Film review: The Dark Knight Rises (5 out of 5 stars)

(12A) 164mins

Thursday, 19th July 2012, 8:44 am

Director: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine

The much anticipated summer blockbuster has finally arrived as Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy reaches its climax.

The ‘summer’ may have disappointed so far but this final instalment certainly doesn’t.

It’s full of explosive action but also gives the actors a chance to work on their characters.

When you have the likes of Gary Oldman, Marion Cottilard and Morgan Freeman, plus Bale, Hardy, Hathaway and Caine, you need to give them room to breath.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, a comparative newcomer with the above, is also given a chance to shine.

Thanks the Crawley Cineworld, I had the chance to see the movie in a special viewing on the IMAX screen before general release.

The film is intended to be seen in this format (big screen, bigger sound but not 3D) and I’d advise anyone to spend the extra money.

The first action scene involving two passenger aircraft is remarkable on its own.

Perhaps the only concern I have is that the sound is so intense that it’s difficult to catch some of Hardy’s dialogue.

It’s worth watching the previous two movies (Batman Begins and The Dark Night) again as, not surprisingly, this follows on quite neatly.

Bruce Wayne (Bale) is now a recluse in his mansion after Batman wrongly took the blame for the death of respected District Attorney Harvey Dent.

But trouble is on the horizon in the very large form of Bane (Hardy), a mysterious terrorist leader who wears a strange breathing apparatus that covers most of his face.

Bane is intent on disrupting Gotham, sweeping away Batman and anyone else in his path.

There is, of course, much more to the plot, involving Catwoman (Hathaway), financier Miranda Tate (Cottilard), Commissioner Gordon (Oldman) and police officer Blake (Gordon-Levitt).

But when you have 164 minutes to play with all these strands have chance to play out fully.

Nolan certainly knows how to pull together an action movie and there are plenty of big dramatic scenes to hold the attention over such a long time.

Bale is as good as ever in the main role and Hathaway finally gives us a Catwoman fans have been waiting for.

Hardy struts around full of menace while Gordon-Levitt throws himself into his pivotal role.

So, if you want to see how a Hollywood blockbuster action movie should be made, book your ticket.

Steve Payne

Screening courtesy of Cineworld Crawley