By Megan Bianco
The final episode of the most innovative comic book movie franchise of the last decade arrives in DC Comics’ and Chris Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. After a reluctant acceptance of Batman Begins (2005), Katie Holmes dropping out of the The Dark Knight (2008) and the sudden, shocking death of Joker actor Heath Ledger months before the release of the second film, the sequel becoming one of the most critically and financially successful movies of all time was certainly overwhelming. Now, four anticipated years later, the saga ends with The Dark Knight Rises.
The story picks up eight years later, and nasty, mask-hidden terrorist Bane (Tom Hardy) is ready and willing to take the Joker’s place. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has become heavily reclusive, but cat burglar Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), optimistic cop John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and socialite Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard) might help him save the day.
Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman return for the finale and Matthew Modine and Juno Temple are added as sidekicks. Bale, Hathaway and Gordon-Levitt lead the film effortlessly, and Hardy and Cotillard are visually impressive despite some awkward lines. The tragedy of the recent Colorado shootings has movie-goers understandably cautious to see The Dark Knight Rises. But those who do will find one of the most thrilling, action-packed, star-studded, surprising and, ultimately, entertaining endings to an era of Batman or any superhero.