A dark, stormy Knight

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - MOVIES -

FANS and crit­ics alike were over­joyed when, in 2005, di­rec­tor Christo­pher Nolan took a tired, bloated Bat­man fran­chise and de­liv­ered Bat­man Be­gins, a re­fresh­ing, dark and psy­cho­log­i­cal take on the ori­gins of Gotham City’s hero.

The Dark Knight fol­lowed in 2008 with Heath Ledger’s Os­car-win­ning per­for­mance as The Joker. Now, The Dark Knight Rises is the hugely an­tic­i­pated third and fi­nal chap­ter of this saga. And what a send-off it is. Grip­ping, thrilling, mes­meris­ing – there aren’t enough ad­jec­tives to de­scribe the pure ex­cite­ment and en­ter­tain­ment that comes with watch­ing The Dark Knight Rises.

Nolan, who also di­rected In­cep­tion, is a ge­nius at these kind of movies, where he com­bines all the spec­ta­cle of an ac­tion-packed block­buster with emo­tion­ally com­plex char­ac­ters, while keep­ing you on your toes with plot twists and turns that never fail to sur­prise.

The story picks up eight years af­ter the events of The Dark Knight, with bil­lion­aire Bruce Wayne (Chris­tian Bale) now a recluse and his al­ter-ego Bat­man out of ac­tion since Gotham branded him a mur­derer.

The city has been at peace since, un­der the watch of guilt-rid­den Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Jim Gor­don (Gary Old­man) but, as Selina Kyle aka Cat­woman (Anne Hath­away) says, ‘‘there’s a storm com­ing’’, and it’s in the form of a mon­strous masked ter­ror­ist named Bane (Tom Hardy).

Nolan co-wrote the script with his brother Jonathan and to­gether they have cre­ated a vil­lain that couldn’t be more dif­fer­ent from The Joker.

In a dis­tinct and re­spect­ful side-step away from that bad­die, Bane is ba­si­cally the hu­man equiv­a­lent of a tank and, phys­i­cally, an ad­ver­sary that can eas­ily match Bat­man.

When the two do go one-on-one, it’s gritty, painful and ab­so­lutely cap­ti­vat­ing.

One mi­nor criticism is that Bane is oc­ca­sion­ally hard to un­der­stand with his mask, but the cos­tume piece also dis­plays Hardy’s tal­ent and the way he con­veys ev­ery emo­tion through just his eyes is pow­er­ful.

The Dark Knight Rises is long at 164 min­utes, but it’s so ab­sorb­ing the time flies by, par­tic­u­larly in the fi­nal act.

Also mak­ing up the top-notch sup­port cast is Michael Caine’s Al­fred, the emo­tional heart of the three movies, Mor­gan Free­man’s

Chris­tian Bale as Bat­man

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