Kat Vincent’s review published on Letterboxd :
This year is the year of superhero movies. Expectations were once again very high, especially when it came down to the third movie of a trilogy, in this case, the amazing trilogy of Batman. The good thing about trilogies is that they have a beginning, centre and an ending, so they're easier to follow and understand. I personally liked "Batman Begins", but for me, it wasn't an amazing movie or something that left me in awe, while I was completely blown away by "The Dark Knight". I still get shivers when I see it nowadays. Anyways, the point is, I had serious doubts myself whether the end of the Batman series would live up to my expectations. After the amazing performance by Heath Ledger as the Joker and the brilliant script of "The Dark Knight", I wondered, if Christopher Nolan had anything left to give. BUT now, I can only say, Nolan has outdone himself.
From the three movies, this one is the most depressing, losing and finding hope all the time and keeping the viewers unknown of what's yet to come. At the same time, it doesn't leave you confused or frustrated about not knowing the characters' next steps. Nolan is a master of using psychological themes throughout his movies, "Dark Knight Rises" being no exception. In fact, the depths he goes into while discovering the characters' emotional sides are crazy. The 8 year gap left between the events of the two latest movies, is left unknown. In fact, as an honoring act, Joker isn't even mentioned once. The story focuses on a man who suffers deeply and has to overcome his tragic life events and sorrows for the sake of his city, Gotham.
As for the cast, I can't put their greatness into words. Christian Bale is for sure one of the greatest and most hard-working of our time. The way he portrayed Bruce Wayne throughout all three movies has been epic. Thanks to Nolan, Batman was given more time, more attention than the villains - after all, he is the hero of the story. It hasn't always been this way, in fact, Wayne's personal life or emotional side has always been pretty much left out, but that was before Nolan came. Although there would be no Batman without its enemies, it was Batman's time to shine and Bale i s the perfect Batman.
When I heard Anne Hathaway was going to portray Selina Kyle, our beloved Catwoman, I'm not gonna lie, I was disappointed. I've never had much respect towards Hathaway and although she has had some pretty decent roles lately, she kinda always seemed like that-girl-stuck-in-princess-diaries for me. But.. I was happily surprised because I really enjoyed her performance. The character herself didn't leave me fully satisfied, I felt like there's more to Catwoman (and there certainly is) but at the same time, she did let Batman shine, in spite of being a pretty selfish know-it-all hot and silky burglar.
Another driving force throughout the Batman movies has certainly been Michael Caine with his absolutely amazing role as Alfred. Of course, this is the fifth movie that Nolan and Caine have worked on together, (which makes me hope that there's more to come) three of them being Batman movies, so obviously the role of Alfred must be dear and familiar to Caine, or so it seems anyway. And even though the lack of Bruce-Alfred action left me kinda hollow, the end pretty much makes it up.
It's hard to give out any more credits to actors, without spoiling the movie, which even with three trailers has still been able to keep its plot a secret. I'm just gonna say that not a single actor disapointed me. Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character was in my opinion, the best add to the series, though he has always been there, but the way they brought him in was absolutely brilliant. And Tom Hardy... let's just say you'd be amazed when you see what he has to bring to the table with his role.
"The Dark Knight's" script is so refreshing, well-written and operative. It took inspiration from the comics "Knightfall" and "No Man's Land", but the additions blew me away. I have only read the second one, but the comparison between the comic and the movie is not topical when it comes to Batman series. The themes it (the series) has, being told over and over again in comics, are far more darker in the movies. Nolan has stated in interviews that all three movies have a different theme. "Batman Begins" dealt with fear, "The Dark Knight" had a theme of chaos, and finally "The Dark Knight Rises" is a tale of pain. It really is that, a tale of pain.
Although it's a very long movie, (being 165 minutes long, it's the longest movie Christopher Nolan has ever directed), don't be afraid you'll get bored. "The Dark Knight Rises" is a movie that gets better with every minute. It has everything - the drama, the mystery, the cheating, the forgiveness, the love-story etc. Not to mention its beautiful soundtrack - (thank you once again Hanz Zimmer) one of the best original soundtracks I've heard in a long time. Anyway, I still haven't figured out whether I liked TDKR more than TDK or not, but nevertheless it's a must-watch. If you're a comic-fan, watch it. If you're an action fan, watch it. If you're a... I could go on an on, but there's something for everyone in TDKR. Don't compare it to the previous Batman movies, go to the cinema with an open mind and just enjoy. The curtain has fallen and the trilogy is finally over. What a beautiful ending. I have no complaints about the movie, a certain level of perfection has been reached.