One of the most highly anticipated films of the year, 'The Dark Knight Rises' is the ultimate conclusion to Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy. For the last six months, we have bared witness to trailer after trailer and a gazillion different posters and promo material. No doubt, this must be the most hyped movie of 2012 and it has finally arrived.
Upon hearing it would be shown in IMAX, I was desperate to grab those tickets as I've never seen a film in IMAX before. Entering the cinema, I was extremely excited for the upcoming 164 minutes, over 60 of which were shot exclusively for IMAX, bringing that extra on-screen WOW.
Eight years after the events of 'The Dark Knight', Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) goes into hiding, but when cat burglar Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) warns him of an oncoming storm and terrorist warlord Bane (Tom Hardy) plots to destroy Gotham, he must don the mask and once again be the symbol of hope that Gotham desperately needs.
Action packed and loaded with firepower, the fight sequences, car chases and explosive action was delightful to watch and the whole floor vibrated as the sound booms out of the speakers, as if we were engulfed by the blast. It was a cinematic experience at the very least.
Christopher Nolan does not disappoint with the making of this film; he not only directed but co-wrote the screen play. What is to praise is the script is whole-hearted and full of power, yet at appropriate times manages to deliver a witty and spontaneous dialogue. The scene with the burning beacon of the Bat symbol on the bridge top was truly emotional, breathtaking and iconic.
Filled with darkness and a colour scheme of greys and browns, 'The Dark Knight Rises' is not the typical Summer popcorn family blockbuster. With the artistry comes themes of destruction, hope and ultimately freedom. Such themes reoccur throughout the movie right til the very end, fitting as this is the last film in the trilogy.
Armed not only with cinematography but a great cast, Christian Bale leads an all star roster which includes a surprisingly competent Anne Hathaway as Catwoman; an unrecognisable and almost inaudible Tom Hardy; Joseph Gordon Levitt, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Marion Cotillard, Gary Oldman and cameos from Liam Neeson, Cillian Murphy and Juno Temple.
Of the three, Bane is perhaps the most physically strong opponent to Batman, bringing a completely different element of fear and weakness for the caped crusader. This aided tremendously to the ideas of being strong in spirit, and having something to fight for in order to overcome such evil.
The surprise delights came from Anne Hathaway and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the former of which was heavily criticised as a casting error early in production. She manages to truly kick-ass whilst also evoking an emotional side, with a witty humour on the side. The young and upcoming Joseph Gordon-Levitt also dominated a large amount of screen as his character John Blake, who is an extremely likeable cop, was developed. Whilst his significance was unbeknownst to us early on, as the film concludes, it will make all the difference.
With the mini 'Inception' cast reunion aside, the cast ensemble was truly brilliant, each character was brought to life with depth, each having a specific role to play in bringing their unique perspective to the screen, whilst working together to form a congruent and believable performance which is genuine and heart-felt.
As the last film in the series, 'The Dark Knight Rises' may not be as psychologically captivating as 'The Dark Knight', but the success of the film is realised by remembering the past. This film ties together the previous two in such a perfect way that it does not at all feel like an add-on, or 'just another money making sequel', it feels necessary, it compliments the other two effortlessly and offers a satisfying conclusion to one of the most prolific film franchises of the decade.
The ending was brilliantly shocking, but as the epic movie came to a close, there is a beautiful freshness and renewal, almost as if the franchise is just about to begin. In order to not spoil it, I will leave it at that, but mark my words, you will love it.
'The Dark Knight Rises' is the MUST SEE Movie of 2012 and I would highly recommend you catch up by watching 'Batman Begins' and 'The Dark Knight' beforehand to fully enjoy the film with maximised context. Whether you see it in IMAX or not is your choice, but either way, it can be summed up by a single word: 'EPIC'.
As to whether this will break box office records against colourful and witty superhero smash 'The Avengers' which broke world records earlier in the year, I believe it will. Despite the lack of 3D in TDKR which inevitably will be it's handicap money wise, audiences worldwide surely cannot fail to recognise the beauty of this movie alone and as rumours already fly about this film being likely of winning 2013's best film Oscar, I truly hope it does, for it deserves recognition wherever it can get it.
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