Why I Can’t Wait To See “The Dark Knight Rises”

Batman has always been one of my favorite heroes. As a child I remember distinctly watching the kitschy Adam West Batman series. I can recall hours spent in our back yard in South Carolina playing Batman and Robin with my kid brother. But Christopher Nolan’s trilogy is not like that old television show. And that’s not simply because it’s darker. Nolan’s franchise is the smartest super hero series I have ever seen.

Let’s be honest, there is plenty to work with in the Batman legacy. I am not overly familiar with the comics, but whatever angle you want to approach the story you’ll find a plethora of material. Looking for the psychological element? Between Batman and the Joker there’s plenty to go around. Looking for philosophical discussions on good and evil? Batman blurs the line between right and wrong often, his own brand of vigilantism gives plenty of jumping off points. Are you looking for something more religious? Nolan’s Dark Knight gave us a picture of Batman bearing the sins of Harvey Dent as a substitute in order to bring hope to Gotham. Batman’s story is a collection of all sorts of relevant and profound discussions. Chris Nolan has seized this brilliant material and made films that practically no one else could have done.

In Nolan’s series the Batman movies became Hollywood blockbusters, but without losing all the profundity of the stories. Batman Begins and The Dark Knight have drawn great attention and even greater affection. The Dark Knight Rises comes out next month and has already generated immense buzz. The film will wrap up Nolan’s Batman films but they have raised the bar significantly for all other remakes. Anyone who touches a Batman film from here on out will be immediately compared to Nolan’s series. And that’s a good thing. Many of us will remember the rubbish that was Batman Forever and the even more asinine Batman & Robin. Nolan has raised the standard. He’s made compelling, engaging, Hollywood blockbusters that never lack for intelligence.

I can’t wait to see The Dark Knight Rises. Not only is it going to be a continuation of an already profound series, but I am deeply interested to see how Nolan concludes the series. I am excited to see, too, how Nolan’s film change the super hero franchises all together. I am hoping that the future of good film making includes more smart and engaging films. Not everything has to be art house cinema to be good, but everyone acknowledges that The Dark Knight is better than George Clooney’s take on Batman. The Dark Knight Rises is going to be a great conclusion to this series as a whole, but I hope it will be only the beginning to smart super hero films.

Comments

  1. I have a hard time classifying Nolan’s Batman as “Superhero” movies.

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