After all those dark nights fighting crime, Batman is starting to sleep in. Time to rise, Batman, you have a grand finale to attend! Just five more minutes, no chance! The world has been waiting for you for a long time. Four years or so.
Since the events of The Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has become a creepy shut in and spends his time lying in bed and collecting anime figures. Probably. While he’s been keeping out of living, new enemies have appeared, namely a big mask wearing chap called Bane (Tom Hardy). This guy has a plan and knows how to get things done. His aim is to complete the objective The League Of Shadows had in Batman Begins, wipe out Gotham to rid the city of evil. Bane goes about his business and as his plan progresses, Bruce has to don the cape once more to take him down. Just a shame he has been too busy being a billionaire sloth. Before Batman rises, he must fall. Bane may not be quite as interesting as The Joker was in The Dark Knight, but his brutal nature makes sure things stay interesting and shocking, as his actions give Bruce his biggest threat yet. And an unusual voice to match the one Batman has. Normal is against the rules when it comes to the way heroes and villains speak.
The film is an epic running just short of three hours, and we follow the story of not just Batman, but also some new characters who bring classic characters into Christopher Nolan’s modern vision. Bane is as far away from the juice powered Bane of Batman & Robin and instead acts out as an intelligent muscle man, quite a change from the norm. Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) is Catwoman without the corny cat costume, though she does have a trendy set of goggles which look like cat ears. She spends most of her time snooping around or helping Batman out, she seems to be the breath of fresh ear the Bats needed in his life. There is also police officer John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who seems to get as much screen time as Batman himself, and does his best to help the people of the city. These key characters and their sub plots make The Dark Knight Returns a complicated feature, but one which never falls into confusion.
Though while the film weaves an intricate plot acted out by some fantastic characters, the film does stumble a few times, but never falls. The film has a lot of twists and turns, though a few towards are revealed without any real heft, in fact one big villain twist brings Bane’s mighty presence down a notch and the films final battle doesn’t pack that mighty crash everything has been building up to. Throw in some dodgy dialogue and some pacing issues and The Dark Knight Rises looks to be full of cracks stopping it from truly soaring.
The Dark Knight Rises is a fantastic conclusion to the greatest Batman movies since Adam West was running around with giant bombs. It might not have The Joker, or the smooth flow of Begins, but this is a film which dares to throw the hero around before he can stand and fight once more. Justice has been served.