July 25, 2011

Christopher Nolan's Batman Trilogy

Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne
It's hard to believe it, but with the sneak peek of the Dark Night Rises trailer, the countdown has begun towards the end of the current reboot. I hate to say reboot but in all honesty, the last movie from the previous generation of Batman films, "Batman & Robin", just left a bad taste in most fans' mouths. Furthermore it just seemed like the movie was a vehicle to sell toys rather than portray the character in some sort of meaningful depiction from it's fictional roots. Christopher Nolan's trilogy certainly brought the character back to it's dark origins of a crime fighter, trying to protect a city from crime and injustice. Like the Tumbler vehicle, the reboot and sequel "The Dark Knight", smashed on through and began the legacy anew.

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I wouldn't want kids younger than the PG-13 rating, to watch Nolan's past two Batman movies and maybe that's just it. By limiting the audience, Nolan and David Goyer were able to craft this magnificent origin story so as not to compromise the character's original depiction, portrayal and preserve the Batman's "natural" attitude and look.  They didn't sell out the character just to move more action figures off the shelves.

Henri Ducard trains Bruce Wayne
Nolan and Goyer simply brought back the Batman that comic-book fans had already been enamored with. With stories like "The Dark Knight Returns", "Batman Year One" and "The Killing Joke" from the 1980s, the Batman movies at the same time, was showcasing a different character entirely than what was portrayed on the big screen, it's not hard to see why fans enjoyed "Batman Begins". Granted the film added elements not already established (Rachel Dawes), for the most part, Nolan and Goyer stayed true to it's core base. "Batman Begins" didn't even feature the Joker as the main adversary but started with different and unlikely villains altogether. Using a character like Ra's al Ghul, who wasn't really a popular character among casual readers and fans, was quite a bold step. Adding the Scarecrow villain was perhaps a balance used to soothe the studio heads eager to be certain the film wasn't going to fail or lose the fan base again. There was quite a period of time since "Batman and Robin" (1997) premiered to when "Batman Begins" was released (2005). Perhaps the success of the "Blade" and the first X-Men" film spurned on Warner Bros. to get the Dark Knight franchise going again.

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The sequel "The Dark Knight" subsequently brought more of the same magic from the first film. Using the entire story devoted to one simple villain (the Joker) and yet setting the stage for another character to premiere (Harvey Dent). The sequel certainly was a bit over the top with it's violence but not enough for moviegoers to be turned off entirely. How else can you portray a sadistic and crazed character like the Joker anyway? The movie set box office records at the time without the use of special technology such as 3-D.

Why so serious? 

As we head closer to next summer's finale "The Dark Knight Rises", we pause to reflect on Nolan and Goyer's magnificent contribution to the Batman movies and their lasting legacy. We can't foresee who takes over the films just yet. However, for one night though, the Dark Knight detective captivated and reminded us, how one man can set an example for the world to follow. 

See you at the movies. 


  1. But i don't think they can beat the dark knight, it was so awesome...and Heath Ledger was amazing there...no one can beat that, not even Nolan!!

  2. Definitely! The hard part now is just trying to create a spectacular finale that will not only end the trilogy in a big way, but to top the Dark Knight.