Christian Bale at the world premiere of Dark Knight Rises in New York. (Reuters)
Los Angeles, July 18 (Reuters): The Dark Knight rises in movie theatres this Friday on the wings of huge anticipation for the final film of director Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, but there is one man who remains calm in the face of the media hype, Batman actor Christian Bale.
Bale slips into the bat costume of Gotham City’s crime-fighting superhero for the last time in The Dark Knight Rises, which like its predecessors has received strong early reviews.
Chosen by British director Nolan for his franchise reboot, which soared with 2005’s Batman Begins, Bale’s stone-faced portrayal of conflicted billionaire Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, was key to the movie’s success.
The followup, 2008’s Dark Knight, solidified Bale’s status as a leading actor, and Dark Knight Rises will be his swan song in the role.
“I’m real proud of having achieved what we had set out to do,” he told reporters at a news conference promoting the film. “It was a very important moment for me. It was an important character.
“It's the only time I’ve ever played a character three times in a row and the movies themselves have changed my life and changed my career.”
Both movies earned praise from fans and critics alike. The first raked-in $372 million at box offices worldwide, and the second an eye-popping $1 billion. Bale went on to numerous other parts and eventually nabbed an Oscar for his role as a drug-addicted ex-boxer in The Fighter.
When shooting of the Dark Knight Rises was done, Bale told reporters, he wanted time alone to think about the past seven years.
“I just went down and sat in a room and realised this is it,” said Bale of the time the cameras stopped rolling. “I sat in that moment with the realisation that we’re done.”
Dark Knight Rises picks up eight years after Dark Knight. The caped crusader has disappeared from public view and is a fugitive thought to be responsible for the death of Gotham City DA Harvey Dent. The man behind the mask, Bruce Wayne, has become a recluse and is rarely seen in public.
But both are forced out of hiding when cat burglar Selina Kyle, played by Anne Hathaway, arrives in Gotham and a masked terrorist named Bane, played by Tom Hardy, shows up to take over the city. Batman comes out of hiding to stop them.
With many twists in a complex story, revealing more requires a spoiler alert. Suffice it to say that critics — not the easiest to please with superhero movies — are mostly happy. The movie scored an 83 per cent positive rating from seven early reviews on film website moviereviewintelligence.com. Time’s Richard Corliss called it “a film of grand ambitions”.