Sorry for the return to this subject so soon, but I was discussing my previous post with a few people the other day and I realized something. I decided to flesh out my thoughts and share it here because, well, it’s what a blog is for.
Essentially, the conversation revolved around my last Batman entry and how a person didn’t think they could do any better than Nolan’s films. My response was a bit shorter, but I have fleshed it out more. The universe we were talking about was one closer to the comics where a villain like Mr. Freeze would be possible.
Nolan’s films are a different universe altogether. Nothing will be able to touch them stylistically because of the realism that will never be approached to that extent again. There is always a chance of better films. Especially if you find a writer/director/production team that knows how to make a compellingly great story. To be honest, one of the complaints I heard the most from people about Nolan’s films is the realism itself. They wished that he would focus on the more “colorful” aspects of Gotham/Batman. While I feel that the trilogy itself is a solid example of full-circle storytelling at its finest and enjoy the whole thing immensely, they are far from perfect films and there is always something to improve on. Even if you don’t realize it until you see it.
I view the whole trilogy as one entity because trying to separate the films does the franchise a disservice. Even though most people consider TDK to be the best (If I had to pick one I would agree with that), without the first and third, it is just a random film with unanswered questions about the relationships presented in it. You can’t look at it as a stand alone film. That was Nolan’s real handiwork.
You have to think of the films as more of an seven hour anthology. One that is book-ended by a really strong story and filled with a near perfect qausi-coming-of-age story. I eagerly await a fan edit that artfully molds all three films together, crafting them into the form that most suits them. A five hour epic about Bruce Wayne’s fight to save Gotham from the League of Shadows (Assassins in the comics).
Yes, when you look at them through that lens, you find it hard to see a film (the fan edit) where the Joker exists as more than a catalyst to bring the Harvey Dent act into existence. Which is a shame, but sadly is what that fantastic performance boils down to when you break the films down to their core. The trilogy plays out almost exactly like I predicted in the blog entry I posted last year.
With that said, there is always room for a fantastic film that is more theatrical and colorful in it’s choice of villains and setting. Will it be more realistic? No, but it would allow for interesting story-telling that could involve villains like Clayface, Poison Ivy, Man-Bat, etc. That doesn’t mean they will be any worse, they will just be a different kind of film that will (hopefully) be just as enjoyable, but a little more so because we get to see Batman being Batman. Nolan’s films gave us a completely believable version that ultimately says, with the money, it is completely logical and possible for this world to exist. All the threats were realistic in that a well trained man with the gadgets needed could take them down. There was nothing so ridiculous that it wouldn’t be possible.
Nolan’s films showed us that it was truly possible to become his version of Batman. Even in our reality. I want a Batman that is based in a world a little closer to the comics. I want to see an extremely well-made film featuring meta-humans and the technology that comes with it.