Following Friday's shooting at an Aurora, Colorado, midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises," many moviegoers are undoubtedly questioning whether they should still see the ultimate installment of Christopher Nolan's epic Batman trilogy. To which we say, please do.
There's still a lot to love about the long-awaited finale, which finds battered Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) fighting barrel-chested behemoth Bane (Tom Hardy) for the honor — and safety — of his fair Gotham.
To wit, here are five reasons you should still see "The Dark Knight Rises":
It Starts Fast and Furious
Buckle yourself in, because Nolan does not ease us gently into this good "Knight." The opening sequence, which introduces us to the villainous Bane, is a mile-high plane hijacking that leaves few survivors. It's daring and dizzying — in the best way possible. And with its anti-gravity atmosphere, you might just be reminded of a certain scene from the auteur's earlier work.
Bane Is a Foe Like None Other
Speaking of the big baddie, Bane is terrifying in a way that previous Batman villains never were. That's not to say Scarecrow, Joker or Two-Face weren't compelling antagonists — not in the least. But none were as physically imposing as the hulking henchman, whose sheer size and physical capabilities make him Batman's fiercest foe yet — a master of both physical and mental torture.
The Ladies, They Are Lovely
We would never want to sully Rachel Dawes' memory, but can we all agree that Bruce Wayne's paramour didn't have much to do in the first two installments besides, you know, die? And so it is that actresses Anne Hathaway and Marion Cotillard step in to represent the fairer sex, and they do so with aplomb. Hathaway fearlessly embodies the feline finesse of Selina Kyle as though she too had nine lives, while Cotillard is the consummate sophisticate as businesswoman Miranda Tate. You never once question the notion that they are on the same level as Batman or alter ego Bruce Wayne.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt Is a Welcome Addition
Does Gotham need one more crime-fighter? It does if that man is Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The actor delivers an earnest performance as cop John Blake, who shares a similar history to Bruce Wayne's and serves as an important ally to Batman. But we'd expect nothing less from a boy who used to run around in a homemade Batman costume. And let's just say, John Blake's fate will make you love Joseph Gordon-Levitt even more than you already do.
It All Comes Full Circle
Storytelling 101 teaches us that the most compelling endings hearken back to their beginnings, and screenwriting brothers Christopher and Jonathan Nolan have taken this lesson to heart. Without giving anything away, know that the film's closing moments will likely leave you satisfied yet still wondering what's next.
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