AMID the many high-quality comic-book films that have been released this year, The Dark Knight Rises could nearly have been forgotten about.
The Amazing Spider-Man and The Avengers have been dominating box offices but director Christopher Nolan’s final instalment in his Batman trilogy is sure to make millions.
The Dark Knight Rises is a near-perfect conclusion to Nolan’s trilogy that began with Batman Begins in 2005 and continued with The Dark Knight in 2008.
All the key characters have been retained and are accompanied by some new faces which have been perfectly cast.
Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman return for the final chapter and are joined by Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard.
Hathaway dons the Catwoman suit and Hardy plays the carnage-loving, cold and calculating Bane while Gordon-Levitt play an young police offficer and Cotillard a nuclear-physicist.
While many Dark Knight Rises fans were eager to see Hardy mentallly and physically fight it out with Batman, many were reserved about Hathaway as Catwoman.
But rest assured, Nolan has perfectly cast every actor, right down to the small but crucial role played by Aussie Ben Mendolsohn.
In the epic conclusion, Batman’s reputation has been tarnished after he took the wrap for Harvey “Two Face” Dent.
Eight years on, the city celebrates Dent as the hero Gotham needed and Bruce Wyane has become a recluse in his mansion.
But with the arrival of super-strong mercenary Bane, Gotham turns into a gangland state with everyone fending for themselves.
Batman is forced out of retirment to defend the city he loves, despite Gotham blaming him for past events.
With a run time of nearly three hours, The Dark Knight Rises is indeed an epic.
But each scene is carefully thought out and crucial to the plot of the film and the conclusion of the series.
Nolan has written in a beautiful twist and included some wonderful cameos from previous characters.
The Dark Knight Rises is filmed in much the same way as The Dark Knight, with some hauntingly silent sequences as well as action-packed adventures involving the Batbike and the many gadgets of Batman’s utility belt.
The film is also split into three acts, which gives it a great balance and drives to a final battle between Batman and Bane as well as addressing unanswered questions and closing out the series.
It would be well worth your while to go back to the start and watch Batman Begins and The Dark Knight before going.
I only watched The Dark Knight and regretted not revisiting Batman Begins as the plot came full circle.
The Verdict: ✰✰✰✰½
The Dark Knight Rises (M) is now showing at Bendigo Cinemas. See page 3 of the Bendigo Advertiser for session details.