Rous­ing farewell to mo­men­tous saga

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

Kapi-Mana News - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT -

Chris­tian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hath­away, Liam Nee­son, Joseph Gor­don-Le­vitt, Gary Old­man, Mar­ion Cotil­lard, Mor­gan Free­man, Michael Caine, Matthew Mo­dine. Screen­play by Christo­pher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan, di­rected by Christo­pher Nolan. 164 min­utes, rated M (vi­o­lence), show­ing at Read­ing Cine­mas Porirua and Light House Pau­ata­hanui.

Oh God, it’s fi­nally here. Few pic­tures will ever arrive in cine­mas with more an­tic­i­pa­tion and ex­pec­ta­tion than this one, and it’s down to two things: The Dark Knight was so frickin’ amaz­ing; and chief ar­chi­tect Christo­pher Nolan has made it very clear this is his last crack at Bat­man.

Given the rev­er­ence with which fans hold his rein­vig­o­ra­tion of the fran­chise, that may as well mean the last one.

Warner Bros will, of course, find an­other way to sat­isfy our ap­petite for the Caped Cru­sader – and make a ton of moolah do­ing so – but will they ever come close to this?

The Dark Knight Rises is an epic, am­bi­tious and artful fi­nal chap­ter, which re­turns to the themes cen­tral to Bat­man Be­gins – jus­tice, cor­rup­tion, sac­ri­fice and re­demp­tion – with an un­der­cur­rent Oc­cupy move­ment rage.

It also re­turns the fo­cus to Bruce Wayne, our bil­lion­aire play­boy who is still haunted by the murder of his par­ents and, more re­cently, the events of The Dark Knight.

Of­ten a som­bre af­fair, with less cos­tumed fight­ing than expected, the pic­ture still had me en­grossed for ev­ery one of its 164 min­utes.

The Dark Knight Rises is set

of eight years af­ter the death of dis­trict at­tor­ney Har­vey Dent, whose cor­rup­tion has been hid­den from the pub­lic. In its place has been a lie of mar­tyr­dom that has helped po­lice gain greater power and crim­i­nals re­ceive fewer rights.

The streets are clean but be­neath them a re­bel­lion is brew­ing, led by Bane (Tom Hardy), a phys­i­cally im­pos­ing ter­ror­ist hell-bent on Gotham City’s de­struc­tion.

Mean­while, Wayne has been shacked up in his man­sion all these years, with bad knees and a bro­ken spirit. But his in­ter­est in the world is rekin­dled when he crosses paths with plucky cat bur­glar Selina Kyle (Anne Hath­away).

Does the movie match The Dark Knight for fe­roc­ity and au­di­ence cap­ti­va­tion? No, and it was al­ways go­ing to strug­gle. Quite sim­ply, there’s no Joker in this deck.

Bane is a wor­thy vil­lain: a fear­ful brute with a brain, and a muz­zle of tubes in his mouth bear­ing painkillers to cope with some past hor­ror. While this pro­vides for an un­nerv­ing, aug­mented voice on the part of Hardy, the lack of fa­cial ex­pres­sion lim­its the char­ac­ter’s en­gage­ment to the viewer and his beefy size re­stricts his fight scenes with Bat­man to punch-fests.

Bane’s in­ten­tions are also a bit mud­dled. What’s the point of over­throw­ing a city and fan­ning a civil rev­o­lu­tion when you in­tend to blow it up?

Still, I didn’t for a sec­ond miss Joker or think Nolan had made a wrong move in his choice of neme­sis. And let’s not for­get Cat­woman – though Selina Kyle is never given this moniker, in keep­ing with the grounded tone of the tril­ogy.

Hath­away’s dou­ble-cross­ing minx is a de­light: her scenes with Bale, whether as Bat­man or Wayne, are the most en­joy­able of the movie. I just wish they’d be back for an­other gor­ound.

Nolan and Bale’s gritty Bat­man has made for one of the great­est three-parters in cinema his­tory. They are as thrilling as the Ja­son Bourne thrillers, as in­volv­ing as The Lord of the Rings and, dare I say, as sweep­ing in their en­chant­ment as the orig­i­nal Star Wars films. It’s sad to say good­bye. Though there is a sweet hint of hope in the clos­ing mo­ments of The Dark Knight Rises and Nolan’s in­volve­ment with The Man of Steel Su­per­man re­boot, that his deft touch will again bring DC’s comic-book uni­verse to life. Caped Cru­sader must thwart the cat­a­strophic plans of muz­zled brute Bane (Tom Hardy) in Christo­pher Nolan’s fi­nal Bat­man movie, The Dark Knight Rises.

Face off: The

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