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Was Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy one film too short ?


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Initial post: 9 Dec 2013 15:20:11 GMT
Last edited by the author on 9 Dec 2013 22:08:23 GMT
****Possible Nolan Batman spoilers ahead, for anyone daft enough to have not seen them,******

What I mean by that is would have worked better as Quadrilogy ?

Now I think these 3 films are simply superb, three wonderful films, so good I struggle to pic a favourite from. A series of 3 films charting the Start and The End of the Batman, in just 3 films and it's that kind of bugs me. For me if I'm honest the trilogy feel's rushed, we only really get one film as Batman as Batman, just one film of Batman being Batman, The Dark Knight.

Batman Begins - he isn't really Batman until the last third of the movie, Dark Knight he is the DK start to finish, Rises he spends a lot of it getting his bottom kicked and then train's to be the Batman again to a climax, then sod's off.

I can't help but think we could of had another movie between Dark Knight and Rises. Going back against the joker for round 2 may have been good (alas this wouldn't have been possible) maybe we could have seen Penguin, joker, Dead shot ... hell there was enough villains to choose from.

I would never say Nolan's trilogy a wasted opportunity and I even nearly didn't dare ask such a question, as it such a great series of films in time where we tend to get nothing but disappointment from our blockbusters. But still I still think there was room for one more film, for Batman to be Batman.

And maybe then we wouldn't of had to have this Batman vs. Superman farce !

Anyone agree ?

What would of done for film if you do ?

Posted on 9 Dec 2013 21:03:04 GMT
Not sure, mate. Personally, I enjoyed all three but The Dark Knight Rises was definitely weakest and the only one in the trilogy that really dragged in places. Catwoman added nothing other than sex appeal, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine were underused and I really wasn't a fan of the voicing of Bane

If they had to make another though, I'd perhaps go for somebody like Penguin or The Riddler as others like Killer Croc, Mr Freeze etc are too campy for that run of films

Posted on 9 Dec 2013 23:53:37 GMT
I agree Gaz would have liked to see another in the middle

Posted on 10 Dec 2013 06:37:32 GMT
I think I've said this before, I think DKR (even though this is my favorite of the trilogy) could have worked as two films. I actually really like Bane's voice after the initial viewing. There's something both epic and menacing about it IMO. Anyway the reason I feel it would have been better as two films is because the time frame between Batman being defeated by Bane and his rise is too short imo.
So this is what I would have done:

The peace time is shattered as a series of enemies (take your pick) who are released from Arkham begin to wreak havoc (Following Knightfall a little more closely). It's only in the second act when Bane appears as the viewer realises it's him pulling the strings. The third act has Batman discover the secret. I like the idea of layers, that as the films progress you see layer upon layer revealed like peeling an onion. I also like this because it would enable Batman to do a bit of actual investigating. The end has Bane break Batman. He's been outwitted, physically outmatched. I like the idea of people streaming from the cinemas stunned unsure how Batman could come back from such a devastating defeat.
The second film starts pretty much as Gotham under siege. Having a break between films that image of Gotham as descending into chaos would feel more natural imo. I like the idea of John Blake and Gordon carrying the first part of this story as they use gorilla tactics against the criminals running the city. I'd also keep Catwoman in, she's one of the best plotlines in DKR imo. I like her watching the devastation she'd partly caused and on the other side watching people like Blake and Gordon risk their lives for some idea of good. I might not even have Batman appear until 40-60 minutes into the film.

But I have to be honest I'm not fussed if there was one extra film in there just for the sake of it. I liked how Nolan has made it a trilogy. They feel like a companion piece to each other, compact, a unit. There's an arc. Three acts. Having an extra film may just make it feel like a series of films. Also, more than anything, I want Nolan making original films. I love his Batman films but I don't want him just doing Batman films. He's far too talented for that. I'm very much looking forward to Interstellar.

Posted on 10 Dec 2013 10:05:24 GMT
"Catwoman added nothing other than sex appeal"

yes cliffy! totally agree. there are three narks for me wrt DKR: catwoman (utterly pointless in the film imo).

the un-epicness of Banes death (catwoman just rolls up, one shot and he's done. this ultimate bada$$ who's broken batman and brought gotham to its knees, killed by a pointless character on a motorbike with a peashooter. just a rubbish end for a beast of a character).

and the twist that Ra's-Al-Ghul's duaghter is actually the big bad, and not Bane. i don't follow the comics, so maybe lots of people will disagree with me, but imo it just wasn't needed. Bane was imposing, clever, scary....the bad guy ALL the way through the film, right until the end when it turns out that bruce wayne's potential love interest is actually the baddie. pointless twist imo.

testament to nolan etc that it's still a FANTASTIC film, but is deffo the weakest of the trilogy.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Dec 2013 10:19:14 GMT
and to answer bauer's original question - imo it's all good with just the three films. even with my DKR gripes, it's still an awesome trilogy, and being a quadrilogy wouldn't add anything imo.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Dec 2013 11:13:15 GMT
I didnt want another film for the sake of it, I just felt it was all a little too compact. Actually what you say about DKR being a 2 parter could of worked well?

btw I loved Banes voice, it was so unexpected, and the unexpected is much more freaky !

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Dec 2013 12:27:48 GMT
I think this was kind of my thought as well that tghe finale could ahve been done over 2 movies and had a bit more deopth of Batman coming back and having some initial successes, I love when he comes back at first and the Police are like "Your going to see some shid tonight son" and maybe him investigating and destroying/catching a few more minor Criminals that was Banes (Or Talia maybe more relaistically) wasy of drawing Batman out and making him prideful again and back as the defender of the City, so that whence he fell, it would be a far greater fall, so low that he could not come back, then it makes his come back all the more important.

Could ahgve been a wauy to use scarcrow a bit more initially, or maybe a villain like Black Mask or somebody who could seem like the villain,

so its like ooft the Villains Black Mask, no its Bane, no its Talia Al Ghul.

Though I like how TDKR starts with Banes Plane escape capture thing, so I would not want that removed.

Ultimately I am happy with it as a trilogy and they are the best Bat man films IMO, Maybe I just want more and was dissapointed Nolan finished it and Bale said no more etc. what a cast.

P.S I thought Catwoman was great in TDKR and my favourite in film version of the character by far.

I know others say pointless,

For me Catwoman is what gets Bruce Waybne out of his house, not Bane, he's intrigued and amazed at how brazen she is, and he wnats to find out more, he cant help himself and as he concentrates on her he misses the big picture and also allows himself to fall for Miranda who is the real Villain, Catwoman then from the point she betrays Bruce and watches him broken, start to go througb a redemption where by the end Batman and his seflessness have ruubbed off on her and she risks her life to save both him and the City she was originally happy to see destroyed and actaully in the end becomes a woman who Bruce can be with as his wife as she is a match for nhim bioth physically and mentally and she has finally found a man who is selfless and would give up Billions in an instant as Money is no concern of his, something clearly she could not find previously.

I think its a nice ark and I know its all personal opinion, but it worked for me, much better than nprevious attempts at Catwoman, struck the balance between villain and Hero and the connection and sex appeal between the 2 of them.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Dec 2013 12:29:24 GMT
"the un-epicness of Banes death (catwoman just rolls up, one shot and he's done. this ultimate bada$$ who's broken batman and brought gotham to its knees, killed by a pointless character on a motorbike with a peashooter. just a rubbish end for a beast of a character)."

I agree he got killed a bit quick, but not that it was a pea shooter LOL

The twist as you say for those who read the comics was not a twist, you could see it coming a mile off and I knew who Tate was before it ever got to that point.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Dec 2013 20:24:25 GMT
Fair enough. I thought catwoman added the nicely represented redemption. Her moral and ethical ambiguity is well acted and she felt like an actual living person in Gotham rather than the sort of character that's often portrayed in that they feel like a comicbook character. There's often too many two dimensional characters in comic book adaptations but imo she's well drawn and adds that extra dimension. I also felt she carried her action sequences well.

I wouldn't call Catwoman's inclusion utterly pointless personally but if that's how you feel then that's cool. The thing I really disagree with is "Ra's-Al-Ghul's duaghter" bit. That's the heart of the story imo. Take that out, what have you got? Two men fighting each other. That's cool maybe but it's a little shallow. What Nolan does, and why it's a great film rather than just good imo, is include these other dimensions. It's heartbreaking when that twist is revealed. Their connection goes beyond just the usual desire to rule the world, or revenge, or the usual tropes.

Posted on 10 Dec 2013 22:52:48 GMT
"Take that out, what have you got? Two men fighting each other. That's cool maybe but it's a little shallow"

Well.....by that rationale, that's what TDK is then? Again, everyone's got their own valid opinion, and imo all of the trilogy is brilliant, but TDK is imo the best of the three, (and certainly my favourite by quite a margin) and there's no sneaky twist in that. It's certainly no more a shallow film than DKR :)

Posted on 10 Dec 2013 23:37:27 GMT
Last edited by the author on 10 Dec 2013 23:40:55 GMT
For me, The Dark Knight is the epitome of the trilogy too, by quite a large margin. I think it's, by far, the greatest superhero movie ever made, and a classic in its own right. The way he changed it up from Batman Begins (which was a great movie, but a bit OTT at times) and made a gritty terrorism allegory with Batman facing off against his greatest nemesis was fantastic - any scene with Heath Ledger in it was pure gold

When it comes to TDKR, I think he went backwards and made it a little bit OTT again. I disagree with Catwoman - I don't think her story had any real interest for me and I don't think Anne Hathaway showed any kind of passion for the role at all. She had no chemistry with Bale, she's the closest Nolan came to the more campy, Joel Schumacer-esque Batman and I think her scenes were just padding as a plot device for when they needed to convey that time had passed

I still love TDKR btw, just to clear that up. The set-pieces are fantastic, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is brilliant (a favourite actor of mine), the few scenes between Bale and Caine were heartbreaking and the last ten minutes were as good as you'd hope to round off the trilogy. It's just when you compare it to The Dark Knight and it's perfect pacing, casting and story, it falls way, way short IMO

Posted on 11 Dec 2013 01:25:17 GMT
Last edited by the author on 11 Dec 2013 01:28:35 GMT
I love TDK, and I'm not saying shallow action films can't be great. But whenever I talk to anybody about TDK, the thing they ALL say (as Paul has illustrated), first and foremost, is that Heath Ledger was brilliant. No argument, he's great. He's utterly charismatic. But I wonder how much people would put TDK as their favorite in the trilogy if he wasn't in it? Or you stripe it all away and just look at the script. Again I'm not bashing TDK because it'd obviously still stand up without him. But I often find when I chat to people (not you guys btw) that they're blinded by his performance (understandably). So, and this is entirely my own view, it unbalances the film a little because he sidelines Batman a little too much. Also there's somoe brilliant acting by Oldman in TDK (again in DKR) that nobody mentions.

I think there's also a pacing problem with the two ships. IMO it should have been shortened by quite a margin. It also felt a little too contrived.

Also I don't think I agree with Phil's suggestion that TDK is just two men fighting each other. It's got so many ideas in that film, those ideas of good and evil, dark and light, turning a good man bad, the two sides of the same coin (obviously Two Face but connecting Bats and The Joker), "I believe that whatever doesn't kill you simply makes you stranger". You know all that good stuff. But for me it doesn't have that emotional extra side to it that DKR has. Which is why I like DKR as my favorite in the trilogy.

I'm totally nit-picking, but I still think these are valid opinions. As there's problems imo with DKR I think there's also problems with TDK.

Posted on 11 Dec 2013 01:49:22 GMT
Last edited by the author on 11 Dec 2013 01:51:21 GMT
I think that's fair - just a case of personal preference out of what you or I want from a Batman movie, I guess. Personally, I think the fact that Joker sort of marginalised Batman was actually as much to do with the character than the actor. The Joker is this larger-than-life monster ruled (ironically) by chaos and random. A force of nature that "just wants to see the world burn" and I think Ledger played it to absolute perfection - the mannerisms, the voice, the little things like the occasional licking of the lips or the glances he'd throw at people. I don't think anybody else could've matched that performance, partly because it was so consistently great and partly because nobody expected that out of Heath (who'd be mostly in family-friendly rom-coms and Australian indie films before that).

Also, The Dark Knight for me was a more personal film than the epic war film we got with TDKR. TDK was about a corrupting force and how it affected Harvey Dent and Bruce Wayne, two sides of the same coin. It didn't end with a happily-ever-after, it ended with a hero being outlawed by the very people he risked life and limb to save, the death of two massively important people in his life, the uncertainty of whether the police could keep Joker locked up safely and, as you find out in TDKR, a need to live a very sheltered, isolated existence. It is "an unstoppable force meets an immovable object" and the hero being pushed to his very limits wrt his no-kills rule

I think, after that, Bane/Talia felt a bit like an unnecessary prologue. Sure, Bane bests him physically and he has to lick his wounds before making a comeback, but to me it felt very by-the-rulebook and safe. TDK had a feeling of "who will survive this? Nobody is safe" to it, whereas TDKR was more like a by-the-numbers trilogy closer to me

Posted on 11 Dec 2013 08:49:56 GMT
Last edited by the author on 11 Dec 2013 08:50:32 GMT
I actually preferred Batman Begins to TDK I think, I loved the Dark Knight but it almost goes to far from a comic book movie. It look's like you could be watching 'The Departed' at times, then Batman walks through scene lol.

It is superb don't get me wrong and Ledger was amazing, but Begins I dont know is just the better comic book film imo (only by the slightest of margins).

Not to mention I couldnt stand Maggie Gyllenhall, fancy having that munter replace Katie Holmes.

Posted on 11 Dec 2013 11:44:49 GMT
you definitely do have a point bauer - TDK is less comic book, and more (pure) crime action thriller. when i watch the TDK it always reminds me of 'Heat'. i know that's a fairly common notion too, (i literally prefer heat. as good as ledger etc are they cannot compete with de niro AND pacino onscreen at the same time, AND tom siezmore, and danny trejo and val kilmer etc etc....epic film).

so yeah, if you want your superhero movies to have have a *touch* of comic-book over-the-topness then BB is the finest of the trilogy. but if you're happy with a superhero movie to just be a flat-out awesome film, even with no hint AT ALL of typical comicy OTT-ness, then TDK wins (for me).

Posted on 11 Dec 2013 14:52:37 GMT
R. J. Lister says:
I think three films was about right, but I would have preferred TDK to have been split into two and simply forget about TDKR entirely because it is an ill-conceived mess. TDK is brilliant for about 70 minutes, but once Two-Face gets involved it loses its way, in my opinion. I would have preferred it if Nolan had focused on Joker alone in TDK, and then focused on Two-Face in part three. Begins is tonally and dramatically good, even though the action is scrappily edited. So half of a great trilogy, for me.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Dec 2013 16:17:54 GMT
Like I said there is very little in it, both superb films.

I really like how BB was filmed, some amazing cinematography. I also prefered the look of Gotham in BB it felt like a unique City, as opposed to just plain old Chicago in TDK.

I also really like Cillian Murphy and Liam Neeson.

Posted on 12 Dec 2013 00:22:53 GMT
It's a testament to what Nolan created imo that we can talk about a comic-book adaptation like this. I could rip into a film like Thor, but really what's the point?

@RJ Haarvey: Out of curiosity though how would you end it?

People complain (fairly imo) that the next Superman film will feature Batman because they'd rather Superman be given at least one more film to establish his Universe before dropping such an iconic superhero in alongside him. But I'd also argue I'd much rather see another focused Batman film. There's plenty of talented directors that could make a really good Batman film. I'm sure it'll happen but I only hope they don't revisit the origin story again and the studios don't pull another Schumacker.

Posted on 12 Dec 2013 09:43:50 GMT
Bunga says:
I actually quite enjoyed Thor (not seen the sequel yet) but I'm not exactly no.1 comic book reader. I found it pretty funny, for once Portman didn't irritate me and the action was good albeit a bit one dimensional.

As for the OP, I think I'd have liked to have seen TDKR split over two films as well, drop the plot twist, just make it about Bane and Batman, more Freeman, more Oldman. The love interest with Talia felt a tad crowbarred, would have preferred more time between Batman and Catwoman instead.

I liked the idea earlier in the thread where the first half of hypothetical film 1 would end with Batman broken/defeated. The whole recovery process seemed to be rushed and the lapse of time wasn't emphasised enough for me.

Posted on 12 Dec 2013 11:25:34 GMT
I read on IMDB trivia page that ashton 'bleedin' kutcher was up for the batman role. Can you believe that.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Dec 2013 12:04:10 GMT
i think i just threw up in my mouth a little :S

Posted on 12 Dec 2013 12:54:40 GMT
Suddenly Ben Affleck doesnt seem quite so bad ; )

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Dec 2013 14:24:55 GMT
Yeah ben affleck is "laurence olivier" compared to him:-)

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Dec 2013 15:57:19 GMT
R. J. Lister says:
Good question. Let's try this:

I think the third film could have focused on Two-Face building a corporate empire to rival Bruce Wayne's. This way he could wage a PR assault on Wayne whilst simultaneously offering a bounty on Batman's head. Two-Face gets out of his depth making shady underworld contacts. He hires Bane, at which point Two-Face loses control. Bane proceeds to rally Two-Face's disempowered goons (i.e. corporate slaves), forming an army that will take down Two-Face's empire, and slay the corrupt corporate heart of Gotham. And so, ironically, Batman must save his old friend (and even perhaps form an alliance with him). Big, satisfying showdown with Bane.

With Gotham apparently safe again, a meeting is arranged. Batman tricks Two-Face, who is arrested by Gordon. But Two-Face has tricked Batman also, and Batman is taken down by Deadshot (hired by Two-Face). We see Batman fall, but we don't see him die. The end!
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Discussion in:  action discussion forum
Participants:  8
Total posts:  44
Initial post:  9 Dec 2013
Latest post:  15 Dec 2013

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