The Dark Knight Rises means this legend ends

And so it sadly does but Christopher Nolan has finished his iconic Batman trilogy with the superb The Dark Knight Rises.

The superb final film in Christopher Nolan’s extraordinary Batman trilogy, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, doesn’t disappoint.

Christian Bale as Batman in The Dark Knight Rises

Christian Bale as Batman

“He’s the hero Gotham deserves.” said the newly-appointed Commissioner Gordon at the end of The Dark Knight “but not the one it needs right now.” So by taking the fall for a crime he didn’t commit, Batman disappeared for eight years and the city was sold a lie that Harvey Dent, the real criminal, was a hero.

Now we find Bruce Wayne and Batman (a truly perfect performance by Christian Bale), pulled out of hiding to face the sassy but the not-to-be-trifled-with Catwoman of Anne Hathaway (her red lipstick part of a mask that shields an angry but vulnerable core – absolutely brilliant) and the terrifying monster of a man Bane, fantastically played by Tom Hardy. “I’m Gotham’s reckoning.” says Bane, bringing chaos and violence to the city on a scale that hasn’t been seen and so THE DARK KNIGHT RISES coming back to save the people once more.

Beyond that, I don’t want to say (or give away) much more, except to state this is one of the movies of the year.  What we’ve witnessed since the first film in this amazing, revisionist trilogy Batman Begins, has been something pretty special – not only in the total reinvention of this particular comic book character on film but also the evolution of a supremely talented film-maker in Christopher Nolan. He gives us everything in this new film – an absolutely epic scale, clearly building on the scope of his brilliant Inception, as well as the detailed emotional moments between the characters that he’s always given us as well.

Never more so here, than in the defining scene between Bruce and his loyal manservant and friend Alfred (Michael Caine on top, top form), that actually stunned the audience I was watching it with into pin-drop silence.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Blake and Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon in The Dark Knight Rises

Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Blake and Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon

There’s an exemplary cast full stop, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s rookie policeman John Blake making a winning, new impression on proceedings; Ben Mendelsohn as Daggett is a blisteringly sharp suit to be reckoned with; Marion Cotillard as Wayne Enterprises board member Miranda Tate devastating us again, as she did in Nolan’s Inception, with her beauty and intensity; Matthew Modine, wonderful as the conflicted cop Foley; Morgan Freeman brings his excellent gravitas and wit back as Lucius Fox; and we also see the clever return of Cillian Murphy’s wonderfully wicked Scarecrow. But for me, along with Christian Bale, the most brilliant part of this trilogy has been Gary Oldman‘s softly spoken and incredibly powerful portrayal of Jim Gordon.

Behind the scenes, Hans Zimmer’s exceptional, pulsing music really drives the action forward, Wally Pfister’s camerawork takes us on an unforgettable journey of darkness and light and the screenplay by the brothers’ Nolan (Christopher and Jonathan) very cleverly weaves in all of the elements from the previous two films to culminate in a really spectacular way here.

Whoever takes on this character and franchise next will have their work cut out coming anywhere close to the sheer beauty and power of Nolan’s storytelling that we’ve been privileged to witness in these films.

“Every great story deserves a great ending and we’ve really tried to be true to that” Christopher Nolan has said, “THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is our attempt to give that great story its great ending.”

And it certainly is. Don’t miss it.