Fans have been chomping at the bat for news on whether or not the latest chapter in director Christopher Nolan's caped crusader saga delivers on the promise of his previous two Batman films, and now that reviews for "The Dark Knight Rises" are filtering in it's safe to say that it does, in spades.
Though many of these early reviews are tempered with the notion that it doesn't quite live up to the Heath Ledger-dominated second installment, as the closing act in a comic book trilogy it is inspiring high praise as well as high-minded discussion of what Nolan's vision of capitalism run amok means in the current socioeconomic climate.
But don't worry, though there may be politics, there's also a great deal of punching.
"If it never quite matches the brilliance of 2008's 'The Dark Knight,' this hugely ambitious action-drama nonetheless retains the moral urgency and serious-minded pulp instincts that have made the Warners franchise a beacon of integrity in an increasingly comic book-driven Hollywood universe." -Variety
"Bale is at his series best in this film. At times in the past his voice seemed too artificially deepened and transformed; there's a bit of that here, but far less, and, as Bruce becomes impoverished and Batman incapacitated, the actor's nuances increase." –The Hollywood Reporter
"A smart, stirring spectacle that faces down impossible expectations to pull off a hugely satisfying end to business. Boy, you’re in for a show tonight…" –Total Film
"Nolan’s has been the Batman of the War On Terror and the credit crunch, made in an age where belief-driven crazies threatened world security (Osama bin Laden, George Bush) and men with nothing more than computers and a sense of entitlement destroyed arguably as many lives as thugs with guns." –Empire
"The story isn't quite as solid as 'The Dark Knight' and the main villains aren't quite as memorable, but having a director with such a strong vision and conviction to fulfill it makes Nolan's Batman finale pay off at least as a bookend to 'Batman Begins' even if it may require quite a bit more patience than both previous films." –ComingSoon
"I suspect that the reaction to the film will be hotly divided, but I'm firmly on the side that this is a triumph, a victory for all involved, and one of the year's most impressive efforts so far in any genre, on any subject." -HitFix
"Nolan's gritty realist approach to the blockbuster mold frequently trades overstatement for sleek displays with mixed results. Bane's muffled voice embodies the movie's strengths and weaknesses at once. He's an ominous terror, to be sure, but also largely undefined and remote." -Indiewire
"There’s nothing here to match the intensity of Heath Ledger’s Joker, and the movie feels weaker for it. But that was a one-off, and the show must go on… The way the various strands tie up is a mite predictable, but it’s satisfying nonetheless." –Time Out London
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