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The Dark Knight Rises

The Legend Ends

Rating: 7/10

Running Time: 164 minutes

UK Certificate: 12A

Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight undoubtedly set the benchmark for the modern serious comic book caper so the final instalment in the series was always going to struggle to live up to the hype. It doesn’t quite make it but The Dark Knight Rises still manages to be a flawed cinematic event.

Batman’s nemesis this time round is the masked man-mountain Bane (Hardy) – think the Hulk but not green and with a little more chat – who holds Gotham City to ransom with a futuristic bomb. This time Batman (Bale) not only has to battle a man who is infinitely stronger than him but also public opinion as the climax of TDK left Batman as a fugitive and his alter-ego Bruce Wayne as a recluse. The man in black works alongside Chief Commissioner Jim Gordon (Oldman) as usual but also enlists the help of Catwoman (Hathaway) and Blake, a young idealistic police officer (Gordon-Levitt).

With his massive strength, charismatic (although sometimes difficult to understand) voice and stylish range of clothing from Topman Bane is pretty cool but he’s no Heath Ledger’s The Joker – although to be fair not many screen villains have come close. Inadvisably, Nolan has tried to throw in every single Batman-related character possible here, with even Scarecrow (Murphy) making a baffling, fleeting appearance, and the introduction of a messed up, out-of-place Catwoman doesn’t really work. The Dark Knight Rises is also a little too gimmicky with cheesy lines spouted everywhere and far too much technology involved – you would hope that a superhero that can fly around in a helicopter-plane whenever he wants could save the day with his eyes closed.

But once again – in the vein of The Dark Knight and Inception – the scale, bombastic confidence and brains of Nolan’s film are the saving points. Tales of redemption, fiendishly criminal masterplans, dystopian futures, and some serviceable plot twists keep the rather long running time ticking over and entertaining throughout, even if it doesn’t get started until a little too late. For best results, see it for what it is – not Nolan’s best but an enjoyable adult comic book thriller nevertheless.

It's Got: Brains and balls, a very emotional Alfred, exciting action and plot, a cop-out ending

It Needs: To be tidier and more compact, less peripheral characters


Certainly a great action spectacle but this time it’s a slightly flawed cinematic event from Christopher Nolan.