Christopher Nolan scores with 'The Dark Knight Rises:' Zwecker - FOX 32 News Chicago

Christopher Nolan scores with 'The Dark Knight Rises:' Zwecker

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

It's one of the most anticipated films of the summer: "The Dark Knight Rises."

But does it live up to the hype? It opens in theaters Friday.

Director Christopher Nolan and his Batman Christian Bale teamed-up again to complete their trilogy of films about the caped crusader, as "The Dark Knight Rises" takes us in a whole new direction.

Right from the opening scene, Nolan doesn't disappoint. Kicking things off with a harrowing, tension-filled action sequence that's truly a grabber, it's a great way to introduce us to the anarchist villain Bane and his band of baddies.

"The Dark Knight Rises" is set eight years after the end of Nolan's last "Batman" film, with Gotham at peace, Bruce Wayne a recluse and the disgraced Batman, only a memory.

But things quickly turn ugly, as Nolan crafts a movie that is very dark and clearly influenced by the real world we live in - full of mindless terrorism.

The action is virtually non-stop. It's a great ride from start to its surprising finish, full of several good twists at the end.

Christian Bale delivers the goods once again as Bruce Wayne, strongly supported by Michael Caine as Alfred, Gary Oldman as Police Commissioner Gordon, and new cast member Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a young police officer with an intriguing past.

Tom Hardy is perfect as the very frightening seemingly-unstoppable Bane, and Anne Hathaway is simply wonderful playing Selina Kyle -- our very sexy new Catwoman.

While "The Dark Knight Rises" is too long - nearly three hours - and the plot can be confusing and unclear at times, this third "Batman" film from Christopher Nolan is a winner.

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