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The greatest compliment I can pay The Dark Knight Rises is that I wasn’t bored during its 165 minute running time (what is it with blockbusters? pleeeease keep it to two hours!). It’s immersive, well-acted and well-paced, with dark tones and funky CGI. It is also, on the whole, cogent and coherent – inasmuch as a film about a superhero who dresses up as a bat can be. That may, in fact, be the one problem with this franchise – that the fashionable route of taking the narrative so seriously reduces the potential for comedy, and in doing so leaves a film without any trace of self-awareness. My favourite blockbuster of recent years was the rebooted Star Trek, because it seemed to get the cocktail of laughs, drama and excitement spot on. TDKR takes itself very seriously indeed, yet there is only so far I can connect to this film on any deep level – Michael Caine’s emotional scenes failed to have their effect, and the plot twists were less shocking revelations than “ahh, I see what you did there” moments, before the narrative charges ever onwards. Still, most of that is par for the course for this sort of film, and what TDKR does do it does extremely well.

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