It is fair to say, that the anticipation, expectation and excitement for this movie could not have been much bigger. Batman Begins was a very good film and The Dark Knight was an amazing film and to surpass its predecessors, Nolan was going to have to pull of something very special indeed with The Dark Knight Rises.
I had my IMAX ticket booked weeks in advance and the last few weeks have just been full of excitement with looking forward to seeing this blockbuster of a movie. I’d seen some behind the scenes footage, watched nearly every theatrical trailer and TV spot I could find and watched the European premiere of the film in Leicester Square live on YouTube. I have never been this excited for a movie.
I was actually nervous going into the cinema, as my extremely high expectations for the movie could have easily not been met and the end of this trilogy would have seemed like a step backwards from The Dark Knight. Thankfully, this was not the case.
In fact, my initial thoughts as the credits began were that this was best film of the Trilogy, not by much, but the twists and turns and emotional rollercoaster ride that you are taken on in this movie is just mind blowing. There were times in the film, one in particular, where I was so shocked by a sudden twist in the plot that my jaw literally did drop and my mouth left open for a good 30 seconds afterwards as I was getting my mind around this bombshell Nolan has dropped before us.
Apart from the behind the scenes and trailers I mentioned before, I did not know much about the overall plot of the film before going in and this is something I think everyone should try to go into the cinema with. Don’t read Wikipedia, don’t search for spoilers online, visit your cinema and watch this masterpiece unfold before you and get shocked at twists you won’t see coming.
Christian Bale pulls off what I think was his performances of the trilogy, especially playing the role of a broken Bruce Wayne throughout most of the films beginning. Bringing the character from an all time low to putting on the bat suit for the final time, it is an emotional time seeing Bale in what will be his last time as Batman.
Tom Hardy’s performance of the terrorising Bane was physically frightening, and there were parts in this film where I just did not know how Gotham was ever going to stop him. Although it wasn’t as bad as people said it was, some of the Bane’s dialogue was hard to understand through the mask, but it also adds to the characters mystery and is pretty scary too, so for me anyway, this didn’t ruin the film at all.
I have to say that the leading villain from the trilogy still remains as The Joker for me, as Heath Ledgers freakishly sadistic performance still remains the best acting job of the three films. This does come close to being beaten in this film though, by an extremely emotional performance by Michael Caine as Bruce Wayne’s butler Alfred. There were some scenes where you could genuinely feel his emotion and care for Bale’s character, which really was a pleasure to watch and added to some of the most lump in your throat moments of the entire series.
I was one of many people who was surprised by Anne Hathaway’s selection to become Selina Kyle, AKA Catwoman, in this movie, but have to say that even her first scene completely changed my thoughts on that. She was incredibly luring and badass throughout the film and at the same time as her manipulative ways were taking advantage of people, you still felt very strongly for the character meaning well by her actions. A very strong performance and one where Hathaway was unrecognisable from her performances in the past.
Some other great additions to this incredibly cast list include Joseph Gordon Levitt and Marion Cotillard, who like Hardy has come into this film off the back of working with Nolan on Inception. Cotillard’s character Miranda Tate had a lot of mystery surrounding her, but played a key role in Wayne Enterprises and the films outcome, whilst Gordon-Levitt’s character John Blake, was a fresh addition to the Gotham police force. Apart from Batman, Blake was the hero of the piece, mirroring Commissioner Gordon’s roles in previous films by standing for all that is good and fighting for what was right.
Gary Oldman picks up right where he left off in The Dark Knight with his performance of Jim Gordon, and Morgan Freeman put on a sparsely used good performance again with his role as Lucius Fox.
Included in this amazing cast are villains from the previous two movies, which I will leave for you to notice yourself through the film. I really can’t think of a blockbuster movie, apart from maybe The Avengers, that manages to get a cast together as good as the one for this movie. This cast beats The Avengers too just simply because you get Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine together!
The only criticism I have for the entire movie, is that although Bane was menacing and powerful, he did lack the psychological scares of the likes of The Scarecrow and The Joker in the previous films, which I found a lot more scary to watch. His power was impressive though and I just take it that Bane is obviously just a different style of villain to these previous ones. Also it may have been a bit too much trying to listen to him if he had any more speeches in the film like the ones that he did have.
Apart from that minor criticism, the film was absolutely perfect. The story was fantastic, the twists throughout the film were phenomenal and the acting was straight out of the top drawer. The end of the film in particular is what topped it off for me. You will understand if you have already seen it or when you see it, but the ending seems like it is great, then it gets better, then better, then it is just perfect. Make sure you listen closely towards the end at some of the dialogue as well as each bit will add more tears to your eyes and make that grin on your face even bigger.
Absolute masterpiece of a movie from Christopher Nolan and I feel very sorry for the next person who is brave enough to pick up the Batman series.