The final installment of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy has finally arrived and expectations are higher than Snoop Dogg.
It's eight years on from where we left off in The Dark Knight
, and Master Wayne has spent almost all of it holed up in the east wing of his mansion. Our hero is a shadow of his former self; emotionally crippled, and physically lame after years of cartilage crushing combat.
Bruce, so heavily in mourning for Rachel (Maggie Gyllenhal) just can't bring himself to live a life if she can't, and has replaced his mask and cape with jammies, left Wayne Enterprises to languish, and allowed his alter-ego to retire after taking the blame for the death of Harvey Dent.
Dent, on the other hand, has become the posthumous poster boy for Gotham's clean streets. His legacy, the Harvey Dent Act, has allowed Commissioner Gordon to lock up a lot of baddies (albeit under false pretenses, because let's face it the guy became a monster) and the city has seen a spell of peace. But fear not, those of you looking for dramatic tension, because there's a storm coming.
Gotham's reckoning is ushered in by Bane (played by an absolutely enormous-looking Tom Hardy), a mercenary who, like Madge, needs only one name to instil fear in the hearts of men.
He rolls into town with an army of extremely buff and ruthless men, and is bent on destroying Gotham City just like Ra's Al Ghul always wanted. The city is soon under siege and Gotham's finest are overwhelmed, forcing our Dark Knight to resurface, in an attempt to save the city that has branded him an enemy for so long.
The Dark Knight Rises
has it all; epic fight scenes, big explosions, loud noises, sexy sidekicks, emotion, spectacle, gadgets, carnage, class warfare, pain, tragedy and hope. Joseph Gordon-Levitt's good cop, John Blake, and Anne Hathaway's Catwoman creation are both excellent, as are Morgan Freeman's Lucius Fox and old Alfred.
The trilogy's final chapter draws on key plot points from The Dark Knight
and 2005's Batman Begins
, successfully teases out the physical and emotional toll of being the Batman, and throws the citizens of Gotham into new realms of terror and mayhem. It's an assured film that provides a cohesive whole to a stunning franchise, and just when you think it's all tied together nicely, there's a rather spectacular rabbit pulled out of the hat.
Oh, and if you can, see it at IMAX. It's worth it.
Words by Ariel Katz.