TODAY'S PAPER
72° Good Evening
72° Good Evening
NewsNew York

Movie Review: 'The Dark Knight Rises' -- 3 stars

Tom Hardy as Bane and Christian Bale as

Tom Hardy as Bane and Christian Bale as Batman face off in Wall Street in "The Dark Knight Rises." Credit: Tom Hardy as Bane and Christian Bale as Batman face off in Wall Street in "The Dark Knight Rises."

The Dark Knight Rises
3 stars
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Starring Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine
Rated PG-13

Class warfare, terrorism, 9/11 and societal collapse flicker ominously throughout "The Dark Knight Rises," Christopher Nolan's third and final Batman film, a work of escapist entertainment that also poses IMAX-sized questions about America and its recently-rocked foundations.

Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but "The Dark Knight Rises" is an epic send-off to a character, and a franchise, that made it safe for superheroes to get serious.

Though not so serious that fans won't enjoy it.

Opening eight years after "The Dark Knight" with a rusty Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) emerging from self-imposed exile, "The Dark Knight Rises" introduces two Batman villains. One is Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), a lowborn cat-burglar who preys on the rich, and the other is Bane (Tom Hardy), a masked monstrosity who stokes the populist rage of Gotham while leading it toward doom.

Hathaway's sneer is almost as deadly as her serrated high-heels, and her anti-elitist sarcasm provides the film's few moments of humor; Hardy's tank-like body is a thing of impressive ugliness.

Things bog down badly with a late-hour spiritual odyssey, but "The Dark Knight is a satisfyingly grand finale and - surprise, surprise - a rousing opening chord to another.

Rafer Guzman is a Newsday staff writer.

More news