'The Dark Knight Rises' is the third and final instalment in Christopher Nolan's groundbreaking trilogy that reshaped the superhero genre as we know it. The main cast return as well as some newcomers. Tom Hardy as 'Bane', Anne Hathaway as 'Selina', Joseph Gordon-Levitt as 'Blake' and Marion Cotillard as 'Miranda'.
The new additions are fantastic, especially Tom Hardy. He brings a menacing presence to the character and finally incorporates the main part of his comic counterpart, his brains. For sure Bane is incredibly strong, but he is also an unbelievable strategist that can systematically wear down Batman whilst also using his strength to defeat him. Hardy displays all of this perfectly despite us barely seeing his face, the mask he wears makes him more frightening and is used as an interesting plot device later in the film. A lot of people criticised the voice that Hardy uses for this character, but personally I love it, I think adds to the mystery of the figure.
The best acting comes from Michael Caine as 'Alfred Pennyworth'. Nolan really fleshes out Alfred and Bruce's relationship in this film and Caine plays the reluctant mentor figure perfectly. One of his final scenes really shows off his acting, the regret that Alfred pours out and it's heartbreaking. Whilst all of the other actors are great, Caine excels in this movie compared to 'Batman Begins' and 'The Dark Knight'.
The writing is brilliant, so many twists and turns and a sensational ending that really brings the trilogy full circle and has a great ending to Bruce's arc. The dialogue is excellent, in particular the many Bane monologues that add another layer onto his great character. The fight choreography improves massively and is loads better than the last two films. Hanz Zimmers score is superb and works in all scenes that it features in. Also, the cinematography is beautiful, Wally Pfister, who has worked with Nolan throughout the trilogy, really peaks in this picture.
However, this movie isn't perfect, Bane's final demise is very underwhelming, especially for a character that makes as much of an impact as he does. Finally the twist at the end with Blake feels tacked on and is inaccurate to the source material.
Overall, I love this movie, for sure it doesn't live up to the heights of 'The Dark Knight' but it is still exceptional and was a stunning way to end this unbelievable series of films.