Chrisopher Nolan’s Batman Franchise.
I recently reviewed the third movie in this series, The Dark Knight Rises, and I wanted to write my thoughts and opinions about the franchise as a whole. As with many movies and franchises I often have mixed feelings that are neither completely positive or negative. Such is the case with Christopher Nolan’s Batman Franchise.
I remember all the positive reviews that Batman Begins received and I learned that this movie was going to be grounded in reality with the premise being “what if Batman really existed in the real world?” I actually liked that idea and was eager to see how it was played out. Upon finally seeing Batman Begins I felt that someone finally got Batman right and I was very pleased. To this day Batman Begins remains one of my all time favorite Batman movies. I think it has drama and excitement and a well crafted story. It is a tight story, meaning not a real complex plot with too many events and characters to keep track of.
However, that was to change with the Dark Knight. I did, and do enjoy the story, yet the plot is a little more complex and over crowded. Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker is brilliant and he did deserve the Academy Award for his portrayal. The movie goes on a bit long and there are times I am confused to what is going on. Does that say more about my ability to comprehend or was it the director’s inability to keep things clear? I actually fault Christopher Nolan. He does have a reputation for making films that have very complex plots. I also enjoyed the Harvey Dent/Two Face character and the make-up special effects for him were great. The ending was also intriguing as Batman was on the run and being viewed as a true outlaw.
I was disappointed that the “Batman as an outlaw” angle was played down in the Dark Knight Rises. Bruce Wayne hung up his cape and cowl and became a recluse. Yes, by the end of the movie Batman is redeemed and seen for the hero of Gotham that he was/is. I just thought they would have played up more on the Batman as an outlaw angle. I will not rehash my review here I will just restate that I liked the movie a great deal and it follows right behind Batman Begins as my favorite of the trilogy.
There is something wrong though. I really like these movies and I will watch them again but there is something gnawing at my stomach about these movies and I could not figure it out at first. After watching the Dark Knight Rises I did figure out what was gnawing at me. What bothers me is the original premises: “what if Batman really existed in the real world?” In the end, after all the three movies are over, I still have a feeling that at some leve these were not Batman movies. These movies are supposed to be comic book movies and I think having some element in the movie that reminds us that this is a fantasy makes these movies more light and fun. While Batman is a darker character than most superheroes there still is a fantasy element to him and that was missing from the trilogy.
I think the 1989 Batman movie by Tim Burton kept Batman in his comic book world. While his sequel, Batman Returns, is a bit too dark for my tastes they are rooted in being a comic book movie. I must say the more recent Marvel comic book movies have actually achieved the best tone for these types of movies.
I am a bit Leary about the next Superman movie. Superman is by far my favorite Superhero and I think he is more of a big boy scout than a Dark Knight like Batman and he needs a lighter touch. While I am very encouraged by the Man of Steel trailers I have seen I hope Nolan and Snyder didn’t forget to put some of the fun back into the movie.
The future of Batman on the big screen? I am not sure. I wouldn’t complain if Christian Bale joined the Justice League movie now in pre-production. Then again I won’t complain if he doesn’t either. If Warner Brothers wants to connect the Nolan Trilogy to the Justice League movie that is alright and if they want to go in a new direction with Batman I am alright with that too. The movies and his performance was good and I wouldn’t mind seeing him return as Batman.
Posted on January 15, 2013, in Captain's Log... and tagged Batman, Batman Trilogy, Christian Bale, Christopher Nolan, Comic Book Movies, Henry Cavill, Superman, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.