Advance warning: this review will not contain a rigorous nor thorough comparison of The Dark Knight with The Dark Knight Rises – A) because the former was fiercely in a league of its own and we’re not going to see another movie like it, possibly for years, and B) you’ve most probably already been informed somehow that this new Batman movie just isn’t quite as good as the last one; an assertion with which I am in total agreement.
However I doubt you’ll come across a bigger, slicker, better acted blockbuster this summer.
Set eight years after the Joker’s rampage on Gotham, District Attorney Harvey Dent’s decent into madness and Batman was falsely accused of his murder. Millionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne and his alter ego have both gone into early retirement.
- That is, until the mysterious emergences of a ridiculously talented thief who wears a black cat suit and a masked mercenary whose voice sounds like a across between Darth Vader and the Dalai Lama. From then on all hell breaks loose and Mr Wayne is obligated to don the black cape once more.
In hindsight, The Dark Knight Rises is far from director and writer Christopher Nolan’s best work. It lacks the empiricism, the enigma and the intelligence of his former films such as The Prestige, Memento and Inception. Yet the British filmmaker ought to be celebrated – not just for making the Batman franchise completely his own, but for doing so for all three movies.
Most of the common elements of a Nolan creation are present here; the insistent use of cold dark colours, a surfeit of encrypted plot details equipped with exciting twists, the utilization of flashbacks and reveries, and as usual he extracts the most stellar performances from his cast.
Christian Bale’s turn as a wearier and older Bruce Wayne is great, while the more experienced Michael Cane and Gary Oldman are as good as one expects them to be. Moreover, Tom Hardy as Bane is notably exceptional. He makes a villain who, in retrospect, lacks depth seem particularly threatening yet pragmatic.
Overall: judging it totally on its own terms, an epic, spectacular [ok, and sometimes a bit slow and confusing] end to one of the best superhero trilogies in recent times.
The Dark Knight Rises is showing at theatres now; check with your local cinema for information.