At the end of its two hours-45 minute running time, all you can do is heave a sigh of relief that this is the concluding chapter of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. It is gloomy and doomy without even a fresh faced girl with red hair and freckles to liven up the scene. Your senses are battered into submission till you stare dazed at the screen as Batman growls, Catwoman purrs, Bane bellows, Robin titters, Fox declaims —that is a whole lot of anamorphous creatures in Batman’s universe.

The good things — Bale looks nice, conflicted and hot shirtless. That batmobile which Fox simply calls the Bat is groovy baby — just what the doctor ordered to combat traffic jams. The opening sequence is worth the price of the admission ticket and utterly brilliant in IMAX — a helmet is called for, it is that mind blowing. The background score rocks but gets a bit much after a point, like everything else in the film. All the trailer quotes seem to have been created for the express purpose of promotion. From Bane’s “Let the games begin” to Bruce Wayne saying “I'm not afraid. I'm angry” or the loyal Alfred saying, “You are not Batman anymore” and of course Fox saying “I call him The Bat and yes Mr. Wayne it does come in black,” they are all grandiloquent nods to the gallery.

The Dark Knight Rises takes places eight years after the events of The Dark Knight drove Batman into exile for Two Face’s crimes. Now Gotham has a new villain, Bane, who has some complex plan to blow up Gotham with some horrid nuclear explosion. Selina Kyle, a jewel thief, is involved in some mysterious way with Bane’s nefarious plans. Batman/Bruce Wayne drags himself out of hibernation, faces and defeats his demons after much talk and a few great balls of fire.

While Christian Bale, Michael Caine as faithful Albert, Morgan Freeman as armourer Lucius Fox and Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon reprise their roles, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy and Marion Cotillard are the new entrants playing Selina Kyle, Bane and the mysteriously beautiful Miranda Tate respectively.

Liam Neeson as Ra’s Al Ghul, the leader of the League of Shadows, and Cillian Murphy as Scarecrow Jonathan Crane from the earlier films make brief appearances — all contributing to the mythmaking machinery. As Ra’s Al Ghul says in yet another trailer byte: “If you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal... you become something else entirely. A legend, Mr. Wayne, a legend!”

The stunts are pretty cool, the ladies hot (Anne Hathaway is lovely-slinky), but the film has just too much mindless chatter which goes on forever till you want to say enough already.

The Dark Knight Rises

Genre: Action

Director: Christopher Nolan

Cast: Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman

Storyline: There is a new terror threat on Gotham and Batman has to come out of retirement to battle his demons within and without

Bottomline: Too long and takes itself too seriously for its own good

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English Cinema ReviewsOctober 17, 2011