The Dark Knight Rises review

It is a very sad fact about life: The curtain has to come down at some point.

Gerbils die, goldfish bite the dust, and all good things must inevitably end. It sucks.

Tonight I witnessed the closing ceremony of the best comic book hero trilogy ever made. With every attempt at a hero trilogy in the past, the third one has always been the doozy. Too much is thrown into the mincer and the end result becomes messy and inedible.

Luckily this third film is a work of art.

The Dark Knight Rises tells the story of a new terrorist leader, Bane, who overwhelms Gotham’s police force, forcing the Dark Knight to resurface and protect a city that has branded him an enemy. Or so the synopsis says, but there is so much more to the film than that.

It is the brilliant apex of a glorious trilogy. You could not wish for a better end to this wonderful enterprise. Nolan brought Batman back from the dead in 2005 with Batman Begins, in 2008 he did the same with the Joker. Now he toys with the comic hero film blueprint itself. The hero’s journey is more complex and stretched. As a story it is more Rocky III than Batman Forever and I for one am eternally grateful that Nolan ever got involved with Batman.

Not only does The Dark Knight Rises put a nice lid on everything, it also brings us the most devilish, harrowing and terrifying villain in modern cinema history. Tom Hardy’s powerful and demonic Bane makes Heath Ledger’s Joker seem just that. Hardy delivers each line with a cold, hard authority and as a viewer you genuinely fear this walking personification of evil. Bane is without a doubt the scariest bad guy in a long, long time.

The cast is strong here in general. Bale is once again on top form, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anne Hathaway are wonderful and the usual suspects are as reliably brilliant as ever.

The real stars of the show however are Nolan’s direction, his script (some of the dialogue is poetically hypnotising) and Tom Hardy’s performance. A perfect end to a perfect trilogy.

This film (as The Dark Knight did before it) proves once and for all that comic book films needn’t be dumbed down or explained to death. If they treat the audience with a modicum of respect, they will get it back tenfold.

A must see film.

 

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