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1. Michael Caine
2. Anne Hathaway
3. Plot twists
1. Joker > Bane
2. Somewhat long
3. It's the last one for Nolan
'Dark Knight Rises' delivers epic conclusion to Batman legend
The expectations were high - almost insurmountable.
But the final installment of Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight" trilogy delivered an intense, emotionally-draining experience with plenty of surprises to boot.
"The Dark Knight Rises" begins 8 years after the caped crusader disappeared into the night, sacrificing himself by taking the blame for the death of Gothem District Attorney Harvey Dent.
In the time since, criminal activity in Gothem has been crushed under the weight of new, anti-crime legislation. We're first introduced to Bruce Wayne, now a recluse, at his rebuilt home, crippled and retired. A mysterious newcomer, Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) and masked terrorist, Bane (Tom Hardy), whose sinister plans for Gothem drive Batman out of exile.
Looking to complete the unfinished job of destroying Gothem, Bane's complex plan includes an apocalyptic threat which has implications stretching beyond Gothem's city limits.
For the first time in Nolan's series, Batman's abilities are truly put to the test against an equally strong and similarly trained Bane. We found ourselves in unfamiliar territory in this film -- worrying about whether or not Batman would actual survive fight scenes.
The film moves quickly, and features heart wrenching moments from Alfred (Michael Caine), the film's emotional core, but also a few plot twists and surprises as well.
A variety of sub-characters contribute exceptional performances to the film as well. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway and Gary Oldman play crucial roles in the plot's development.
A now-legendary performance of the Joker by Heath Ledger in the previous film set the bar a bit too high for this series' antagonist. Tom Hardy's Bane left something to be desired when compared to Ledger's performance, but that comparison might not be fair.
Nolan's spectacular filmmaking drives forward, with the threat of leaving a viewer behind, weaving moviegoers through a maze that must be navigated at warp speed, but for viewers who like a spectacular story to compliment action sequences, this is the movie not to miss this year.
A movie all action fans will appreciate, complimented by a compelling storyline.