman fans, The Dark Knight Rises is still an impressive cinematic effort, very well shot and well acted, it’s a showcase of its directors ambition and dedication to his work, the film has its prominent low points but they are mostly overshadowed by an overall good story and satisfying conclusion.

7/10

. Brilliantly cast and equally well acted

. Well shot fil, great visuals

. Some unavoidable plot holes that draw you out of the story a bit

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