- Damaris Chanza
Unexpectedly Reviewing the Batman Dark Knight Trilogy
I'm more of a Marvel Cinematic Universe girl, but even I can't deny the brilliance of the Dark Knight trilogy.
The Dark Knight Trilogy consists of Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008), and The Dark Knight Rises (2012). The movies came out a decade ago, but I have never seen them. I have no idea what the promo campaign consisted of or how well the films were received. The most I knew about Batman movies was the ongoing debate over who played the best Batman.
Usually, when I review a movie for the blog, I take notes and closely pay attention to ensure I form an opinion from accurate information, preventing any superfan from quoting my mistakes. However, I didn't watch these movies for the blog; I just needed something to watch while I ate dinner. So without bias and preconceptions, here's what I think of the Batman trilogy.
I was initially confused with Bruce Wayne's introduction and subsequent training sequence. I was waiting for the classic dead parents' origin story and was mildly disappointed when it finally arrived. I was expecting it to be more dramatic, but maybe that was on me for expecting grandeur when seeing a child be orphaned.
Otherwise, I loved the movie. I was literally at the edge of my seat for most of the film, enthralled by every plot point. Part of my excitement probably comes from my ignorance of the Batman comics. I didn't know Scarecrow was a villain, so I thought the movie was about Batman vs. a drug lord. To learn differently was a huge plot twist. The subtle Joker reference was the cherry on top that instantly confirmed I would watch the next movie as soon as this one ended.
The Dark Knight
The domino-like betrayal and death of bank robbers as Joker's introduction brilliantly showed the absolute insanity that consumes him. It perfectly presents him as chaotic and insane yet intelligent and methodical.
Even the movie's plot points were chaotic but in a good way. Nothing was as it seemed. Every surprise was welcomed and thoroughly enjoyed. However, I think there is one exception; Two Face's quick death. Although he was technically in the entire movie, Two-Face was introduced and removed way too quickly for my taste. I thought his story was prepping to make him the central villain for the third film, but I was mistaken. Regardless, I finally understand why Heath Ledger is the unequivocal best Joker.
The Dark Knight Rises
I'll admit this is probably the least successful movie of the three. Stuck in hiding, having taken the blame for crimes he did not commit, Batman has disappeared, and Bruce Wayne is a recluse. Anne Hathaway was surprisingly introduced as Catwoman. Wayne's imprisonment halts the plot, and the focus moves to other characters. The main thing keeping the film interesting is the story of the kid who may or may not have escaped an unescapable jail.
The action and plot picked up toward the movie's end, making it more similar to the other films. Surprises like who the real villain is, the ultimate sacrifice, and the setup for another movie that never came to fruition was excellent and completely unexpected. Overall it was a good movie, just not as good as the others.
I thoroughly enjoyed this trilogy. Each movie was good in its own right, but my favorite had to be The Dark Knight because of the Joker. The age of the films gave me a different perspective. For instance, I recognized the actor who played the kid thought to be Bane in the third film, so I had an inkling of the upcoming reveal. The alley scene is so well known that it was underwhelming by the time I saw it in context.
There were also times when Joker and Officer Blake were overshadowing Batman as the main character in his own trilogy. Even so, the entire trilogy is excellent, and if you've been living without this knowledge for the last ten years as I have, I highly recommend you watch it. If you were a fan of the movies from the start, I recommend watching them again and reminding yourself why you're a fan.