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Film Review

Robyn Morrison reviews the final film in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises

The huge publicity budget thrown at the eagerly anticipated third and final instalment in the Batman trilogy has created a media storm around its release and promised the audience that this concluding film will not disappoint.

The early sample footage of test screenings released prior to the films arrival also set expectations high, as did the cast of acclaimed actors including Michael Caine who plays Wayne’s trusted butler Alfred, Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox the brains behind his gadgets and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as determined cop John Blake.

Linking to the second film in the series, at the start of The Dark Knight the city of Gotham has been without both Batman and billionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne for many years since the Jokers spree. The characters, both played by Christian Bale, have gone into reclusive retirement and the city is content with the explanation provided by authorities that Harvey Dent, the city’s district attorney, died heroically fighting crime and the arch-criminal the Dark Knight is no longer a threat.

Zero tolerance laws in the city have made the heroic actions of Batman surplus to demand, but a sinister plot is being hatched under the city streets by super villain Bane, played by British actor Tom Hardy. Bane plans to destroy the city by building an army of warriors from his followers upon whom he has an evil hold. Tom Hardy is convincing in his role as the powerful and muscular criminal with a facial disfigurement concealed by a leather mask, and does well to follow the iconic performance of Health Ledger as the evil Joker in the second installment.

Wayne is initially propelled back into action when a slinky cat burglar named Selina Kyle, played by Anne Hathaway, breaks into a charity event held at Wayne Manor and steals his late mother’s necklace. Fans of the trilogy will be satisfied by the nods to Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008) which pop up throughout the film, however, any filmgoers unfamiliar with the story may be left confused by the subplots.

The Dark Knight Rises is as expected an actionpacked epic set in the moody backdrop of Gotham City. Although the film is destined to be a box office hit, unfortunately it doesn’t quite top The Dark Knight. Still, there’s no shame in coming a close second.