Director: Christopher Nolan
Perhaps the most eagerly awaited film of 2012 – and, after the sad events of Colorado, now one of the most notorious – “The Dark Knight Rises” is the conclusion of Christopher Nolan’s adult and sometimes dour take on the comic book character. Nolan has certainly ended (he’s vowed never to do another Batman film) the franchise on an epic note, though to say there’s a lot going on in the film is something of an understatement.
Eight years since the events of “The Dark Knight,” Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale, who does his usual fine job of being both vulnerable yet believably tough) has been living as a virtual recluse with the Batman persona – who most of the city think of as a violent killer – put firmly to rest. But when the mercenary Bane (Tom Hardy, who is excellent even when behind a mask) surfaces in the city with an agenda to tear the place apart, Batman must rise from the ashes. When you add in that Wayne’s fortune is being eroded by a nefarious plot, a mysterious burglar called Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) is on the prowl and Marion Tate (Marion Cottillard) is pushing Wayne to help with her clean energy program, things are going to get very dark indeed. And people will fall before anyone can rise.
This does have certain intelligence amongst the – unsurprisingly – jaw dropping set pieces. Dealing the themes of the haves and have-nots, individual morality and the thirst for revenge, it strives for a profundity (though it sometimes tries too hard). But there are so many characters and developments you almost think Nolan could have split it into two movies. That’s not to say it’s confusing – Nolan’s script (written with his brother) is tight – but it almost feels overwhelming. Yet it does tie up the events of the previous two movies well and is an often awesome visual spectacle.
Whilst the superlatives as ‘Best movie ever’ are not justified, this is still a daring and intelligent take on Batman. But perhaps for future attempts at the franchise, we can go back to some campy fun.
“Brave” – Pixar fun about a girl who must find the hero inside herself.
“Moonrise Kingdom” – Great Wes Anderson film that was a huge success in Cannes.