Starring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine
Director: Christopher Nolan
Four years ago The Dark Knight set the bar for superhero movies as Christopher Nolan made the greatest of all time.
For Batman fans it has been a long wait for the sequel but The Dark Knight Rises has been the most highly anticipated movie of the year so far… and believe me it doesn’t disappoint.
It has been eight years since Batman vanished into the night, turning, in that instant, from hero to fugitive. Assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon both hoped was the greater good.
For a time the lie worked, as criminal activity in Gotham City was crushed under the weight of the anti-crime Dent Act.
But everything will change with the arrival of a cunning cat burglar with a mysterious agenda. Far more dangerous, however, is the emergence of Bane, a masked terrorist whose ruthless plans for Gotham drive Bruce out of his self-imposed exile. But even if he dons the cape and cowl again, Batman may be no match for Bane
This is a superior performance from Christian Bale in the role of Bruce Wayne as he is a lost and truly broken man.
Wayne has become a recluse since the events of the Dark Knight as Batman is blamed for the death of Harvey Dent and he has suffered personally after the murder of Rachel Dawes.
As much as The Dark Knight Rises is an action spectacle it sees Wayne go on the biggest and most personal journey yet as he pulls on all his inner strength to fight once more for the city that he loves.
Both Wayne and Batman are misunderstood men and this is a movie about redemption for both as Bale delvers an incredibly tortured turn.
Tom Hardy is one of the new faces on the cast list as he brings the character of Bane to life. The actor has piled on the pounds for the role and he really is a beast of a character.
Hardy dominates all scenes that he is in and he has a real presence throughout the entire movie, whether he is in the scene or not.
But it is a brutal performance from Hardy as he goes fist to fist with Batman in what is an incredibly visceral fight scene - it really is one of the best sequences of the movie.
And any talk about not being able to hear what he is saying is a load of old rubbish as I could hear every word just fine!!
There are also some great performances from Anne Hathaway, who portrays Catwoman as roughish and yet totally likeable as she has her own decision to make about saving herself or fighting for what is right.
Joseph Gordon Levitt is totally charming as John Blake while Marion Cotillard’s character Miranda Tate holds a huge secret in what is a great twist in the story.
There are also some great cameo appearances from Cillian Murphy and Liam Neeson as Nolan nods back to the two previous movies and he rounds up the whole story.
Once again Nolan has delivered a sweeping epic and there is a real apocalyptic feel to the film as it tackles modern day issues, ideas and concerns.
The Dark Knight Rises is everything that I hoped it would be and so much more as Nolan once again blurs the lines between good and evil to deliver a riveting story from start to finish that is full of intriguing characters and sub-plots.
Christopher Nolan has delivered one of the greatest trilogies of all time and these three movies will cast an incredibly long shadow for years to come.
The Dark Knight Rises is out now
FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw