Next year something unique is going to happen in the film and comic book world. July 20th 2012 will see the release of The Dark Knight Rises the culmination of the Nolan brothers Batman trilogy, and to date one of the finest achievements in comic book cinema. Together the Nolan’s have written all three films, while Christopher Nolan has directed and they have changed the landscape of comic book films, while helping propel Batman to insane levels of popularity.
Most of us have seen these films and probably a myriad of other comic book films, it rarely matters how well adapted the material is, sadly more often than not the transition from pencil and ink panels to the silver screen is a massive failure. Sure I’m sure we can come up with more than a handful of fine comic book film making, like Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Watchmen, 300, and even the Spider-man trilogy had its merits. Though all these films fall short to what’s going on in the layered creations that come out of the Nolan’s.
With Batman Begins John and Christopher took Frank Millers Year One, and Loebs The Long Halloween, as well as a few other story arcs from the DCU and molded it into a fantastic piece of story telling in film. The writing had a perfect pace, it used enough elements from the actual comics to keep hardcore fans on the boat, and it diverged at just the right places from the comic book world.
The cinematography was incredible, massive vista’s that looked as if they could be frozen, snapped off and tossed on to a page from the comics. The actors were all fantastic, from Bale’s much more Miller-esk Batman, to the new Alfred (Micheal Cane), or Lt. Gordon played perfectly by Gary Oldman. That’s not even mentioning Liam Neesons Ra’s a-ghul or Ken Watanbees small roll as the false Ra’s.
Hans Zimmer did a masterful job with the soundtrack as he always does. Though even with all these elements falling into place to make an incredible comic book film, it was a mere warm up for what would be the first comic book film to stand be able to stand completely on its own as quality cinema.
The Dark Knight brought things to a whole new level, it wasn’t just Heath Ledgers Joker that made the film such a massive hit, it was a dynamic combo of things. For instance Gotham City itself is one of the films main characters, Nolan and Wally Pfiser (The Nolan’s go to guy for cinematography in most cases) did something genuinely awesome. Using German expressionism, and their unique style, they made the City vividly present in almost every scene.
If you look for it when shooting indoor scenes they always set the shot up to face a floor to ceiling window or at the very least a window, and what can be seen reflecting all its grit and shine? Well the films antagonist, Gotham. I shouldn’t have to point out how the city stands out when the scenes are outside, just re-watch the semi truck scene, that is without any question amazing cinematography, and direction.
Everything was brought to a new level in the second installment of the trilogy, the fights flowed better, everyone’s acting was absolutely astounding, especially Eck Harts under rated and over looked Harvey Dent (two face).
The film had so many layers it was easy for some one to miss something stand out just because they were busy being blown away by another part of the film. We should all be thankful the Nolan’s created this Noir master piece. Ithas given rise to so many great things, and honestly affected both the comic book and film industries in a positive way.
Spoilers do not follow but be warned discussion of the comics that may influence the films plot do!
So, here we are, with a teaser for the last of Nolan’s Batman films, and what will probably be one of the most entertaining and shockingly good spectacles you will see in the next few years. I have not seen the movie and I can say that with almost complete confidence this will be the capstone to an already glorious journey into Gotham. Sure every great director has the potential to make a terrible movie as much as a masterpiece. Though I think if you look at Nolan’s track record you can rest assured what we will get next year is going to kick your proverbial ass whether your a comic fan, a film geek, or just dig good movies.
In the teaser we don’t get to see much, it opens with Ra’s talking reciting some of his lines from Begins, with a nice montage of images from both of the first films all to a new track by Zimmer invoking the usual goose bumps. What is special about the teaser is what Gordon is saying to Wayne, letting us know things did not get better just because you take the Cape out of the equation. The other thing we get to see has the fan-boy in me losing it in the best way. Bane is being played by the outstanding Tom Hardy. Now for those that don’t know Hardy you need to see Bronson and Warrior, the latter has just come out and the former has been out for sometime. Hardy, like ledger brings a force to his roles, he over shadows most around him and just kicks ass in general. Bane is a similar Character to that, he is a force a hulk of muscle, but moreover he is a complete criminal genius. Unlike he was portrayed in the Joel Schumacher pile of trash (and I won’t even get started on my unbridled hate for Burton) that was a complete nightmare for any film or comic fan.. Bane is not a walking drug induced retard, he is in fact one of a handful of Batman’s truly great foes, in the Nightfall series Batman was destroyed and defeated by Bane (Bane broke Batman’s) as it was pretty big back then to have Batman paralyzed.
Bane just completely picked The Dark Knight apart, it was part of what made me love both characters, but it was certainly one of the moments that endeared me to Batman so very much. He of course recovered over a long period, came back with a vengeance and kicked the living crap out of all the people who tried to take his place, and of course Bane and the Bat had their show down as well, which did not end well for the former victor. Never give The Dark Knight time to prepare, eh?
What we have seen in the teaser indicates that this story arc is certainly being pulled from, and I can’t say how much I think this is going to make the film actually stand above the previous two. Which is by no means an easy feet to accomplish. In the last scene of the teaser we same Bane moving toward the Bat without any hesitation, in complete control, and we see The Dark Knight moving away wobbling, and looking as if he is on the ropes. How will the Nolan’s play this one out? With two of the most creative minds in film making crafting the story from there own well of creativity and the vast expanse of Batman lore already in existence I can not wait to see the outcome of this. The cast is looking superb with Joseph Gordon Levitt added, and Hathaway as Catwoman its looking to be truly possible that this will be the finest trilogy in recent memory. I suggest you go silent on The Dark Knight Rises, if you love film as much as I do, or Batman for that matter, then rest assured what’s coming is worth it. Don’t spoil it for yourselves any more than you probably already have (unless you can’t help your self then check back with Platform Nation for continued coverage) if anything read Knightfall, or some of Loebs works. Go watch a Nolan film, or one of the a fore mentioned Hardy flicks. July will be here much quicker than we all think, and I think the world will be downing a Cape and Cowl on that day.