Movie review – Back to the Bat Cave

2012-07-26 14:38

Film: The Dark Knight Rises (Nu Metro)

Director: Christopher Nolan

Featuring: Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman, Marion Cotillard, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Tom Hardy

Rating: 8/10

Getting the Caped Crusader back into his high-tech batsuit requires more than a visit to the BatCave in Christopher Nolan’s final instalment in his Batman trilogy.

The action picks up eight years after the explosive and murderous end to The Dark Knight.

Bruce Wayne is a broken man, deprived of his Batman persona, while Gotham City seems to prosper under the lie he and Police Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) cooked up in the aftermath of Harvey Dent / Two-Face’s death.

But a storm is brewing, and not even The Dark Knight can stop it alone. So begins this fantastic, gritty tale that so perfectly encapsulates the universe created by artist Bob Kane back in 1939 – albeit seamlessly contemporised by Nolan and his award-winning creative team.

Nolan eschews the 3D trend in favour of the detailed Imax cameras. This film would be cheapened by 3D – the special effects don’t need any help and those who marvelled at Inception will find that Nolan has again put his best visual-effects foot forward.

Christian Bale continues to deepen our knowledge of DC Comics’ oldest superhero’s character with his nuanced performance, while this final story also adds an array of new characters that expand on Gotham’s uniquely dark cityscape.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who featured in Nolan’s Oscar-winning Inception, is Blake, an honest cop and fellow orphan who plays a pivotal role in saving Batman – metaphorically and physically.

Also joining the cast is Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman.

She captures the character’s ambivalence perfectly, keeping Batman on his toes as to her motives from their first encounter to their last.

Her costume, too, is ingenious, working the cat ears into her look without actually putting her in a catsuit.

It is wise of the costume designers not to pit Hathaway up against Michelle Pfeiffer’s look in Tim Burton’s 1992 Batman Returns – instead, they return to the comic book for their inspiration.

Marion Cotillard joins the cast as Miranda Tate, a love interest for Bruce Wayne, while Tom Hardy dons the sea-monsteresque mask of Bane, a mercenary determined to bring Gotham City to heel.

The trio of grand old men of cinema – Oldman, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman – all return to the fray. Also, keep a lookout for other familiar faces as Nolan collects all the loose ends and weaves them into a cinematic tapestry that will delight fans of the franchise.

The fanboys will pick up on a number of the plot twists before the rest of us, but Nolan’s film is so dexterously done that it is a pleasure to watch for any cinephile, crazy Dark Knight fan or not. – Gayle Edmunds.

»Follow me on Twitter @GayleMahala

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