The Dark Knight trilogy is easily the most adored and applauded DC films of all time. If you ask fans they would say. Christopher Nolan‘s take on the Caped Crusader was all about taking the exotic and mysticism out of the source material. All to create a realistic grounded approach to the character and his world.
The genius in this trilogy came in the casting of Heath Ledger as the Clown Prince of Gotham, Joker. Unsurprisingly the choice was criticized prior to the films release and Ledger’s untimely demise. But the filmmakers allowed Heath’s performance to do the talking. To this day his portrayal of the character is still applauded and has set a high bar to achieve.
But even with the unforgettable performance by Ledger The Dark Knight trilogy is still way more beloved than it really should be. So let’s take a look at why you may want to dial back your compliments more than 10 years later.
A Not so “Realistic” Approach
The misconception of Nolan’s attempts at creating a more realistic approach to the character is rather annoying. The World was as real as any comic book character could live in. Batman was still able to complete feats not possible by any real human being. While his gadgets took a more sensible and real approach. The execution of who Batman was ended up no different than what we have seen in the past and since. If you really think about it. Batman Begins was a decent realistic take. But when it came to the follow up films. That all went out the window.
“You try and get the audience to invest in cinematic reality,” the London-born Nolan said about his Dark Knight trilogy in New York this week. “When I talk about reality in these films, it’s often misconstrued as a direct reality, but it’s really about a cinematic realityBBCAmerica.com in 2013
It’s hard not to cringe when you see things like this.
While filmmakers will take a “more realistic” approach with comic book movies nowadays. The idea that one of these characters can be “realistic” without taking away what makes the character who they are is laughable.
The Dark Knight was NOT all that Good
Before I get into this let me state that I understand the untimely death of Heath Ledger caused Chris Nolan and company to make drastic changes to the film as many story beats were going to continue through the following film.
Pacing / Editing
With the exception of a few scenes. This movie is a non-stop heart pumping adrenaline rush. While this doesn’t necessarily make this film bad. The editing and plot movement is quite erratic at times. You will find yourself realizing many scenes were cut short or left things out.
Agent of Chaos
Look, I enjoyed Heath’s portrayal as much as the next guy. But COME ON! He continuously tries to pit humans against each other attempting to prove men are bad and he is just ahead of the curve. Add that to all the other themes in the film and we get an overstuffed dry turkey that has no taste.
Too Many Themes for one Film
Anarchy vs Law and Order. Vigilante’s vs The Justice System. Why is Evil, evil? And Privacy vs Big Brother. All of that is jam packed into a single film without allow any of it to truly air out.
Each on of them would have been a fantastic look into a Batman universe and how those affect the world. All of it in one film though leaves with nearly all unanswered.
Ledger’s Portrayal Made the Movie
Let’s (two) face it. Had Ledger’s performance been lackluster than the film would have been a bust. Yea, the ballsy move in killing Rachel and the reveal of Harvey Dent’s new look were pretty cool. But neither one of those moments were worth the price of admission.
Bane the Mumbler
Tom Hardy is an excellent actor but for some reason directors LOVE to cover his face.
His portrayal of the Venom sucking brute was anything but comic accurate. (Is this another area where Nolan went for his “realism?” While he was menacing the distracting and hardly audible voice was off putting and at times comical. Honestly, who is going to take threats by that man seriously?
Marian Cotillard and her Death
Yea… They used that take. Makes you wonder how bad all the others were
Christian Bale is quite possibly one of the best character actors today. However he was severely miscast as the caped crusader. While he bulked up and really became a bruting force in Batman Begins. His slimmed down appearance while wearing a Moto X getup was pretty off putting.
You then have the lack of detective skills. Then again we still have yet to see a real World Class Detective when it comes to any Batman movie. (Here is hoping Matt Reeves‘ Batman trilogy fixes that!)
Can’t forget to mention his horrendous choice for his Batman voice. Easily the most mocked decision of all comic book films. How a filmmaker like Nolan allowed this to go on is beyond me.
In the many iterations of Batman comics, shows and movies Batman either relies heavily in his gadgets (see 1989 Batman – Batman & Robin), Is a Master of theatricalities (See Batman the Animated Series) or a brawler (see Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice). The Problem with this trilogy is it doesn’t utilize any of these ideas to their full potential. Most of the fighting takes place within a 4 foot radius with the camera cuts or camera angles distracting the viewers from the horrendous choreography. It really is a shame that this Batman, who was trained by a league of assassins, was such a crappy fighter.
To add to the horrendous fighting the extras do. This trilogy is an absolute mess when it comes to its choreography.
Finally, This. The most epic choreography fail you have seen today
I get it if you enjoy these films. Prior to Nolan’s Batman Begins we weren’t exactly getting quality DC superhero films. *cough* Catwoman *cough* But let’s be real here. these are easily some of Chris Nolan’s worst films and they are treated like they are his best.
Really, Bale’s Batman portrayal could looked at as being as bad as Clooney’s. But that is something no one wants to talk about. I’m not saying the films are as bad as Batman and Robin. But the portrayal of the character, while drastically different, is not all that good.
But hey, watch them, enjoy them and allow yourself to be entertained. That’s what watching movies is all about.
So, what do you think. Are these movies Overrated? Let us know in the comments below.