11 Ways The Christopher Nolan Batman Movies Aged Perfectly | CBR – CBR – Comic Book Resources

11 Ways The Christopher Nolan Batman Movies Aged Perfectly | CBR – CBR – Comic Book Resources

11 Ways The Christopher Nolan Batman Movies Aged Perfectly | CBR – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Nolan’s films are only a decade old, but there are aspects that make the neo-noir Dark Knight Trilogy stand the test of time.
If there’s anything evident about the Caped Crusader’s legacy it’s his endurance. Batman’s story has spanned for little more than eight decades and has seen many incarnations. While Adam West’s Batman was beloved, some say he seems a little foolish now.
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Even Tim Burton’s films, renowned for bringing in a darker version of Batman to the screen, have some silly aspects to them. On the other hand, Christopher Nolan’s trilogy is a little more modern. Not only because of obvious enhancements in film technology but because Nolan transformed the superhero film into a dark thriller. Nolan’s films are only a decade old, but there are aspects that allow the neo-noir Dark Knight Trilogy to stand the test of time.
As Batman crossed through decades, his technology had to adapt. Adam West’s utility belt will of course seem dated in 2021. But The Dark Knight Trilogy still looks like it could’ve been made today. Part of that is because of the access Bruce Wayne had to military-grade technology that he obtained through Morgan Freeman’s Lucius Fox.
The trick cell phone that disabled the security systems when Bruce retrieved Lau from Hong Kong seemed very advanced. The cell phone tracking system, and the ethical dilemmas that came with it, still make sense for moviegoers living in an age dominated by smartphones. Any portrayal of Batman’s technology always risks becoming dated, but Nolan’s films avoid that pitfall.
In a good Batman story, suspense is always a common denominator. Nolan’s films brought twists and turns that even diehard fans didn’t see coming. These plot twists included unsuspected deaths and unsuspected resurrections (Jim Gordon was a sly one).
The twists surrounding Ra’s Al Ghul’s identity and his daughter Talia will probably be the most memorable. The surprises are, for the most part, well-conceived and would still put new viewers in 2022 on the edge of their seats.
Batman fans can attest that, in comparison to previous Batman films, Nolan’s trilogy had the best lineup of villains. Part of that is the fact that it balanced the appearance of classic villains, such as Joker and Catwoman, with the introduction of fan favorites from the comic books.
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The mainstream knew of The Penguin, The Riddler, and Mr. Freeze. But many moviegoers may not have known about Ra’s Al Ghul, Scarecrow, and Bane (who did appear in Batman & Robin). Opinions vary and there’s always love for Danny Devito’s Penguin or Jim Carrey’s Riddler. However, the caliber of villains and their portrayal in Nolan’s movies are unmatched by any other series.
It’s hard not to form an opinion about Bane’s messaging in The Dark Knight Rises, especially in today’s current climate. The film premiered around the time of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and many fans believed Bane’s populist scorn for Gotham’s corrupt elite reflected that. Nolan told Rolling Stone that The Dark Knight Rises was not meant to push any certain political ideology, but to “show the cracks of society; show the conflicts someone would try to wedge open.”
Nolan somewhat conceded that the film implied the danger of populist movements being manipulated by a villain, but still maintained that the focus was more on Bane’s evil than a political ideology. There are many debates and opinions about Bane’s politics and the movie’s ideology, which is why it’s still relevant today.
Cinematic styles may change through the ages, but there are certain moral conundrums that humans have faced throughout the ages. Nolan’s trilogy does a superb job of exploring those conundrums. Batman Begins got to the heart of the questions concerning vengeance and justice. Bruce battled with his lust for revenge and was tempted by Ra’s Al Ghul’s perverted sense that executions are fitting punishments.
However, The Dark Knight had the most interesting dilemma when the Joker rigged two ferries with explosives – one ferry carrying prisoners and one carrying civilians. The Joker tempted both ferries to denote the bomb on the other ferry in order to save themselves. These challenging scenarios continued to peak intrigue in future audiences.
Batman Begins has arguably the best cinematic take on Bruce Wayne’s origins. Not only does it contain the most accurate comic book account of Thomas and Martha Wayne’s murders, but it showed how Bruce evolved from an angry, rich young man to the hero that Gotham needed.
The transition from billionaire orphan to martial arts extraordinaire is seamlessly done through his training with the League of Shadows. Going from taking down the mob to fighting Scarecrow and Ra’s Al Ghul allowed Bruce to prove himself in high-pressure situations. It’d be a difficult task to outdo Nolan’s origin story of Batman.
Part of the undeniable allure of any superhero or action film is the actual action. The Dark Knight Trilogy does a great job of balancing cinematic aspects to create a complex story whilst also having awesome action sequences.
There’s the escape/explosion at Ra’s Al Ghul’s compound in Batman Begins and the showdown with Bane’s army against the Gotham City Police in The Dark Knight Rises. The opening sequence of The Dark Knight Rises is considered one of the best aspects of the film. If one really wanted a prime example of this balance, they would watch The Dark Knight in full because there are too many great sequences from that film to pick just one.
The iconic hero/villain relationship between these two has been explored through a number of different Bat-Mediums. The Lego Batman Movie and BTAS’ acclaimed episode “The Man Who Killed Batman” are two really fun examinations of the relationship between these two.
The Dark Knight continued this rich tradition. Towards the end of the movie, when Batman caught the Joker, Ledger’s clown reiterated two universal Bat-Facts. One is that Batman and Joker are more similar than different and the other is that the two need each other to justify their existence. “This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an unmovable object,” the Joker laughed as he dangled thousands of feet in the air. This movie aged well because, as the Joker said, Batman and Joker are “destined to do this forever.”
Musical scores can be overlooked in contribution to a great film. That’s why it shouldn’t be understated how much Hans Zimmer’s music and score added to the trilogy. Much like Bernard Herman’s music for Psycho or John Williams’ iconic music for Jaws, Hans Zimmer’s collaborations with James Newton Howard were an essential ingredient to the trilogy’s thrilling and terrifying blend.
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There are plenty of gems for film score connoisseurs, but one high recommendation is Zimmer and Howard’s “Why So Serious” – a score that accompanied the eerie heinousness of Ledger’s Joker.
There’s a lot of solid performances in these films by actors that have been outshined by Heath Ledger, who deservedly won a posthumous Oscar for his role as the Joker. But there are plenty of actors who delivered and gave noteworthy performances throughout the films. Supporting characters such as Alfred Pennyworth and Jim Gordon were played by legendary actors Michael Caine and Gary Oldham.
The villains of the films were played by a dazzling cast that included Liam Neeson, Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, and Anne Hathaway. For all the debate about his Bat-Voice, Christian Bale has been acclaimed for his portrayal of Bruce Wayne because he conveyed the intensity and evolution of the character. The acting chops in these films are as stellar today as they were a decade or so ago.
Christopher Nolan made quite a name for himself between his early film Memento and his stylized dream thriller Inception. His films have been regarded as being influenced by the film noir genre, with movies such as Memento being applauded as one of the best neo-noir films. Fans can see these influences in any of Nolan’s Batman films.
Certain elements of film noir appear in the character Miranda Tate as a femme fatale in The Dark Knight Rises. The Dark Knight borrowed from Michael Mann’s noir classicHeat. Mystery, suspense, and the darker aspects of human nature have made Batman’s stories intriguing for almost a century. Nolan’s trilogy embodied these engrossing traits to the fullest.
NEXT: 10 Trilogies To Watch If You Loved The Dark Knight Trilogy
Brian Rabadeau is a comic book/cartoon nerd as well as a stand-up comedian based in NYC. He loves Batman, Star Wars, comedy, movies, and the music of The Wu-Tang Clan. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York where spends his days thinking of goofy things to say and write.

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