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Logline: After spending eight years in exile, Batman emerges once more to save Gotham City from a terrorist known as Bane.

Review: Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises brings an epic trilogy to a satisfying conclusion.  While not the perfect Batman film that was The Dark Knight (2008), The Dark Knight Rises is still a strong film in its own right.

Adopting an even bleaker tone than the first two films, The Dark Knight Rises is admittedly, a little bloated but features an impressive production design and excellent performances.  Christian Bale gives his best performance yet as Bruce Wayne/Batman.  Unlike previous actors who have worn the cape and cowl, Bale understands that he is actually playing three different roles: Bruce Wayne as his true self, Bruce Wayne’s public persona, and Batman.  Tom Hardy is effective as the iconic Bane and Anne Hathaway gives a fresh take on the always enigmatic Catwoman.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt gives a great supporting turn as a police officer named John Blake who serves an important purpose in the film.

The Dark Knight Rises is not without its flaws, though.  Part of the problem lies in its intricate narrative.  The film has a little too much exposition and gets bogged down in its mid-section.  With that being said, the opening, in which an airplane is hijacked and the final forty-five minutes are nothing short of spectacular.

The Dark Knight Rises is the final chapter in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, a series of films that forever changed the way people view “superhero movies.”  The Dark Knight Rises is the darkest and most ambitious of the three films and provides a fitting conclusion to an epic trilogy.

Rating (out of ****): ***1/2