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.


About liamfoley63

I was born in 1963 and that is relevant to my development of my love for science-fiction and fantasy movies, comic books, superheroes and many other things attributed to Nerd culture. In the 60s I watched all the Saturday afternoon Godzilla and monster movies I could take. In the 70s I became hooked on Star Trek. I am also an artist (in my own mind at least) and a musician. I enjoy learning about physics, astrophysics, chemistry and earth silences such as meteorology, anthropology, paleontology. When I reached my late 30s I began to re-explore my nerd roots. I reconnected with my love of science fiction and fantasy movies along with the other science related topics. For this blog I will focus on movie and TV reviews for science fiction and fantasy and post my thoughts on up coming movies. I will also include some fun facts from the various sciences I enjoy along with weather facts and bits from royalty and history. What I will not discuss is religion and politics. I am married to a beautiful woman named Sarah and have a lovely daughter named Danielle.

Posted on January 15, 2013, in Captain's Log... and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Batman Begins is my favorite of the trilogy. It’s the one that feels most like a Batman movie.

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