It’s just about the most anticipated film of the year. But did it live up to the hype?
Set eight years on from The Dark Knight, TDKR is dark. Very dark. The residents of Gotham worship the memory of a corrupt cop, villains terrorise the city from the protection of the sewers and Bruce Wayne is a tortured soul who hasn’t been seen in public for years. Happily, he eventually reappears to (hopefully) save the city from the baddie of all baddies, Bane. Yay!
One thing I hated about the film was the gratuitous violence peppered throughout. Civilians were killed left, right and centre; there were shootings and endless fights and even the odd bit of neck-breaking. It was grim and, if you’re a massive wuss like me who can’t even sit through a fight scene in Eastenders without having to look away, it doesn’t make easy viewing.
Christian Bale was excellent as Bruce Wayne/Batman and Anne Hathaway was mildly irritating but generally very good as Catwoman. All eyes, however, were on Tom Hardy, who stole the show as Bane.
Where to begin with Bane? I have endless questions – why was he strutting around in a sheepskin coat? Why was the mask he wears never explained? (The lame ‘he got in a bit of a fight’ sequence didn’t really cover it.)
Hardy – who had buffed up massively for the role – would have made a very convincing villain were it not for the fact that big, bad-ass Bane spoke with the unusual intonation of an eccentric English lord. We’re meant to believe that this guy grew up in a cave underground in the Sahara or something (it got a little tedious and I zoned out for a while…) and is now set on destroying Batman and Gotham and yet – and yet! – he talks like some kind of crazy aristocrat. His ridiculous accent was made all the more ridiculous by the fact that it was practically inaudible at times owing to his mask. Oh, Bane.
The film’s plot was clever but rather convoluted, and you’ll either start puking violently or cheering wildly at the ending (which I will surmise cryptically thus: Bruce fulfils his butler’s wishes).
Actually, you know what? I’m going to say it – I LIKED the ending. It was gentle and at odds with the dull violence that filtered through the rest of the film, plus it led to the unexpected appearance of Robin (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who was, FYI, really brilliant as the young, disillusioned police officer who got Bruce Wayne to return as Batman).
I also liked the fact that the ‘super heroes’ are shown as real people. When they get punched, they fall to the ground. They cry out; Batman breaks his back during one particularly hideous fight scene. Bane cringes in pain when his mask is touched. It adds a more humane element and makes the characters seem far more than just your average comic book heroes.
So yes: in short, go and see it and, if nothing else, just marvel at Bane’s accent and fall in love with Alfred, the super-loyal butler. And, like me, start off a bit of a cynic and, by the end of it, feel genuinely sad that it’s the final film in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Boo.
In cinemas now.
By Katie Byrne.