The Dark Knight Rises: Karl’s Verdict

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Fresh from The Savoy, Dublin

A quick note on spoilers – I have linked to Batman stories which the plot borrows from.  If you want to remain completely spoiler-free, don’t click the links.  You have been warned.

So it’s finally here: The Dark Knight Rises – the final part of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. I will admit I’ve been looking forward to this and I am a huge Batman fan, so my opinion may be biased.

The story itself is a mishmash of new elements as well as liberally borrowing from Knightfall (with the classic scene intact) and No Man’s Land.  It works well and the pace is such that you don’t really feel the 164 minute-length.  There’s no lulls and everything has its place. That’s all I say about the plot as to do otherwise would stray into spoiler territory.

The film tended to be all business, but there are moments of humour (although I’m sure one was used before in the franchise). They didn’t feel shoe-horned in or put in as an after-thought which is why I thought they worked so well.

There are a several of large set-pieces through the film to remind you firmly that this is an action film and not just some police corruption drama. Nolan handles these with his usual deft hand and shows you just where all the money went..

Christian Bale could have done without his 60 Major-a-day voice when he has the cowl on but otherwise puts in as good a performance as he always does. Bane [villain] is restored to his proper menace by Tom Hardy (after the terrible version in Batman & Robin from 1997). His accent, as you may know, has Irish roots. But even with it supposedly re-dubbed, I found him hard to understand at times. He was also drowned out by the soundtrack.

Anne Hathaway steals the show from both of them, flipping from meek vulnerability to stony-faced confidence in an instant. She carried off Catwoman (not Batgirl as an unobservant friend thought) with an air of world-weary ease.  The impractical looking costume did have a reason for every part not just the obvious (although it did that as well).

The geek in me was kept very happy and the more dispassionate adult was entertained so a huge thumbs up from me.

Poster by Jock for Mondo