The Dark Knight Rises screened the eager press and fans in the US just over a week ago, and originally Warner Brothers had asked those who had seen it not to post their reviews. The date reviews were allowed to be published was July 19th, the day before what could quite possibly be the biggest film of the year arrives. However, Warners have now lifted that rule, and reviews have begun to flood in, and they are very promising indeed. Let’s have a look at some shall we:
Empire: With spectacle in abundance and sexiness in (supporting) parts, this is superhero filmmaking on an unprecedented scale. Rises may lack the surprise of Begins or the anarchy of Knight, but it makes up for that in pure emotion. A fitting epitaph for the hero Gotham deserves.
THR: “A truly grand finale raises Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy to the peak of big-screen comic book adaptations,..Entirely enveloping and at times unnerving in a relevant way one would never have imagined, as a cohesive whole this ranks as the best of Nolan’s trio, even if it lacks — how could it not? — an element as unique as Heath Ledger’s immortal turn in The Dark Knight. It’s a blockbuster by any standard.”
Rolling Stone: “Audiences will be arguing forever about director Christopher Nolan’s capper to his Batman trilogy. Want to bitch? Start with the reactionary politics and that franchise feeder of an ending. But the sheer scope of Nolan’s vision – with emotion and spectacle thundering across the screen – is staggering. The Dark Knight Rises is the King Daddy of summer movie epics. For nearly three hours, Nolan juggles themes that took root in 2005’s Batman Begins and reached doomsday perfection in 2008’s The Dark Knight with the late Heath Ledger’s masterful, Oscar- winning performance as the Joker.”
The Guardian: “Old superheroes never die; they simply hang up their capes and retreat to the shadows, awaiting the moment when fashions change and they’re required again. One minute Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) is hobbling around his country pile, leaning on his stick like a latterday Howard Hughes and woefully proclaiming that “there’s nothing out there for me”. The next he’s back in the bat-suit, back in the saddle – recalled to save the world or Warner Bros, whatever comes first.”
Variety: “[it] retains the moral urgency and serious-minded pulp instincts that have made the Warners franchise a beacon of integrity in an increasingly comicbook-driven Hollywood universe,..Hardy, Gordon-Levitt and Cotillard, recruited for duty after their stints in ‘Inception,’ are all on their game here, blending easily in a supporting cast anchored by old pros Caine, Oldman and Freeman. Perhaps the riskiest casting choice was that of Hathaway in the potentially problematic role of Selina/Catwoman, but although her kitty outfit reps a slightly more cartoonish touch than Nolan’s neo-noir aesthetic typically allows (if nowhere near as campy as those worn by Halle Berry and Michelle Pfeiffer), the versatile actress nails the sardonic, hard-edged tone necessary to make this morally ambiguous vixen a dynamic foil for the Caped Crusader.”
Indiewire: “a spectacular noir epic that’s equal parts murky, bloated, flashy and triumphantly cinematic,..With a grisly twist that puts Batman out of commission for large portions of the movie, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ hardly qualifies as a superhero movie by the usual standards, which may have been Nolan’s intention from the start,..While Hathaway’s character is something of a letdown, Batman’s new foe Bane provides a supremely menacing creation.”
TotalFilm: “As the scale and stakes balloon, Nolan maintains taut control; if anything the storytelling coheres sharper than The Dark Knight. The trick lies in holding fast to what he – and we – care most about: the cost to a (Bat)man’s body and soul. This time, it’s painfully personal,..And Christian Bale? Never more vulnerable, likeable or willing to get his gloves dirty, pushing to new emotional depths for his final Gotham go-around.”
ThePlaylist: “An action opus that manages to be both viscerally and intellectually engaging, Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated third Batman film comes full circle, examining both the Dark Knight and the society that produced him without sacrificing any of the sweeping thrills for which the series is known. A literate, thoughtful and invigorating finale, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ delivers everything audiences could ask for and then some, albeit in fewer of the ways than they might expect.”
Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ “The Dark Knight Rises” is the epic conclusion to filmmakerChristopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy.
“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”
Leading an all-star international cast, Oscar(R) winner Christian Bale (“The Fighter”) again plays the dual role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. The film also stars Anne Hathaway, as Selina Kyle; Tom Hardy, as Bane; Oscar(R) winner Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose”), as Miranda Tate; and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as John Blake. Returning to the main cast, Oscar(R) winner Michael Caine (“The Cider House Rules”) plays Alfred; Gary Oldman is Commissioner Gordon; and Oscar(R) winner Morgan Freeman (“Million Dollar Baby”) reprises the role of Lucius Fox. The screenplay is written by Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan, story by Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer. The film is produced by Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan and Charles Roven, who previously teamed on “Batman Begins” and the record-breaking blockbuster “The Dark Knight.” The executive producers are Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Kevin De La Noy and Thomas Tull, with Jordan Goldberg serving as co-producer. The film is based upon characters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. Batman was created by Bob Kane.
Check out all our previous stories here
The Dark Knight Rises arrives in UK cinemas 20th July.
By Matt Wavish