Director: Christopher Nolan
Writers: Bob Kane (characters), David S. Goyer (story), Christopher Nolan (story/screenplay), Jonathan Nolan (screenplay)
Running time: 164 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 12A
UK Release date: 20th July 2012
Watched at the Picture House (K-town) Saturday 21st July 2012.
And so we come to the final chapter in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy and I must say it was well worth the wait. Everything from the opening sequence to the credits at the end had me gripped (even two boys arguing in the next row half way through didn’t spoil my enjoyment – I may have spoiled theirs though!). For a change I won’t do a summary as I know there are many out there not wanting to know any of the plot and so I’ll respect that and keep my comments as spoiler-free as I can. I’ll save it for when I review the DVD at a later date.
Many new characters are introduced in this instalment, the most important of which is Bane, The Dark Knight’s new nemesis. We are introduced to him in an action sequence that could have come straight from my favourite Nolan film, Inception. He is an echo from Bruce Wayne’s past; one that will resonate deeply for him. The renowned thief Catwoman (a.k.a. Selina Kyle) also makes an appearance; she can either help or hinder the Batman; I won’t tell you which. A young police officer, Blake, will also have a part to play; like Bruce Wayne, he’s also an orphan and this could shape his future. Miranda Tate is an investor who wants Bruce Wayne to help her with her charity work; she could be the key to saving Wayne Enterprises. Of course, returning characters, Commissioner Gordon, Alfred and Lucius Fox all have their parts to play in this quite extraordinary tale. The more I think about it the more I want to see it again! Yes, it’s THAT good.
The cinematography by Director of Photography, Wally Pfister, was once again truly epic! How he got some of those shots, I will never know, it’s a great piece of work for which he should be congratulated. The musical score by Hans Zimmer, again a great piece of work with themes that fit the visuals perfectly. And so we come to the performances; for an actor playing the same role for the third time, I thought Christian Bale gave his best performance as Bruce Wayne/Batman here. You really felt his pain and conflict and when we get to the end… well, I guess I’d better not tell you that bit. Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon was excellent as usual; given more to do in a slightly more demanding role this time, I thought he did a great job. Now to Bane, played with great aplomb by Tom Hardy, a tough part to play due to the restrictions of his costume; I thought he did it really well and I couldn’t imagine anyone else for the part. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was a good choice for the part of Blake; still young enough to play a role that could evolve if the franchise is continued (I can’t say any more). Anne Hathaway played Catwoman/Selina Kyle and I thought did a pretty excellent job (even without a skin-tight costume). Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate; her role really surprised me and she played it with great composure (no more clues). Finally I must say that both Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox and Michael Caine as Alfred were both as excellent as ever.
With set-piece action sequences that are truly epic and an intelligent plot that has many a twist to keep the audience interested; for me it was one of the best films I’ll see this year! I listened to Christopher Nolan in an interview before I saw the film and he was saying that although CGI is used in places, there’s always a physical effect at the heart of it, and it shows. All the effects are expertly done with some great stunt-work behind many of them (hats off to those guys). Some may find the slow build-up to the ultimate conclusion a little tedious but, for me, it made the ending all the more poignant and all the more effective!... VERY VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
My score: 9.8/10
IMDb Score: [Awaiting 5 Votes (surprisingly)] (based on <5 votes at the time of going to press).
MetaScore: 78/100: (Based on 43 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 94/100 ‘Liked it’ (based on 372,822 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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Jim Gordon: [lying in a hospital bed] We were in this together, and then you were gone. Now this evil... rises. The Batman has to come back.
Bruce Wayne: What if he doesn't exist any more?
Jim Gordon: He must... he must...
Bruce Wayne: That's a brazen costume for a cat burglar.
Catwoman: Yeah? Who are you pretending to be?
Alfred: You are as precious to me as you were to your own mother and father. I swore to them that I would protect you, and I haven't.
Selina Kyle: [to Bruce Wayne] You think this can last? There's a storm coming, Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches, because when it hits, you're all gonna wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.
Bane: Gotham, take control... take control of your city. Behold, the instrument of your liberation! Identify yourself to the world!
Crowd: [chanting] Deh-Shay, Deh-Shay, Bah Sah Rah. Bah Sah Rah.
Bruce Wayne: What does that mean?