The Dark Knight Rises.

Being the essential final piece to Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, as well as having the misfortune to follow up the spectacular The Dark Knight (2008), it's fair to say that The Dark Knight Rises has been met with nothing short of high expectations since before the production even began.

Without giving too much away, the film is set eight years after the events of The Dark Knight and Gotham City has now enjoyed years of peace under the Dent Act, an act which prevents violent and organised crime. With Batman gone from the city, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has become a recluse from society and Wayne Enterprises is suffering after Bruce invested in a clean energy project which he shut down, believing in its potential danger if in the wrong hands.

However, with the introduction of Bane (Tom Hardy), a man who rivals Batman both phsyically and mentally and with intentions of destroying Gotham, Bruce is forced to don the cape once again to save his beloved city.

The stellar cast includes a final performance from Christian Bale as Batman, British actor Tom Hardy whose portrayal of Bane, though not quite rivalling Heath Ledger's Joker, is both brilliant and menacing. Anne Hathaway steps up as Catwoman/Selina Kyle, a role which is, I believe, her best performance to date and Sir Michael Caine returns as scene-stealing Alfred Pennyworth, who shows us why he is one of Britain's, and the world's, most respected actors. Other cast members include: Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, Gary Oldman reprising his role as Commissioner James Gordon, Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake (a young police officer) as well as a return of Cillian Murphy and Liam Neeson.

Composer Hans Zimmer collaborates once again with Christopher Nolan, providing the breathtaking music that accompanies Nolan's incredible film. I truly believe that these films would not have been quite the same without Zimmer and it is undeniable that when we see Bruce Wayne finally returning as Batman, as well as other scenes throughout the film, you feel the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and a rush of excitement. This, as well as over an hour of the film using IMAX to increase image quality, you feel apart of the story.

The Dark Knight Rises is a must-see and I cannot urge you enough to watch this film. There are plenty of unexpected twists and turns to entertain and surprise you throughout the rather lengthy 165 minutes. Do not let the time put you off - you won't regret it.

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