Every Sunday, Gill delves into his archive of over 800 movie reviews and randomly selects three for your enjoyment! Here are this week’s…
The first instalment in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy is perhaps the weakest, but that’s only because the two later chapters are so epic and well-constructed. Batman Begins is deliberately paced, taking its time to set the stage for the later films and showing us something we’d never seen in a movie before: the origins of Batman. Bruce Wayne’s training with the League of Shadows and bonding with his mentor, played by Liam Neeson, gets the audience invested in his later actions, including the final showdown against the villains. Batman Begins isn’t the best Batman movie, but it was the first to treat Batman with this level of dignity and quasi-realism, and as a superhero origin story, it’s one of the best.
3.5 out of 5
The Dark Knight
No one could have known in the build-up to The Dark Knight what an impact this movie would have. Heath Ledger’s tour-de-force performance as the Joker is so inspired that it actually manages to upstage Jack Nicholson’s take on the same character from Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman film. Sadly, it’s at this point that the central plots of Nolan’s Batman films begin to feel a bit overloaded, but that’s really a minor quibble considering The Dark Knight is well over two hours long and certainly gives Batman fans their money’s worth. The later introduction of Two-Face was an inspired choice, and between the action sequences (flipping a semi with the bat-pod!), the high caliber of acting (Christian Bale, Aaron Eckhart, Heath Ledger, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman…talk about a great cast!), and the most sinister portrayal of one of the most popular villains in comic book history all make The Dark Knight a fantastic movie, both for comic book fans and fans of crime dramas alike.
4 out of 5
The Dark Knight Rises
After the vast success of The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan had his work cut out for him to deliver a fitting final chapter to his trilogy…and I think he pulled it off! The Dark Knight Rises raises the stakes even further than The Dark Knight, and the central villain of Bane proves to be a perfect challenge for Batman, both mentally and physically. Everything is bigger in The Dark Knight Rises, the antagonist, the scale of his plan…even the number of Batmobiles that are featured. Christopher Nolan once again strikes the perfect balance between quasi-realist crime drama and Batman fan service. And again, the action is pretty terrific. Nolan knocks it out of the ballpark with not just The Dark Knight Rises, but his entire Batman trilogy, capping things off with a story of tragedy, redemption, and hope that actually made me sad that he won’t be directing another Batman film.
4 out of 5
See you next Sunday for three more thrilling short reviews!