This review may contain spoilers

Batman – The Dark Knight Rises

Christopher Nolan brings Batman to life in this powerful, dark conclusion to the Batman saga. Batman Begins is the gripping and compelling origin of the hero, fully explaining the reasons for Bruce Wayne's crime fighting spree. The Dark Knight is a lot more serious, realistic, and powerful including Batman's famous Keith Ledger as the Joker. The Dark Knight Rises is the last of the series, and by far the best, it builds tension like no film I've seen par the Alien films. I'm not saying however that film is better than The Dark Knight, but I would definitely say the tension felt throughout The Dark Knight Rises is something many film makers would struggle to achieve.

Much credit goes to Christopher Nolan as the films three and a half hour running time is well paced and completely engrossing you'll be so immersed in the film that you won't even notice how long it is, the CGI is at the set standard of today and is not excessive in its use which is a welcoming change.

Every sequel in this saga builds greater tension, greater enemies and the threats are always getting worse. The best thing about the action in these films is that it's not about being pretentiously over the top but it is made to give you anxiety and shows the dirty side to the fights, how everyone will do anything to be on top. Tom Hardy was amazing as Bane, he brings a lot of fear into the film and is condescending to batman, under mining him at every turn in an almost cocky way that shows he has a purpose to his torture. His mask is ferocious, his characters story is in-depth and the portrayal of this character couldn't have been better! Marion Cotillard, meanwhile, adds a whole different level to this film. As Miranda Tate for a lot of the film, she gives Bruce someone to connect with very intimately. But things get into gear near the end when her real heritage and connection to Bruce is revealed. It makes for one of the best twists you'd never suspected. I thought Marion portrayed this role so well, there were subtle hints to what was going to happen with how well she acted, but in particular she made the whole film near the end with one moment where she reveals her true colours. Keep an eye on Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake, a cop who has a connection to Batman and ends up being very important at the end to anyone who's ever heard of batman. He gives the character a lot of depth and makes sure he leaves an impact at the last moment. Previous key players such as Gary Oldman's Gordon, Morgan Freeman's Lucius Fox and Michael Caine's Alfred have not been forgotten either they have been so memorable and integral to the story that despite perhaps not getting as much focus as they had previously, they ensure they're a constant presence whether they're on screen or not. Caine's Alfred especially shares some heart-wrenching moments with Bruce, one particular moment had a lot of the audience in tears. These esteemed actors in these roles will never be topped. There is also one other who is Catwoman, played by Anne Hathaway who's role was to show even those with a darker side may fight for the greater good and also to show a side that isn't always seen with Batman, that Humans have weakness. Her performance in this role was as notable as the others, but because she has only just been introduced to the saga I didn't feel empathy for her like I did for the other characters.

Most of the film is the anarchy in Gotham and Bruce Wayne's suffering. The exploding start to the film will leave you a little confused at first, but all is explained in due time. There isn't much action after this but because of their significance it keeps you on the edge of your seat, you want to know everyone's story. What matters here is how you can feel the characters tense emotions, the chaotic turn of Gotham looks bleak, grim and makes you think everybody has had their time and yet there is also hope. In-depth and compelling stories are all intertwined with each other, the emotion is present and you and brought into it. The scale is large and it is so explosive which is the usual formula of all blockbusters, however it uses it in a darker way. The Dark Knight Rises is just beyond your expectations, its quality lies in how it builds its tension. It's also a fitting end to this amazing saga!

Overall I rate this film 5/5

Review by Liam Taylor


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