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Christopher Nolan's Batman Trilogy

  • 02-08-2022 11:57pm
    Registered Users Posts: 153 ✭✭

    I gave these a re-watch recently. Am a big fan of Christopher Nolan generally (but the less said about "Tenet" the better).

    I still think "Batman Begins" is the strongest of the three (and my favourite of all the Batman films ever released). But it seems to be the least well reviewed and the least commercially successful of Nolan's trilogy.

    I enjoyed "The Dark Knight" a lot more this time around compared to my initial viewing in the cinema. Heath Ledger really is great in it.

    For me, "The Dark Knight Rises", is by some distance the weakest of the trilogy (but still pretty good by most standards). I just can't take Tom Hardy seriously as a villain with that stupid voice he has in the film!



  • Registered Users Posts: 12,395 ✭✭✭✭siblers

    I love Batman Begins. It sounds lame but it's got a great heart to it and I really ended up rooting for Batman and Gordon. One of all time favourite soundtracks too. I've watched it more times than The Dark Knight.

    The Dark Knight blew me away when I saw it in the cinema, probably my greatest ever cinema experience, not seen it in years though

    The Dark Knight rises is easily the weakest. It felt like a generic comic book film. Had some pretty ropey CGI too

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,604 ✭✭✭✭MisterAnarchy

    Batman Begins is underatted.

    It has arguably the best soundtrack of the trilogy.

    Strangely enough I have probably rewatched it the most as its often on tv, it gets better on repeat viewings.

    All 3 films are of high quality and raised the Superhero bar dramatically.

    I much prefer their dark nature to the Marvel corniness.

  • Moderators, Arts Moderators, Regional Abroad Moderators Posts: 11,023 Mod ✭✭✭✭Fysh

    I like Begins quite a bit - it's a tad overlong, maybe, but does a strong job of providing a relatively grounded take on a premise that can be faintly ridiculous at best.

    I do think it is outdone by The Dark Knight due to cast strengths - underused though she is, Maggie Gyllenhaal runs rings around Katie Holmes, and Ledger's Joker is a magnetic vacuum of amorality and chaos at the heart of the film.

    Rises is easily the weakest of the three with the strongest feel of "I made this to get funding for something else", with a bloated and baggy script - and yet, it had some interesting ideas, it just didn't do enough with them.

    I do wish WB/DC would figure out how to make engaging film takes of non-Bat-related properties in their stable, though. The Nolan films, despite their flaws, show how to do it - a clear concept executed well with an internally consistent tone.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,679 ✭✭✭fluke

    Batman Begins is probably my favourite of the trilogy. Marries the dark tone with some comic book elements quite well.

    The other two are almost neck and neck, but I prefer Rises, simply as it feels closer to Begins, in sticking to being a story about Wayne, whereas the middle chapter feels like he's a bit lost in the movie.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,306 ✭✭✭✭Drumpot

    Totally agree with your assessment.

    Originally when Dark Knight was released it blew me away as my expectations from Begins had been raised so much and that movie over delivered even with the high expectations. I remember enjoying it so much and then when you have the twist where Batman has to save the civilians dressed up as baddies was magnificent.

    I always felt the third was the weakest and repeat viewings don’t change that. But begins does indeed get better and better on repeat viewing. But for how awesome dark knight was when I went to it in cinema begins is probably a more solid movie. Neeson really made his character quite epic.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,169 ✭✭✭✭2smiggy

    agree about Batman Begins, my favorite by far. I have lost count of the amount of times I have seen it

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,749 ✭✭✭FortuneChip

    I think Batman Begins probably does have the strongest emotive narrative.

    But, I'd still say The Dark Knight comes out on top. I think thematically, it's just got a bit more going for it. The story of how Batman is perceived over the course of the movie by different people, and how that changes is a lot of fun to dive into.

    The two main scenes between Joker & Batman (interrogation & final conflict) really nail it. For an "agent of chaos" the Joker is incredible meticulous in how he acts, but he's also quite perceptive in how people will act/react to the world around him. Ok, he's wrong about the people on the boat, but he gets everything else right, how Dent's turn would destroy Gotham, and how Batman will ultimately be cast aside and villified as soon as it's convenient do to do.

    The perceived Hero/Villain, White Knight/Dark Knight juxtapositions delivered by Gordon final monologe & Joker's contrasting views is so enjoyable to take in. It does a great job of just showing how complex a character Batman is

    The Dark Knight Rises has great moments, that rival the best moments in the two previous movies, but it's padded with some meandering, and some fairly poor dialogue at times. This exchange starts with Daggett giving out to Bane, and in the space of a few back/forths, this happens...

    John Daggett I paid you a small fortune.

    Bane And this gives you *power* over me?

    John Daggett What is this?

    Bane Your money and infrastructure have been important... 'til now!

    John Daggett What are you?

    Bane I'm Gotham's reckoning. Here to end the borrowed time you've all been living on!

    John Daggett You're pure evil!

    I know that "Pure evil" line was shoe-horned in so that Bane could call himself a "necessary evil" but for business tycoon like Daggett to say it is weird, it's so unnatural. The line really annoys me. Luckily, he doesn't stay beyond them. Shame though, like Ben Mendelsohn.

  • Registered Users Posts: 894 ✭✭✭FlubberJones

    Just thrown the OST on for Begins, not one I listen to much so will have a refresher, as I listen to the latter two A LOT

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,693 ✭✭✭buried

    "Batman Begins" is the best for me. Neeson was great in it too, especially at the start. The whole thing is cleverly executed to showcase the almost supernatural nature of the vigilante character on a somewhat realistic level. Only downside was Katie Holmes, awful performance.

    "Dark Knight" is only watchable for Ledgers performance and a couple of exceptional action set-pieces. A lot of the story doesn't make any sense and some of the sequential editing is laughably bad for something that wants to be a realistic crime thriller. Like, that bit when Ledger takes off the nurses facemask in the hospital and Dent suddenly gets the shock that its the Joker, even though his entire face is caked in the grimey clown make-up and the greasy green hair anyways.

    "Dark Knight Rises" could have been brilliant but too many needless characters shoe-horned into it. There was literally no need for Selina Kyle to be in it, or whatever character Levitt was playing, I cant even remember the name

    "You have disgraced yourselves again" - W. B. Yeats

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,793 ✭✭✭FunLover18

    I have to agree that Batman Begins is my favourite, it feels like the better Batman film. The sequels feel like Bond movies wrapped in Batman clothing and there's a shift to daytime shenanigans especially on TDKR which always felt off to me. I think BB strikes the best balance between taking itself seriously while also being a comic book story, the follow ups take themselves far too seriously imo while having completely outlandish plots with huge plotholes you could drive a batmobile through. BB for sure has plotholes but it knows it's a Batman movie whereas I feel the sequels are trying to be something more.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 33,357 ✭✭✭✭Penn

    The Dark Knight Rises is definitely the worst of the three, but I also have a bit of a soft spot for it. Some things poorly explained (how JGL knew Bruce was Batman, the cops in the tunnels for 5 months), other things needlessly shoehorned in (Bruce's knee), and almost everything to do with the bomb is pants. But I actually loved Tom Hardy's performance, Anne Hathaway was fantastic as Catwoman, and the film has some incredible hype moments and action sequences.

  • Registered Users Posts: 350 ✭✭RossGeller

    It's been 14 years and I'm still blown away by Heath Ledgers performance as the Joker.

    I still remember all the internet nerds getting mad when "that guy from Home & Away" got cast. He proved everyone wrong. It's tragic he wasn't alive to see it .

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,008 ✭✭✭TheIrishGrover

    I still think I prefer The Dark Knight but there isn't much in it. I did rewatch The Dark Knight Rises again last year for the first time in ages and it was a lot better than I remembered.

    I always remembered loving Joseph Gordon Levitt in this. His first scene with Christian Bale was fantastic: I know you're Batman. You know you can't convince me otherwise. Sin è. Now what do we do?

    But I think I overly-focused on the negatives: That "Oh you should use your middle name, Robin" scene. Jesus!!! And, even though I never read the comics, I loved the Animated Series so I knew who Marion Cotillard was straight away. And Batman and Bane voices are still a bit too OTT. BUT there is still a lot to really like. As mentioned, Joseph Gordon Levitt. Michael Caine and Gary Oldman as usual. Anne Hathaway.

    So, if you have dismissed The Dark Knight Rises, give it another go. Sure, it isn't up to the other two but it is still a solid movie with just some silly bits

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,679 ✭✭✭fluke

    Thinking about this thread a bit and have to admit while The Dark Knight has Batman being the most... Batman, out of all three films, the other two just have a lot more heart

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,168 ✭✭✭The White Wolf

    Ah, I was only thinking of starting a thread in July as we just, unbelievably reached the 10 year anniversary of TDKR being released.

    Depending on my mood, BB or TDK overtake each other as the best of the series. I just love revisiting them; BB for the overall aesthetic, TDK for the sheer spectacle.

    I tend to go soft on TDKR as no matter what Nolan says I'm sure Ledger had to be prominent in his early plans and thoughts. Plus I just love, LOVE, Bruce's arc, it really was the perfect send off. Bale will always be my favourite iteration of the character. I understand what people mean when they say the film went too big and as I said, had Ledger lived I imagine we would have gotten a much more intimate end.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,500 ✭✭✭monkeybutter

    The second best version of batman, the best being the animated series

    A brilliant film maker

    By far the best Comic book character due in part to not being a super hero as such

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,008 ✭✭✭TheIrishGrover

    Yep. Batman TAS was fantastic. I always remember describing it to someone. While the movies had bat nipples and driving up walls and bat credit cards, the animated series was exploring how sane Bruce Wayne is in dressing up and doing what he does. And his involvement often in the creation of so many unhinged villains. And while current Harly series is all "edgy" in having a same sex couple, TAS alluded to it, not very subtly, decades ago. In a "kids" show. Plus, it GAVE us Harley and the retconned/tragic reinvention of Mister Freeze. The hand animation may look a bit clunky by today's standards but it was amazing

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,024 ✭✭✭✭Tony EH

    Easily the best set of superhero films yet made. The only drawback is that ridiculous Batvoice. Why they went with that remains a mystery to me. It clearly should have been dropped the second it appeared.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,380 ✭✭✭Gamb!t

    Its a decent trilogy, the first two are excellent especially batman beings, really liked the lost bruce wayne and the league of shadows stuff.

  • Registered Users Posts: 33,357 ✭✭✭✭Penn

    The voice I can handle, but if I have one big negative from Bale's performance it's that he gurns his mouth a lot when in the mask; constantly pushing his lips out. Same with the voice where he doesn't really do it in the first film, but it's like he realised after the first one that as so much of his face is concealed, he has to put all his performance into his mouth and voice.

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 29,206 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate

    I rewatched The Dark Knight relatively recently. Operating on a different level to basically every comic book movie released since: a director with clear aesthetic and storytelling aims, executed boldly.

    But as the years have gone on and Nolan has released more films I do find elements of his style grate more than they did… especially without the benefit of the ‘wow’ factor. The editing in particular is so restless: many scenes start and end on odd or abrupt notes, and there’s so much going on the film rushes through key details or emotional beats in a way that doesn’t always work. The entire last act feels peculiarly abridged, and the rapid pace of the thing makes some stretches feel like extended montages. My recollection is that this is even more pronounced in TDKR.

    That the film still largely works despite that is testament to the ambition of the thing, as well as the extraordinary efforts of Ledger in particular. And there are also sequences where the intense editing create a sense of chaos and unpredictability befitting the story, such as the bit in the middle when the Joker is behind bars.

  • Registered Users Posts: 85,593 ✭✭✭✭JP Liz V1

    I enjoyed all 3 but 1 is underrated, really enjoyed Cillian Murphy as Scarecrow

    I think Ledger's phenomenal performance in 2 got everyone talking that other characters were less talked about, Aaron as Harvey also excellent

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,187 ✭✭✭✭B.A._Baracus

    Yeah begins is the best.

    I thought it was the dark Knight for many years but begins tops it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,169 ✭✭✭✭2smiggy

    watched Batman Begins again last night after reading this thread. Gets better with every viewing !!

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,941 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp

    The thing about Dark Knight Rises is that, poorest film of the trilogy it may be, it still runs rings around a large percentage of the genre's stable to this day. It still had ambition, a clear vision or style and a fullsome energy that almost paper over the cracks or the napkin scribbled plot.

    That opening plane stunt remains impossible outside of a Ton Cruise production. Only the diminutive actor and Nolan have the clout to pull it off. Imagine the same set piece in a MCU film. Ha.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 37,789 CMod ✭✭✭✭ancapailldorcha

    I think Rises is probably my favourite. It was nice to see a real take on Bane after so many that involve Batman severing his Venom arteries. Batman Begins is also excellent. I was blown away by The Dark Knight in the cinema but I feel like it has aged poorly and that it's too dependent on Ledger's show-stealing performance.

    One thing I will say though is that each film stands by itself. There's no hint of this MCU feeling where each instalment is a carbon copy of every other and exists as a giant trailer for the next one. Each Nolan film stands on its own merit and that is refreshing.

    We sat again for an hour and a half discussing maps and figures and always getting back to that most damnable creation of the perverted ingenuity of man - the County of Tyrone.

    H. H. Asquith

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,941 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp

    While I agree with this, that each film stood on its own, I do always resent the fact both sequels just ignored the Narrows; the trilogy's most visually arresting, evocative and unique location (based on the old Kowloon walled city) got hand-waved away in Dark Knight as "lost" and that was it, Gotham became Chicago, we never saw the Narrows again (did it even feature during helicopter shots?)

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 37,789 CMod ✭✭✭✭ancapailldorcha

    I never noticed to be honest but I see your point. The narrows always looked a bit daft though, what I might expect from an impoverished borough of somewhere like Jakarta or Bangkok. Looked a bit too Asian to fit properly into an American city, even a fictional one like Gotham.

    We sat again for an hour and a half discussing maps and figures and always getting back to that most damnable creation of the perverted ingenuity of man - the County of Tyrone.

    H. H. Asquith

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,826 ✭✭✭893bet

    As a trilogy they are stunning really.

    Its rare 3 in a row are that good.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,501 ✭✭✭✭Slydice

    I'm not saying all three of the films don't have good stories or great scenes...

    but when I think to them.. my mind always jumps to the opening of The Dark Knight.

    The way it's put together, the story, the acting, the music.. it just pulls me in.

    Bank Heist (Joker) | The Dark Knight [IMAX]

    Youtube get's me almost everytime when it puts up a version of it for me to rewatch.