This review is by Diana Saenger.
Batman fans will probably be happy to know that The Dark Knight Rises sticks closely to the comic book – well mostly. Of course, a director like Christopher Nolan would have to make some additions here and there.
It’s been eight years since trouble loomed in Gotham City, but the film opens with Police Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) addressing the public about the death of D.A. Harvey Dent and the role Batman supposedly played in it. Things are now good in the City, so it seems Gordon wants to spread the idea that Batman is not needed anymore.
Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) wonders where this leaves him. Not too worry, for even though Fox, (Morgan Freeman) CEO of the Wayne Foundation, always wants his beloved Wayne to be safe, he’s the one who always comes up with incredible contraptions that jet Batman far above his foes.
One of the characters returning to spice up The Dark Knight Rises is Catwoman, or as she’s better known, Selena (Anne Hathaway). After a very confusing scene about a bunch of terrorists hijacking a plane at the beginning of the film, we visit a crippled Wayne in his half-royal-looking- half chaotic extravagant manner. Hathaway impresses us here as a woman ready to be a villain, sexy temptress, thief, and shrewd opponent. She will use Wayne and come on to him in a split-minute with only the bat of an eyelash seen through her mask. Although her costume was a tad lacking, Hathaway nails this portrayal.
Wayne’s more serious new arch-nemesis comes in the form of the mask-wearing Bane (Tom Hardy), who has a long-range plan for the destruction for Gotham -- one that goes back to his childhood. Bane is also a mean, unscrupulous, depraved man planning to snuff Wayne out while he’s in a weakened condition. Unfortunately, a lot of Bane’s dialogue is hard to understand through the mask.
The tension in The Dark Knight Rises never lets up. While Batman seems lacking in camera appearances and readiness here, gadgets zoom and loom on screen. Boomerangs come and go as the roller coaster of good and evil places several characters in its cars.
Bale is superb whether playing the patient warrior on the mend, the man who may lose everything in the flash of a moment, or an apprentice who finds an unexpected mentor just when he’s ready to give up.
Alfred, Wayne’s dedicated manservant and father-replacement, couldn’t be more attentive or advising, and Michael Caine plays the role flawlessly. Marion Cotillard shines in her role as Miranda Tate, a wealthy philanthropist and a Wayne Enterprises board member who wants to be more than that to Wayne.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt portrays John Blake, a police officer with a deep soul. Blake understands everything the Batman suit stands for and will do anything to protect it -- and Wayne.
Although the movie’s production values are impressive, there’s little new in that area to go “wow” about. I felt the continuous fight scenes were overdone and too long. Still, it’s summer -- and it’s Batman.
(Released by Warner Bros. and rated “PG-13” for intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality and language.)
Review also posted at www.reviewexpress.com.