The opening sequence introduces Tom Hardy’s Bane as he hijacks a CIA plane carrying out an extraordinary exposition of a Russian scientist with Hardy immediately set the menacing overtone of Bane as an irresistible force heading for Gotham. This opening sequence simply out classed attempts by recent super hero movies and their villains such as The Amazing Spiderman’s Lizard in creating a real sense of impending danger.
Bales Batman meanwhile has become a recluse holed up within the far flung wings of Wayne Manor and we see the hard road back for the Batman as he attempts to pay for the events in the Dark Knight amongst Banes revolutionary chaos reminiscent of 18th Century France. I enjoyed the balance between film noir and action blockbuster which fits into the Batman universe perfectly and was pleased to see that the overall tone had been built upon from the previous two installments whilst tying up a few loose ends.
Anne Hathaway brings a refreshing and convincing turn as Selina Kyle and Catwoman although i would have liked to have seen her get more screen time and a more rounded back history. The returning old guard of Michael Canes as Alfred, Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox and Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon put in the expected standard performances although Michael Cane did bring some emotional depth to his role.
New comer Marion Cotillard again was a welcome addition (who until seeing Hathaway on screen i felt made a more convincing Selina Kyle) as was Joseph Gordon-Levitt, whose young dynamic street cop sent a few alarm bells ringing amongst the more geeky audience members from the off set.
The film rocks in at just under three hours but the masterful pacing keeps the juggernaut of a movie rolling and the final twenty minutes are a real climax to this fitting finale for the trilogy … (or is it the finale??) and certainly did not disappoint dare i say it pipping the Avengers to my movie of the year so far!