A dark, stormy Knight
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