The Dark Knight Rises

The lavish conclusion to director and co-writer Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight" trilogy will not disappoint dedicated Batman fans. But casual viewers may find its 164-minute running time bloated and unwieldy. Set eight years after the events of 2008's "The Dark Knight", the latest adventure finds billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) injured, exiled and grief stricken. Yet, inevitably, he and his chiropteran alter ego find themselves pulled out of retirement. Initially, that's due to the arrival on the scene of a morally ambiguous cat burglar (Anne Hathaway). But it's a terrorist mastermind (Tom Hardy) who really forces the Caped Crusader to don the cowl once more. Nolan's script evinces a surprising amount of humanity and emotion -- especially so as it shows us Wayne's touching relationship with his long-serving butler (Michael Caine). While the bone-breaking nature of the mayhem on display excludes the youngest batfans, some parents may deem this acceptable fare for older adolescents.

Watch out for: Frequent and intense action violence, including gunplay, an implied nonmarital encounter, a few uses of profanity, some crass terms.

Rated: The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 1970