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The Dark Knight Rises Review

It’s been a long wait, and a lot of hype, but The Dark Knight Rises is about to land in cinemas, on the 20th of July.  Is it possible for the movie to meet the high expectations of the fans?

The Dark Knight Rises picks up Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, which is a little confusing at first because some important things have happened in those years.  Batman taking the blame for the crimes, and death, of Harvey Dent has brought about significant change as a new law, inspired by Dent, has given police the power they needed to take Gotham back from the criminals.  With the mob finally behind bars, Gotham no longer needed Batman.  This lack of purpose and the loss of Rachel have turned Bruce Wayne into a recluse.  However, the threat of new evil is enough to shake Batman out of retirement.

Anne Hathaway had an extremely challenging role.  There have been so many great portrayals of Catwoman over the years and she managed to surpass them all.  This version of Catwoman is tough, independent, layered and sexy without being ridiculously over sexualised.  Without a doubt she was the right person for the job.  She was given a really interesting character to play and she did it justice in a way that nobody thought she could.  It’s easy to forget who is actually playing the part and get lost in the character, which proves just how great an actress Hathaway really is.

Selina Kyle is a great character, with a rich history and it was really nice to have this history explored but not thrown in your face.  The Selina shown in this film is the finished product.  You can see what she does and who she is, but not how she got there.  This may not sound like a good thing, but it really is.  How often do people sit you down and explain why they are the way they are?  It doesn’t happen.  It’s clear the character has been through a lot and has had a troubled past.  In fact, escaping that past is a huge motivating factor for her.

Bane has never really been done justice on film before so Tom Hardy didn’t have as much to live up to in that respect, but he’s still playing the man who broke the bat which is a pretty big deal in the comic world.  While it was sometimes hard to understand him, it didn’t really hurt the performance.  To keep the film grounded in reality some changes were made to the character, though they didn’t seem necessary they provided a deeper, more emotional reason for why Bane fights.  As a villain he is very direct and calculated, while also showing no remorse for his actions.  He is pure brute force.

In the comics, Bane has such an interesting backstory and fans may be disappointed to see that it has been changed somewhat.  The alterations feel largely unnecessary as it seems like there were many other ways they could have made the same point without messing around with his history.  However, the edits do provide some twists and turns while also giving fans of the comics something new.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard, who both starred in Christopher Nolan’s Inception, are new to the Batman universe.  Levitt plays orphan turned police officer, John Blake, and Marion Cotillard plays Wayne Enterprises board member, Miranda Tate.  Both do a really great job with their characters, proving once again that Nolan has a keen eye for casting the right people.  While Miranda Tate helps bring Bruce Wayne, played once again by Christian Bale, out of is reclusive state and back to Wayne Enterprises, John Blake works with Commissioner Gordon and Batman to try bring down Bane.  Blake’s ideals sever to highlight those that both Bruce Wayne and Commissioner Gordon once had but have now lost.

Though the film’s long running time, of just under three hours, may be challenging on the bladders of those who ordered the extra-large drink, ever second is necessary to the development of the characters and the story.  This is not a brainless action film it has depth, social commentary and extremely interesting characters.  The series is brought to an amazing conclusion that should leave fans feeling fulfilled, but, at the same time, little sad as it still feels like there is so much life left in the franchise.

What do you think?  Are you a Batman fan?  Do you like Christopher Nolan’s take on Batman?  Which is your favourite film in Nolan’s franchise?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below, also don’t forget to click the like button, if you liked this post, and please subscribe.

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