Sunday, July 22, 2012
it was a little over 7 years ago when Christopher Nolan destroyed, erased, and improved the Batman film franchise with 2005's BATMAN BEGINS. in 2008, he furthered the franchise even more with THE DARK KNIGHT, giving us respectable and terrifying versions of classic villains The Joker and Two-Face. well here we are in 2012, and Nolan brings it all full-circle with THE DARK KNIGHT RISES; where the war on Gotham Batman fought so hard to prevent in the previous two installments finally comes to pass in the form of Bane, who is brought to a Francis Bacon/Industrial Death level of anti-life by Bronson's Tom Hardy.
there have already been millions of words put down about this film. I don't feel like adding to the pile, but i do feel like expressing how grateful i am to have just one of these three films in existence, let alone a trilogy of them. I've been a fan of Batman in all mediums for as long as i've been alive, but the cinematic interpretations always fell short, mostly because the "creative" minds involved cared more about toyetic production design and nonsensical music video tie-ins than they did telling a story, let alone transporting the audience into a place that feels real, thus enabling the viewer to care about what is happening, because something more is at stake than some brightly colored celebrity guest star who wants to kill Batman for some ill-defined reason. but in this trilogy, whether it's Scarecrow weaponized fear clouds or the Joker's random acts of violent-who-gives-a-fucks to Two-Face's mind-snapped rampage, the threats in these films are less about killing Batman and more about breaking not only his physical and mental well-being, but that of an entire populous. that tradition continues in this film with Bane, who (for a time) succeeds where the other villains were stopped short of succeeding; the symbolic and literal breaking of both Batman and all of Gotham.
a lot has been made about Nolan's devotion to realisim, but what i think people don't understand is that this film's are not meant to be reality, or even that this could happen in our reality, but that the reality of this universe looks plausible within the confines of the world in which it exists. these things can't happen, but through studious dedication to bringing something to life, it looks and feels real and not like a cartoon or a video game or whatever (it looks as if this aesthetic will be transferred over to next summer's Superman reset Man of Steel, which judging by that character's wealth of abilities can either be a soul-stirringly pitch perfect dichotomy of ideas or an incalculable bug-fuck... but we'll see).
regardless of what the future holds for this franchise, it's my opinion that we have a solid series of films to hand our hats on. maybe it wasn't the Batman on film you wanted, but after induing years of sub-par cinema, it was the Batman on film we deserved.