The Dark Knight Trilogy is well known by audiences as one of the greatest achievements in the superhero movie world. The Dark Knight trilogy came out in a time where comic book movies didn’t come out every year. These movies still stand strong next to today’s comic book films. This trilogy won the love of fans around the world, with a successful box office run and awards cycle. It’s been 15 years since Batman Begins was released, 12 years since The Dark Knight, and 8 years since The Dark Knight Rises, yet these films are discussed as frequently as if they recently released.
The music composed by Hans Zimmer is a beautiful touch to all three films. His music is harmonized to every exact beat. He did something very special in Batman Begins and continued to out due himself in the remaining two films. He translates the emotions and messages through his music. The music adds a certain high intensity that fits each scene and adds to the anticipation of the outcomes of a scene. He’s familiar with composing for DC films and many more. He’s previously known for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Dunkirk, Man of Steel, and is also currently working on Wonder Woman 1984.
Batman Begins is the foundation of the trilogy. This movie introduces you to Bruce Wayne, and what made Bruce Wayne Batman. In the very beginning, we see his parents get murdered, which sends Bruce down a questionable path. He’s angry, driven by grief, and feels he has nothing to lose. Bruce Wayne will forever be haunted by his parent’s death and will always be the very reason why we get the birth of Batman.
Batman Begins had the lowest box office numbers of the three films at 375 million but was still successful. People were unsure about the movie since the last time fans had seen Batman on the big screen, was the Batman and Robin movie. That movie didn’t sit well with a lot of fans. Let’s be clear, the movie was a flop to most. But, with Batman Begins it was a do-over for the Batman character with all new faces. Christian Bale was our new caped crusader, and Christian Nolan was about to take everyone on a journey that would have a forever lasting impact for all Batman fans. The movie isn’t overcast, by CGI. These movies have a darker storyline than we had previously seen. But Nolan’s ideas worked, and his vision was fantastic. In this process, we received arguably the best on-screen Joker. Heath Ledger is known by many and had the best performance of the Joker. Many people were uneasy when he was announced as the Clown Prince of Gotham. However, he knocked everyone out of their seats with his outstanding performance.
“Why do we fall, sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.” – Alfred Pennyworth “Batman Begins”
The perfect castings to this film are Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon, Morgan Freeman as Fox, and Michael Caine as Alfred. They are phenomenal and absolutely nail each of their performances. Cillian Murphy does a wonderful job as Dr. Jonathan Crane / Scarecrow, which is Batman’s first villain, aside from Ra’s al Ghul. He’s creepy and makes your skin crawl especially when using his fear toxin. I do wish his costume was a little more developed, but the mask is still very terrifying. He is also the only villain to appear in all three films.
With Christian Bale as our new Batman, he had many new expectations, and things to like and dislike about his new role. In 2006 Christian Bale won the MTV Movie Award for Best Hero. The film also went on to win the Saturn Award; Christian Bale won the best actor, and Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer won the award for best writing. Christian Bale’s Batman was a refreshing new take, and Batman uses his broad list of gadgets. He uses more than just a grabble hook and Batarang. His costume design is close to flawless and had such a polished look to it.
Each Batman origin story especially now in 2020, is run with a little bit of fatigue. Batman’s origins have been told countless times from rebooted films, with new faces taking the role of the famous hero.
The Dark Knight
The tone of the Dark Knight is very different than Batman Begins. The Dark Knight is really when audiences really started paying attention to this trilogy in the making. The honeymoon phase for this movie never concluded for me, and I still love this film.
“You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” – Harvey Dent (“The Dark Knight”)
If you hear Batman and the Joker in the same film, audiences will flock to local cinemas. Those two iconic names in a movie are enough to make even a non-comic book fan interested. They are the most iconic arch enemies. This movie has the best opening to a comic book movie. Within the first five minutes, we already fear the Joker and understand the unpredictable psycho he truly is.
This movie didn’t disappoint, nor was it mediocre by any means necessary. This film made a whopping 1 billion dollars in the box office and is my personal favorite of the three. This film has so many moving parts and storylines but doesn’t feel rushed. Batman is introduced to the Joker and is trying to reason with an unreasonable man. While fighting the Joker, Harvey Dent is unhinging and turning into Two-Face. Gotham’s once-beloved was lost, no thanks to the new clown in town. The performances throughout this film are strong, the acting never wavers. Everyone puts in a phenomenal performance. Heath Ledger disappears into his role and sets the bar absurdly high.
After Heath Ledger’s unfortunate passing, he went on to win the Oscar for best supporting actor, as well as the Golden Globe, the BAFTA award, and the Screen Actors Guild Award all for best-supporting actor. That just a few to mention, but Ledger and the Dark Knight film won many other awards as well.
“Madness, as you know, is a lot like gravity. All it takes is a little push.” – Joker “The Dark Knight”
Almost all the cast stays consistent throughout these films, and just about everyone reprised their roles. Except for Katie Holmes who portrays Rachel Dawes. She debuted as Rachel in Batman Begins. However, in this film, they do a switcheroo and Maggie Gyllenhaal is our new Rachel since Holmes was no longer available for the role.
The Dark Knight Rises
A very anticipated movie, The Dark Knight Rises is the conclusion to these films and made 1.08 billion dollars. This movie picks up eight years after the previous film. Bruce Wayne is broken physically and mentally after the aftermath of The Dark Knight. Batman has disappeared for many years. But, once Bane and his unground mob begin trouble in Gotham, Batman is forced to rise again. And, an all-out war brews between the two. This film is so raw with emotion. The acting, writing, and music are brilliant, and it’s mind-blowing. This movie is so realistic and brings a lot of emotion out of viewers.
In this film, we’re introduced to Catwoman portrayed by Anne Hathaway. Although her costume design is rather questionable, she does a great job in the film. So great in fact, that Anne Hathaway won the Saturn award for best-supporting actress. Also, the film won the AFI award for best movie of the year.
Christopher Nolan’s vision of Bane was more adapting to the comics of a menacing mercenary, rather than just a juggernaut. He was able to deceive Batman and use his extensive intelligence to execute his plans. In this film, he doesn’t need his super-steroid venom to feed to his masculinity. Even without his additive venom which would have multiplied his strength, he still opposes a great threat to Batman. He was his toughest villain yet. Bane was incredibly strong compared to Batman, especially in the beginning half of the film. His intentions were to destroy Gotham and finish Ra’s Al Ghul’s plan of destroying Gotham. Tom Hardy’s performance as Bane is terrific, and he plays a great walking killing machine. Although Tom Hardy doesn’t have a Hispanic background like the comic villain, he still does a phenomenal portrayal of the character. He’s a very different villain than Scarecrow or Joker, but still very evil. And he succeeds in bringing Gotham to its knees.
“Oh, you think the darkness is your ally, but you merely adopted the dark. I born in it, molded by it. I didn’t see the light until I was already a man. By then, it was nothing to me but blinding! The shadows betray you because they belong to me… Then, I will break you…Ah, yes I was wondering what would break first. Your spirit, or your body.” – Bane “Dark Knight Rises”
The conclusion of this film is such a nice touch and is the icing on the cake to the trilogy. We end the trilogy with a subtle reference to Robin. In this film, we’re introduced to Blake played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt who stands alongside Gordon and Batman in this film. At the very end, it was revealed his real name was Robin, which brought a smile to a lot of fans. Even years later these movies stand very strong today. The cinematography is absolutely beautiful, even as it ages throughout the years.