Oh, Christopher Nolan. Let me love you.

Christian Bale in the Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Of course, after seeing the Dark Knight Rises last week, my first order of business is a little bit of Batman squeeing.  Sorry, it has to be done. Don’t abandon ship yet . . . There will be no spoilers and I promise I’ll try to keep it short.

I might as well just say it – The Dark Knight Rises gave me everything I wanted and then some.  Now, I’m definitely not a Batman expert.  I watched the cartoon when I was little but I’m not really a comic book girl. All the same, I was pumped. My expectations were pretty damn high.  Usually that’s something I try to avoid because it tends to set you up for disappointment.  But man . . . did Nolan deliver.

First and foremost, the casting was absolutely superb. This film boasts so many stars, I’m surprised I wasn’t blinded by their collective glow.   Of course the Dark Knight Rises brings back the usual suspects – Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman.  And then we’ve got the newbies – and they definitely step up to the plate. Marion Cotillard is lovely as usual and Joseph Gordon-Levitt introduces an interesting and instantly likeable character in John Blake who is actually more familiar to this story than you might guess. Anne Hathaway smouldered as the famous femme fatale and her chemistry with Christian Bale came across well.

The real stand-out was Tom Hardy whose performance as Bane was positively frightening.  The fact that he was able to work so well in Heath Ledger’s shadow was really commendable.  Too be honest, I wasn’t sure how the next Batman villain could impress me after the Joker. However, Hardy’s Bane occupies a different and equally riveting niche.

This was a huge film in all senses of the word. The writing, the cinematography, the score, the stunts. The whole thing was just executed brilliantly. The ending itself was, in my opinion,  an elegant and very satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. I won’t say any more than that. This franchise has truly gone out with a bang, not a fizzle. After the scale of the first two films – that’s pretty impressive.

The critical success of a movie should really come down to the peasants sitting in the stale popcorn.  Sometimes, I like to imagine that film critics secretly make it up as they go along.  They see a nice obscure film and they think, ‘I have no idea what just happened . . .  Give it an Oscar!’

During the climax of the Dark Knight Rises, I tore my eyes away from the screen for a just a moment. The people sitting around me were frozen in poses so similar it would have been comical if I wasn’t so caught up in the movie.  Wide-eyed, slack-jawed, one hand hovering anxiously in front of the face.  We were all totally spellbound.

So, to use some expert jargon, Christopher Nolan has out-epic-ed himself.  The movie was awesome.  Go see it.


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