BATMAN: THE DARK Knight Rises is the most anticipated movie of the year – and critics around the world saw it for the first time yesterday.
They then ran, clawed and elbowed their way to their laptops to post the first reviews of the latest instalment in Christopher Nolan’s highly-regarded Batman trilogy.
No spoilers here – but we’ll just say that the film concerns Batman’s battle against criminal warlord Bane and includes the reappearance of Catwoman (though she isn’t called that), with Anne Hathaway dousing herself in talc for the trademark bodysuit.
So how did the summer’s biggest blockbuster go down?
In The Guardian, Xan Brooks calls it a “film of granite, monolithic intensity, a superhero romp so serious that it borders on the comical”. But he’s impressed: the movie “delivers in spades” and ends the trilogy on “a note of thunder”. Four stars.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Robbie Collin lauds the “skin-pricklingly high” stakes of the movie’s plot and the “thrilling” ambition of several sequences. Is he gearing up for a takedown? No: the film closes with a “nuclear payload of catharsis” for a “ferociously satisfying” end. Five stars.
Time Out has a few more criticisms, saying the movie “skews in favour of grandstanding action rather than emotional resonance”, but reviewer Tom Huddleston can’t stay mad at Batman. “When the Bat flies, [other] considerations go out the window,” he says, concluding that the film is “dizzying, inventive, sometimes perplexing, often enthralling”. Four stars.
For The Hollywood Reporter, Todd McCarthy likes the film’s themes: “the two big worries of the age, terrorism and economic collapse”. And in a somewhat spoiler-tastic review, he lauds the cinematography, calling Nolan’s movie “big-time Hollywood filmmaking at its most massively accomplished”. This is the best of the trilogy, he writes.
The only real negative note comes from Associated Press reviewer Christy Lemire, who says the movie is “spectacular” and “ambitious”, but “the feeling of frustration and disappointment in unshakable”. An influx of major characters leaves the film “overloaded”, she writes, and baddie Bane is “poorly defined”. But she notes her disappointment may be partially down to high expectations.
Batman: The Dark Knight Rises opens in Ireland on Friday. Check out the official trailer:
Update: Please be considerate and don’t post spoilers in the comments. Even if they’re jokes.