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The Dark Knight Rises - First US reviews overwhelmingly positive

The Dark Knight Rises

Story by Jack Foley

THE first reviews are in for The Dark Knight Rises, Christopher Nolan’s final film in his Batman trilogy, and the word is overwhelmingly positive.

While some have pointed out that the third film lacks a villain as memorable as the late Heath Ledger’s Joker, from The Dark Knight, they have praised all of the cast members for delivering a truly epic conclusion that elevates the Batman films to a higher plain than any of his superhero contemporaries.

The Hollywood Reporter, for instance, hailed it as ‘the best of Nolan’s trilogy’, adding that ‘this last installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy makes everything in the rival Marvel universe look thoroughly silly and childish’.

Their critic went on to write: “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.”

The review goes on to praise a curtain raising opening scene that “James Bond would kill for”, before creating a nightmarish vision of a Gotham under siege that has plenty of contemporary resonance.

Tom Hardy as Bane, Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are all praised.

Variety, meanwhile, labelled the film “a Knight to remember’.

Critic Justin Chang wrote: “Running an exhilarating, exhausting 164 minutes, Nolan’s trilogy-capping epic sends Batman to a literal pit of despair, restoring him to the core of a legend that questions, and powerfully affirms, the need for heroism in a fallen world.”

He adds: “If it never quite matches the brilliance of 2008’s The Dark Knight, this hugely ambitious action-drama nonetheless 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.”

The Toronto Sun, meanwhile, opined: “The Dark Knight Rises is a spectacular and thrilling conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. With Christian Bale portraying the brooding, conflicted Batman again – probably for the last time – this trilogy is now the best of its kind.

“Regardless of the number of installments, no other comic book franchise can boast being this great, so consistently, and for so long.”

IGN Movies concurred, labelling the film “a fitting emotional and narrative conclusion to this particular interpretation of the enduring story of Bruce Wayne the man and Batman the legend”.

While Hitfix wrote that the film “closes out Nolan’s trilogy with brains and bombast”.

Over in the UK, Total Film magazine also raved, awarding it five stars despite some reservations and awarding The Dark Knight a points win as best in the series.

And Time Out wrote: “As its running time suggests [164 minutes], The Dark Knight Rises is a sprawling, epic feast of a movie, stuffed to the gills with side characters, sub-plots and diversions.”

Read our review of The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises opens in cinemas in the UK on Friday, July 20.

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