The Dark Knight Rises is the final instalment of the revived Batman series by Christopher Nolan. Following the success of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight was not going to be an easy task by any standard, especially after Heath Ledger’s ground-breaking performance as the Joker, and yet Nolan has succeeded.
The film is set 8 years after the events of The Dark Knight and it is clear that, although the chaos created by the Joker and Harvey Dent is over, the main characters are still dealing with the consequences. This was an interesting turn of events as it made the film connect with its predecessor well. The villain of the film, meanwhile, is introduced to us in the prologue to TDKR during an intense first scene which made my heart race madly. The villain is, of course, Bane who is famous in the DC comics for having ‘broken the bat’. The character is portrayed by Tom Hardy who delivers a great performance to fill the shoes of the late Heath Ledger. But Bane is not the only new character we can enjoy in this film, there is also Anne Hathaway who plays brilliantly as Selina Kyle aka Catwoman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as an idealist police officer named James Blake and Marrion Cotillard as Miranda Tate. We can also enjoy the usual cast as Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman return.
The way in which the plot developed was interesting to see, and for me some of the plot twists were completely unexpected. The main storyline focuses on Batman’s fall and eventual rise against Bane, who takes over Gotham city after first defeating Wayne. What was intriguing about the film was the way in which Christopher Nolan decided to take the film, namely allowing the villain to succeed over the hero halfway through. I felt this take gave the film a more realistic vibe to it. What I was happy to note was that all the characters had a relevance to the film, even Joseph Gordon-Levitt who, in the trailers, did not appear to have a significant role. Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman, meanwhile, was fantastic, she was conniving, alluring and could kick anyone’s ass if she wanted to -which is everything her character needed to be. The strength of the entire cast made the film more of an ensemble, unlike The Dark Knight which was dominated by a single performance.
Of course, now I must discuss Bane’s voice in the film. When the prologue of the film first came out before IMAX screenings of Mission Impossible 4 last year there was outrage and disappointment over Bane’s voice, namely no one could understand what he was saying behind that mask. After going back to tweak it the final version of Bane’s voice took some getting used to (as it was clear it was recorded in a studio rather than being said), however it was much more understandable and gave Bane an intelligence that was robbed from him in other depicitions of his character. I felt that although it was strange at first, his voice made him more menacing alongside Tom Hardy’s eyes -his only way of showing emotion whilst wearing the mask.
Nolan’s camera work and direction of the film was great and although there were some plot holes in the film I do love it, even more so after watching it again. This shows that Nolan’s closing curtain to his series was a great end to a trilogy, it was action packed and emotional (I don’t think I’ve ever been brought to tears in a superhero film before) making it one of the few great trilogies out there. However, what really was fantastic about the film was Hans Zimmer’s score, it was both elegant and thrilling. For me it was the best part of the film. For fans of the series this is a great end to a fantastic trilogy whilst for others it will still be enjoyable. This is one of those fantasy films that must not be missed.
Written by Roxy Simons.
You can stream Hans Zimmer’s score here:
The Dark Knight Rises is showing in cinemas nationwide.