Eight years have passed since The Joker wreaked havoc in Gotham City. Eight years have passed since the death of District Attorney, Harvey Dent. Eight years have passed since Batman’s self-imposed exile. Eight years since the Dent Act allowed the city to round up and imprison its most notorious criminals with complete impunity. Eight years of crime-free streets. Eight years of peace and quiet. Eight years is a long time, and now, Gotham’s hour of reckoning is nigh!
Christopher Nolan’s long awaited finale to the Dark Knight Trilogy has arrived in Gibraltar with a bang! Since the second instalment, 2008’s The Dark Knight, he busied himself with another small project, Inception (2010), and many features from that movie behemoth can be found in The Dark Knight Rises. The sequences are bigger, faster and visually astounding. This is Nolan at his storytelling best – both visually and verbally.
After the events in The Dark Knight, Batman has gone into hiding, taking the blame for the death of Harvey Dent, despite saving Gotham from The Joker’s rampage. Handing over protection of the city to Commissioner Gordon, Batman disappears, allowing Bruce Wayne to recover from his exertions, knowing the city is in safe hands. However, eight years on a new and more exacting force of evil arrives in Gotham, threatening to completely destroy the city and plunge it into anarchy. Bane’s, masked arrival overwhelms the police, opening the door for Batman’s return. But, eight years is a long time. Is Batman strong enough to defeat his strongest ever foe? Is Bruce Wayne too proud and self-assured to realise his limitations? Can he overcome all the obstacles in his path in time to save Gotham?
As ever, the film boasts an all-star cast. Christian Bale leads the line as Batman/Bruce Wayne, a role that he has made entirely his own, distancing the character from its rather camp predecessors. Bruce Wayne continues to experience devastating loss in his life, his body is battered and ailing from his battles with The Joker, and Batman is exiled and no longer needed. For a man who has everything, Bruce Wayne is left with nothing, and this is made painfully evident through Bale’s poignant portrayal of a lost and broken man dealing with a huge weight of responsibility heaped on his shoulders. As well as the usual acting stalwarts, Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon, Michael Caine as the ever-philosophical Alfred and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, propping up the fringes of the film, The Dark Knight Rises introduces some new and interesting faces.
Tom Hardy’s Bane is an immovable object. Clearly Nolan saw something special in the actor whilst working with him on Inception, and his faith is well and truly vindicated with an immense performance by Hardy as Batman’s nemesis. Wearing a facemask vaguely reminiscent of Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, Bane cuts a monster of a man with anarchic ideals and dry, dark wit. Although sometimes difficult to understand because of the mask, the ear does become accustomed to his clipped voice, but this in no way detracts from a very strong performance by the British actor.
Another major reveal in this movie is the introduction of Selina Kyle, better known as Catwoman, and played with sass and sexiness by Anne Hathaway. The high-kicking, fast-talking, man-eating cat burglar explodes into Bruce Wayne’s life and, by extension, Batman’s. Although everyone will have their definitive Catwoman (Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether, Eartha Kitt, Michelle Pfeiffer, Halle Berry), Hathaway’s incarnation is grittier, earthier and sassier than the others, fitting in seamlessly to the world created by Nolan in this trilogy.
Wealthy investor, Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard) and police officer John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, also of Inception fame) make up the numbers in this glittering panel of new faces, adding their own contributions to the many twists and turns in the storyline.
Christopher Nolan is reported to have crafted the film completely around the final scene. The “inception” of this final act and the big reveal drives the narrative along with speed and purpose. The cinematography is bold and daring, with impressive special effects and an often haunting score, punctuated by long periods of silence that serve to unbearably heighten the tension. Batman’s vehicles are spectacular in their impossibility, but you find yourself more than willing to suspend disbelief and immerse yourself in his world. There are points in this film when you feel every punch, experience every anxiety and suffer every trauma. This is cinematic craftsmanship at its very best, and through Christopher Nolan’s vision and expert attention to detail and story telling, The Dark Knight most certainly Rises!
The Dark Knight Rises is currently being screened twice daily at Gibraltar Leisure Cinemas. All photos and videos are from the official Dark Knight Rises website - http://www.thedarkknightrises.com/