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:: The Dark Knight Rises

Let’s be honest when director Christopher Nolan created The Dark Knight he set the bar pretty high for his Batman trilogy. How do you put together a finale when the second film of the trilogy is globally described as a cinematic masterpiece? With The Dark Knight Rises Nolan had his work cut out for him, but so talented is he that he yet again manages to create a film that is a serious contender film of the year.

The Dark Knight Rises is set eight years after the finale of The Dark Knight. While Gotham remembers Harvey Dent as a hero Batman (Christian Bale) is remembered as a murderer and is still considered an outlaw. Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) knows the truth but doesn’t have the courage to speak out.

Meanwhile Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has hidden himself away from the public, the only person he allows to see him is the trusty butler, Alfred (Michael Caine). Bruce is unaware that he still has supporters out there though, people like young police officer Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who are just waiting for the day for their hero to rise. Bruce’s interest in the world returns when he meets a cat burglar, Selina (Anne Hathaway) who seems to be a small part of a scheme put together by the extremely dangerous Bane (Tom Hardy).

Nolan brings an entirely different feeling to The Dark Knight Rises then what he allowed to come through in The Dark Knight or Batman Begins. While The Dark Knight focused on the psychological (like its ‘bad guy’ The Joker) The Dark Knight rises mirrors Bane with its focus on violence mixed with a sensationally creative storyline that has its audience guessing at every turn.

Like he did with Inception Nolan also allows the visuals of The Dark Knight Rises to visually stimulate his audience. The early shots from the plane look amazing, as does many of his cityscape shots. As a director/screenwriter he really is someone he has realised that even action movies need to have substance if they are to be taken seriously.

Christian Bale, as usual, puts in a dominant performance as Bruce/Batman, but even he is overshadowed by a brilliant performance by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Despite his performance in Inception he is still underrated, yet here he once again shows the world just how good he really is. The actor you have to feel sorry for is Tom Hardy. He is seriously held back by his character, Bane. He looks physically intimidating but a lot of his characterization is ripped away by the fact that the mask he has to wear completely denies him the opportunity to use his voice or facial expressions to show emotions.

Of course many eyes are on Anne Hathaway as Selina/Catwoman. She does an okay job but you can only wonder whether someone like Angelina Jolie would have done a better job. Michael Caine also does some wonderfully emotional acting but poor old Morgan Freeman and Marion Cotillard seems underused in their roles.

The Dark Knight Rises is a film that must be seen on the big screen, once again Christopher Nolan has delivered a film that can instantly be filed under film classics.