Tonight, London’s Leicester Square will be taken over by the international premiere of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. For those not fortunate (or crazy) enough to be able to brave to crowds to catch a glimpse of their favourite Bat-stars, we’ve got a live stream of the event starting from 17.15 GMT. All the stars are expected to be greeting the crowd and answering some burning questions, so don’t miss it.
Fifteen years ago, when Joel Schumacher murdered the Batman franchise with Batman and Robin, he ruined the image of one of the Dark Knight’s greatest modern foes by reducing the monster Bane to little more than a roided-out henchman. So it is fitting that writer/director Christopher Nolan’s triumphant resuscitation of the franchise should close by righting that offensive wrong. In The Dark Knight Rises Nolan has breathed new life into Batman’s deadliest foe and weaves an epic conclusion to his phenomenal trilogy.
While The Dark Knight Rises may take place eight years after the caped crusader was last seen onscreen, the film brings everything up to speed in quick succession. The initial sequence (previously screened as the prologue) works much like the introduction of the Joker does in The Dark Knight. Whether bearing intentional similarities or not, the scene is a breath-taking opening that is instantly memorable. Back in Gotham, familiar faces are reintroduced and newcomers are given ample opportunity to make their mark. Nolan and screenwriter brother Jonathan give Michael Caine terrific dialogue to work with and his scenes as Alfred with Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne add a new, vital dimension to their relationship. Bale is as reliable as ever and further cements his version of Wayne as definitive. The same can be said of Gary Oldman’s Commissioner Gordon who also returns. One of three Inception alumni new to the scene is Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who turns in a captivating performance as an idealistic young officer in the Gotham police department. In fact, it may be Gordon-Levitt’s superb portrayal that gains the most attention. Anne Hathaway’s agile and clever Selina Kyle is a fierce take on the character and she pulls it off magnificently. The dynamic between Catwoman and Batman is beautiful captured and holds true to their long-established attraction amidst animosity. Finally, as Bane, Tom Hardy is rather limited by the mask, but his physical presence is not to be underestimated and it goes far to make up for an absence of facial expressions. Nolan’s Bane is a truly brutal beast who, beyond remarkable brawn, also has the intelligence and leadership to pose an incredibly menacing and entirely genuine threat. While these characters are brilliantly brought to life by the actors behind them, it is the Nolans’ story that allows them to meet (and, in some cases, exceed) expectations.