Director Christopher Nolan’s final episode in the Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, is a layered, complex, emotional and action-packed event. Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne and his alter ego of the caped crusader Batman are shown as vulnerable, fallible and conflicted. Issues of mortality, abandonment, anger and trust are tackled in between vast imaginatively designed action set pieces.
The Dark Knight Rises resumes eight years after the previous episode, The Dark Knight, when Bruce Wayne saved Gotham from Two Face. This time, he is joined by a few new faces — Anne Hathaway who is surprisingly good as Selina Kyle, Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate; and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as detective John Blake who is the find of this episode. Of course Michael Caine is back as Wayne’s Man Friday, Alfred; Gary Oldman reprises his role as Commissioner Gordon; and Morgan Freeman presents some new gadgets and toys as Lucius Fox.
In spite of the difficulty factor in portraying emotions with half your face covered by a mask, Tom Hardy makes a valiant attempt. Nonetheless his characterization of the main villain, Bane, is disappointing. His voice and constant announcements irritate after a while. Bale, on the other hand, is as always extremely watchable and convincing in his role.
Special mention must be made of Hans Zimmer’s score which elevates the mood, establishes emotion and carries you along on the Dark Knight’s journey. There are several cameos of note, such as Tom Conti and Liam Neeson.
Fans will love it and only wish this was not the last from the Nolan-Bale-Batman franchise. Even after 2 hours and 45 minutes you find you want more and while there is no assurance that more is to come, certainly not from Nolan, the script does leave the future open-ended. So fingers crossed!