The Dark Knight Rises (12A)
Director: Christopher Nolan.
Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson.
Running time: 2hrs 44mins.
Parting is such sweet sorrow.
Director Christopher Nolan completes his dark and brooding trilogy based on the DC Comics crime-fighter in suitably grandiose fashion, delivering not only the longest film in the series but also the most brutal, violent and satisfying.
Christian Bale brings typical intensity to the title role and the tender bond with Sir Michael Caine’s lackey continues to tug heartstrings.
Thankfully, Tom Hardy’s electronic vocals have been improved since the early trailers for the film so his masked villain is largely intelligible and Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman purrs some choice one-liners.
It is eight years since Batman falsely assumed responsibility for the death of District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) in order to bring the anti-crime legislation into effect and crush Gotham’s criminal fraternity.
The caped crusader is a fading memory and crippled billionaire Bruce Wayne (Bale) has become a virtual recluse, holed up in his manor.
An encounter with wily cat burglar Selina Kyle (Hathaway) draws Bruce into the orbit of hulking terrorist Bane (Hardy), who intends to complete the work of Ra’s al Ghul (Liam Neeson) and destroy Gotham.
A dastardly plot unfolds but Bruce is physically and mentally unable to stop gangs of gun-toting mercenaries from overwhelming Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) and the Gotham police force.
The Dark Knight Rises should satisfy fans of the previous two films while delivering all the thrills required of a muscular summer blockbuster.
Action sequences are adrenaline-pumping from the bruising fist fights, to high-speed chases aboard the nifty two-wheeled Bat-Pod and the introduction of a state-of-the-art stealth aircraft nicknamed The Bat.