Rayzor’s Reviews: The Dark Knight Trilogy

I am bringing older content over from Nightfall Unlimited and I figured it was time to do a full review of Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy.  I have writen my thoughts on the series before, but things change.  After my first, second, third and today’s viewing of the Dark Knight Rises, I have changed.  Remember, I was not very happy with the Dark Knight, it was missing something to me and it felt less of a Batman movie.  Regardless, today I put it all to rest, today I am the Dark Knight Trilogy’s reckoning.  I have been known to bash the Nolan Batman movies, now, this is my final thought on the subject.  I will say and probably will again, I am glad Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan’s time with Batman is over, bring on Affleck!

Batman Begins (2005)

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It had been 8 years since the release fo the final Burton/Schumacher films was released.  There were so many rumors, but finally we got Batman Begins and it gave all of us Batman fans great hope for the future.  So much came from this film that made me happy after all the years of waiting.  It made $372,710,015 in the theaters, I think it could have made more if there was a main stream villain.

The Good:

A very good origin for Batman, it was not true to the comics, but it was a very cool interesting take.  I was happy they did not go straight to the A-list villians, Joker and Riddler.  I always wanted to see Ra’s al Ghul and Scarecrow both in a live action Batman film.  I  have always fealt Ra’s al Ghul is Batman’s ultimate enemy.  The casting for the support characters was very good, especially Gary Oldman as Gordon and Liam Neeson as Ra’s Al Ghul.It was really cool to see Batman build his costume and show some of the uses and functionality of the gadgets.  The film itself was very well done and for the most part.  The end was so cool when Gordon and Batman are on the roof and Gordon reveals the Joker card, setting up the sequel.

The Bad:

Batman did not show up unitl one full hour into the film.  I do think some of the cooler things it showed were not necessary.  When Christian Bale was cast as Bruce Wayne/Batman, I was actually pretty happy, he was great in American Psycho and I loved Equalibirium.  His voice as Batman was all over the place, it never sounded the same and at one point, on the roof talking to Rachel near the end of the film, he talks about who he is inside, terrible.

Overall:

I liked this movie a ton when it was released in 2005 and it is my favorite of the trilogy by far.  But my issues remain and I do, from time to time skip everything before we first see Batman.

The Dark Knight (2008)

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I was so excited, I followed everything I could, the viral campaign and looked everywhere for a glimpse of what was going on in the this film.  After Batman Begins, I was in the mind that it can only get better and better.  When the trailers came out, I was foaming at the mouth, just waiting and waiting.  When Heath Ledger dies, I was a heart broken, I had seen the trailers and I knew his Joker was going to be amazing.  I was sad, knowing this would be the only film with the Joker played by Ledger.  July, the film finally arrived and I was there opening night, I left the theater not happy.  I overhyped the film all on my own and when it didn’t not blow me away, I was out for blood.  I have since changed my opinion about the film, I have gone from hate to, well I don’t know what to call it.  The Dark Knight made over 1 billion dollars in the box office.  Was this due to everyone’s love for Batman or was it because of the death of Heath Ledger?  I would like to say, Batman, everyone knows who Batman is, right?

The Good:

Heath Ledger as the Joker was amazing, he stole the show.  It is a Batman film and he, as the Joker, makes the film, we all looked forward to the moments he was on 999961_023screen.  For the most part the story was good, I loved the opening, not the bank, with Batman and the Scarecrow.  This film featured my favorite villian, Harvey Dent a.k.a Two-Face.  I think Aaron Eckhart was really great, I only wish things would have ended differently, but in Nolan’s scope it had to happen.

The Bad:

I hated the ending, something about it, I mean the entire film fealt like it was building to somethings very huge and the boat thing, didn’t deliver for me.  Christian Bale again was not the best, I realize they had problems with his voice in the first film, but they made it worse.  I did not like the way Two-Face was treated, I mean he was great but I feel like he should have been in the film earlier and been more effective.  Of course I am just a fan, what do I know, I would have loved to see, wait I am not going to go there.  I guess it could have been worse.  Oh and the costume was bizarre, they should have just thrown tights over the armor.

Overall:

7 years gone and I still have issues every time I watch the movie.  So many people around the internet call this the best Batman movie ever, I disagree.  While it is good, I guess, there are too many issues I have with the movie overall.  Heath Ledger nailed this role, but I want everyone to remember, this is not what the Joker is, this is Heath Ledger’s Joker and it was brilliant.

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

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The finale, it was emotional, I was so ready for this Nolan trilogy to end.  This one took my by suprise, there were times it seems to be going at a slow pace.  Batman was not in the film all that much.  But after I saw the film I really enjoyed the film and it redeemed the Dark Knight for me.  It made me rewatch the Dark Knight and I realized something.  It is a bridger movie or even a filler.  I do not think the Dark Knight Rises would be what it is today if Heath Ledger were alive.  Again, another Batman film grossing over 1 billion dollars.

The Good:

Bane was pretty awesome, some people think he stole the show like Joker.  I don’t think he was that impressive, very cool and menacing but not like the Joker.  The fights between Batman and Bane were pretty awesome, especially the first fight.  Bane has some great lines, the DVD or Blu Ray you can understand him better.  Selina Kyle, Anne Hathaway, oh I loved her so much in this role.  This was one of the worst castings I thought, but turned out to be great.  I loved Batman’s rise out of the prison, it was a great part of the film showing his determination.  The ending of this film was really great, from the final fight to the end of film.  I am trying not to spoil anything about the ending but it was emotional and really brought tears to my eyes, until the stupid Robin thing.

The Bad:

There are plot holes galore in this one.  After Bruce escapes the prison, how in the hell does he get back to Gotham, he is broke and Gotham is heavily guarded and he sneaks on to the island, where the bridges are gone and the borders are guarded.  Again, Batman was absent from the film a lot, but it made sense for the story.  There was too much of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, he was a cop who turned out to be, Robin?  There are problems with this and it did seem like it was time for Nolan to step aside.

Overall:

The Dark Knight Rises, may have been a fitting end to an uneven series of films.  As I said before, there is not much Batman, three times he was featured and spanned over about 20 minutes.  The movie seemed to center around Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who I have grown to not like as an actor.  The Dark Knight Rises ended this series and we can finally put this series to rest.

Future:

This is over and next spring we will see the birth of a new Batman, played by Ben Affleck and I am excited.  Affleck looks the part and the trailer released at Comic-con was amazing.  I cannot wait for Batman v Superman, this is ground breaking and should be pretty awesome.  Ben’s suit looks closer to the comic, more than anyone who has ever donned the costume.

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