There are moments when the stars and planets are in near-perfect alignment as a comet crosses the night sky and the movie gods cast their smiles on the screen, and a film dares to come close to living up to the undeniable hype that has been heaped upon its frames. It would appear that Christopher Nolan has produced just such an occurrence with the finale to his Batman trilogy.
The Dark Knight Rises, which pits a hobbled and retired caped crusader (Christian Bale) against a menace in Bane (Tom Hardy) trained within the same League of Shadows cult that helped the young Wayne overcome his fears, aims to be the kind of epic conclusion only the best conceived entertainments can provide — a legend for the ages with capstone support from franchise stalwarts (Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine) as well as members of Nolan’s Inception entourage (Hardy along with Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and a dangerously sexy cat (Anne Hathaway) who wanders into the mix. Now in theaters. (PG-13) Not screened for review