Last waltz -- Batman's long goodbye
DIRECTOR Christopher Nolan completes his dark and brooding trilogy based in suitably grandiose fashion, delivering not only the longest film in the series but also the most brutal, violent and satisfying.
'Dark Knight Rises' opened in Los Angeles last night and yesterday Christian Bale, who plays the brooding-superhero, revealed that the Caped Crusader is a changed man.
"He has lost the one thing that gave him a purpose. Bruce feels absolutely isolated since the tragedy of losing Rachel," he said.
"His belief has been rocked, and that has caught up with him, physically and emotionally."
The 38-year-old actor, who won an Oscar last year for his role in 'The Fighter', has portrayed Batman in each of Mr Nolan's films.
So he felt quite emotional when he changed out of his costume at the end of the shoot.
"It was very bittersweet when I took off the cowl for the last time, because it's meant so much to me to play this character," he admitted.
It's to the film-maker's credit that he resisted the urge to jump on the 3D bandwagon for the caped crusader's swansong.
Certainly, the breathlessly orchestrated action sequences, including the spectacular opening aboard a huge C-130 Hercules transport plane, would draw bigger gasps in the eye-popping format.
But Mr Nolan has always focused on the characters and their twisted psychologies, and he puts all of them and us through the emotional wringer in this final chapter, co-written by his brother Jonathan.
The script is a little too cute in places, inadvertently giving away one major plot point well in advance, but it certainly doesn't hurt our enjoyment to be two steps ahead of the good guys.