Re-release the bats: redux review of the Dark Knight trilogy
The Dark Knight trilogy was re-released in theaters Saturday to celebrate Batman Day, an international holiday recognized by fans of the character across the globe.
While the trilogy has been raved about for nearly two decades now, many should be tired of it. However, that proves time and again to not be the case for this iconic set of films, and it’s not hard to figure out why that is. Starting with the film that introduced us to Nolan and Bales new take on the character, Batman Begins.
Batman Begins features some beautiful shots, an amazing score and a wonderfully crafted Gotham City, but it’s shining light throughout it all is the script. The script for this movie is nearly perfect and draws out some of the best performances we’ve ever seen from almost all of the actors. Christopher Nolan, the director of the series, has such a unique way of finding the perfect actors to deliver his words on screen.
The standout performance of this movie definitely comes from its star Christian Bale, playing the titular character of Batman. While it’s no surprise that Bale gives a great performance, nor is it anything new that he gives a great performance in this movie, there’s something special about seeing it on the big-screen that makes every little moment that much more enjoyable. Whether he’s driving a sports car as the eccentric billionaire, having a tender moment with Alfred as the true Bruce Wayne, or putting fear into the hearts of the criminal underworld with the iconic Batman growl, Bale kills every single scene he’s in.
The Dark Knight hit theaters with a bang in 2008, quickly becoming one of the highest rated comic-book movies out there, and still to this day being regarded as one of the best films of all time.
The reason this film became so iconic was because of the time that it was released. The Dark Knight dealt with the heavy topic of terrorism on American soil, and is seen by many as Nolan’s analysis of a post-9/11 America. The film even ends with Batman setting up his version of the Patriot Act and using the security state to catch the Joker. A great film because of its beautiful cinematography, breath-taking score, and as I said before, absolutely brilliant analysis of our contemporary times, but there’s one thing that stands above the rest. And without this, the film would be nowhere near the level that it is elevated to; Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker.
Ledger’s performance is something for the history books, and while he is sadly no longer with us, this film set him up to be remembered as one of the greatest actors of all time. He truly made The Dark Knight something special.
Ending the trilogy with Nolan’s personal war epic, The Dark Knight Rises.
While many feel this one to be the worst of the trilogy, I would have to disagree. The Dark Knight Rises remains at the top of my list for many reasons, but the biggest reason to me is that it puts Bruce Wayne at the forefront of the film.
For almost every single Batman movie before this, the villains stole the show in some capacity, but here Nolan truly tried to tell a personal story about Bruce Wayne.
Sure this is the film with the highest stakes, the city is being held captive by a terrorist that wants nothing more than to cause chaos and create division amongst Gothamites, but it’s not about Bane nor is it about his bomb, it’s about Bruce’s journey to healing. The film focuses more on Bruce’s personal mission than it does on the physical threat of Bane, and even when that threat is present it feels like Bruce is fighting something other than the man in front of him. He’s also fighting the fear inside him.
This is the movie that pushes Bruce to be a true hero, and he ends the film by telling the audience that, by telling the audience, “A hero can be anybody…”
These movies are spectacular because of their score, because of their look, because of their actors, but also because of the care that Nolan has as a filmmaker and the intense amount of pressure he put on these movies to be good. The Dark Knight trilogy is just another example of Nolan’s extraordinary talents as a filmmaker.