The anticipation of this final Chris Nolan Batman movie, starring Christian Bale has been awe inspiring - never has a movie had so much expectation to deliver brilliance as this one.
With Nolan's new, darker franchise making a mockery of previous outings starring Kilmer & Clooney this really bought a depth of feel to the character and I for one don't need to revisit the brilliance of the previous two movies that led up to this one.
Nolan and Bale always knew this was a trilogy and it was clear to movie goers that this was a three-part deal - where it goes from here is unknown with the end of the movie definitively ending Bruce Wayne's involvement with the Bat - but leaving a door open for the next level and for whoever is brave enough to try and follow in Nolan's footsteps better not mess it up!
So - The Dark knight Rises. 8 years have passed since Batman took the blame for the death of Gotham Hero Harvey Dent, the secret of his two-faced identity kept away from the Gotham residence to ensure faith in the system was maintained has merely paved the way for an underground movement to plan their uprising and with the now elusive Batman and reclusive Bruce Wayne nowhere to be seen its time (as tom Hardy puts it) for Gotham's Reckoning.
Bane was an unlikely choice for the baddie in my eyes, seen only previously in the other Batman movies as a sidekick to Poison Ivy, This rendition sees the awesome Tom Hardy come across as a terrorist, hell bent on the seclusion and destruction of Gotham city itself and hell bent on revealing the truth about Dent, the involvement of Gordon and the unmasking of Batman - something he manages to pull off, brilliantly. Even though I initially though it was a poor choice of villian, Hardy's involvement had me very excited and I admint - I was wrong. Bane's brilliant - Well played.
The special effects are jaw dropping, Bane himself has all the elements of psycho hard man you could ever wish for and with the complete 360 story bringing us back to the League of Shadows, featured heavily in part one, its a fitting end to what has been the best trilogy to EVER hit our screens.
But even Bale and his might machines isn't enough to stop Hardy alone and he enlists the help of Jewel thief, Selena (Cat woman) played by the ever gorgeous Anne Hathaway as an immediate adversary, turned assistant but without the cheese that Chris O'Donnels 'Robin' bought into the mix.
Gordon, Fox and Alfred all return as well as a brief appearance from Liam Neeson and the gangs pretty much all here for the final farewell.
There is so much going on in this movie - the plot rips along at such a pace that the 2hrs 40m flies by before you know it and every question you ever wanted answered from the other movies has its turn to play out - including an Arkham breakout where baddie Number 1, Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy) gets a fabulous reprise as judge and executioner to the Gotham 'elite' when the legal tables are turned and the inmates get to play 'courtroom' for a while.
The end of the movie is brilliant - what you believe is a broken relationship gets a final awakening and although I'm not going to tell who or what it involves - lets just say is brings a tear to the well trained eye and definitely a sub plot that could not be left to lie.
The end for Batman? - well, as I mentioned at the start, there is an opening for a fourth instalment but it wont include Bale which means it wont include Bruce Wayne as as our caped crusader but that doesnt mean that someone else couldn't take up the reigns and act as protector of the newly freed Gotham city, but you'd be a brave director to try and make it work as well!.