The Dark Knight Rises - Cinema Review

'The conclusion simultaneously features Indiana Jones 4 levels of overkill and franchise-high levels of poignancy, emotion and forward direction.'

As Christopher Nolan ducks out of the Batman franchise, one thing should remain clear: despite what anyone thinks of this final film, The Dark Knight Rises, this was a property in the doldrums. And just look at it soar now.

With the final film of his trilogy, Nolan has the right to do anything and everything and he flirts, mostly successfully, with all of it; political subtext, death, heartbreak, redemption, the future and sacrifice. It's all here in arguably the most ambitious of the three films.

And yet, the problems feel more pronounced here than ever before. Where Batman Begins had a chemical MacGuffin and The Dark Knight a computing one, both managed to, just, sideline them. Rises MacGuffin is unmissable, a part of the plot front and centre and one lifted from countless other films. The first third too is unbelievably heavy of script, Nolan and his brethren co-writer Jonathan spending a long time explaining the eight years of backstory since Batman's (Christian Bale) flight at the end of the second film.

There are new strengths here too though, mainly in the strong supporting cast Nolan assembles, plucked from Inception alumni. Marion Cotillard has the most thankless task, an under-written role which ensures you care little once her arc is complete. Better though are Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Selina (Anne Hathaway), never anything but allies to the hero but ambiguous enough to imbue interest and driven by motivations varied enough to secure investment. Those who claim this is an ensemble piece are right: Batman's screen time is reduced, mainly in favour of those two, a correct decision come the final third's machinations.

And what a final third it is. Reveals come quickly, as do fights which mirror the brutality of Batman's earlier underground slugfest with antagonist Bane (Tom Hardy). The conclusion simultaneously features Indiana Jones 4 levels of overkill and franchise-high levels of poignancy, emotion and forward direction. Everything and everyone is satisfied. A city dangles perilously. A hero rises. Nolan takes his bow.


  1. i than it's definitely an ensemble piece, with bale, caine, oldman, cotillard and hardy in the most impressive performances. i thought cotillard was a bit underused too (and would have liked to see her as catwoman, as she had more chemistry with bale than hathaway did). but i thought she really shined at the latter half of the film. hathaway was just ok to me. i was not totally convinced of her performance, but it worked enough

    1. Yup, wouldn't argue with any of that, I think Cotillard did have more chemistry with Bale but not sure she'd have worked as Catwoman, thought Hathaway did as well as she needed to really. Really liked Gordon-Levitt, the more I think about it.