The Dark Knight Rises
2012
**½
Director: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Morgan Freeman

Eight years on, Batman has vanished and Bruce Wayne has become a mentally and physically crippled recluse. He’s forced to come out of hiding when Bane, an enigmatic terrorist, holds Gotham City to ransom. Christopher Nolan builds plot on plot on plot, and goes back to The Dark Knight and Batman Begins to bring his ambitious trilogy to a conclusion. If Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher’s inane adaptations turned the Caped Crusader into a goofy comic book hero with no human characteristics, Nolan’s unrelentingly dark view sucks all fun out of the franchise. This third part is a colossal and seemingly endless superhero action film which suffocates under its own weight(iness). Nolan knows how to stage spectacle, though. Scenes like the opening plane jacking or the destruction of Gotham City are absolutely awe-inspiring, but the human drama fails to make an impact. Bane, in his megaphone mask, is a hulky and intimidating villain without any depth. Batman, on the other hand, has new, fancy gizmos and gadgets, but he ultimately settles the score in a lumbering fist fight.