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It is the home stretch! We have less than a week to go till the epic finale of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. It has all been leading up to this and now fans and non-fans alike eagerly await to watch the Caped Crusader have his swan song in what will hopefully complete a near-perfect trilogy.
When Batman Begins premiered back in 2005, the shape of superhero movies would never be the same. Nolan’s trilogy has a heavy basis in reality (a superhero/villains with no real “super powers”) and contains a darkness that never existed in superhero films before then. Since then, superhero movies have progressed from simple, escapist movies to more complex/edgier films. One more thing we can thank Nolan for!
Both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight have a running time of around two and a half hours, therefore as a result of that there is plenty that goes on. The plots contain plenty of twists and turns and for a casual viewer this can prove quite puzzling. Plus when you factor in that Batman Begins premiered back in 2005, and Dark Knight in 2008, a lot can be forgotten for someone who has only seen the films once or twice. Not to worry! This is why I am here! In this post I will countdown all the necessary details that will enable you to follow The Dark Knight Rises without having to ask your comic book friends questions during the movie. If I miss anything I apologize! I am not an expert on Nolan’s Batman trilogy, simply an avid fan.
“And here we go…”:
Like many great men before him, Bruce Wayne suffered a great tragedy at a young age. A gunmen ambushed the Waynes, killing Thomas and Martha, and leaving Bruce for dead. This traumatic event gives birth to Batman and adds a legitimacy as to why Bruce Wayne makes it his mission to erase crime from the streets of Gotham.
This goes hand in hand with the one above. Bruce Wayne values every life, including those of the antagonists, and only threatens lives as a last resort. As the story progresses we see that Wayne does not enjoy his power as Batman, and would rather it all just go away. Unfortunately, Gotham is too corrupt to survive without Batman.
Batman Begins marks the first time that fans got a complete story of the origin of the Caped Crusader on the big screen. This origin story would not be incomplete without a retelling of how Batman became to be equipped with such impressive skills. Ra’s Al Ghul/Henri Ducard gives Bruce the training he will need in fight against evil. The two work together for quite some time until Bruce learns of Ghul’s’s secret plan. This leads Wayne to take drastic measures in order to ensure that Ghul will not get close to achieving his scheme. However, Bruce may have shown just a little too much mercy.
Even if you despise the Batman series, you cannot deny the greatness of its villains. In Batman Begins we were treated to Carmine Falcone, mob boss extraordinaire, as well as The Scarecrow, the psychiatrist with a flair for fear tactics. Then in The Dark Knight we got spoiled with the enraged Two-Face, formerly known as District Attorney Harvey Dent, on top of Ledger’s unbelievable rendition of the Joker. With two villains in each of Nolan’s Batman films so far, could we find two in The Dark Knight Rises? The obvious villain is Bane, but who could that possible second villain be?
With so many enemies, Batman needs a few allies in order to have survived this long. The first one worth mentioning is Bruce Wayne’s dedicated butler, Alfred. This man has been a friend, mentor, and unrelenting ally of Wayne since birth. Next we have Rachel Dawes. A dedicated childhood friend whom dabbled as a love interest for Wayne. Unfortunately she met her end in the midst of the chaos in The Dark Knight, and since then Wayne has been even more elusive. Then there is the source of all Batman’s nifty gadgets, Lucius Fox. This skilled scientist has been a valuable ally of Batman for quite sometime and there is no doubt that Wayne would never have been able to become Batman without the help of Fox. Lastly we have Batman’s most important ally, Commissioner Gordon. His relationship with Wayne began early on when Gordon comforted Wayne after the death of his parents. With so much corruption in Gotham’s police force, Gordon’s good spirit is a breath of fresh air. Now in The Dark Knight Rises it seems Gordon has found himself a protege in the form of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s John Lake.
Presumably The Dark Knight Rises is set eight years after the events of The Dark Knight. As of right now, it is hard to tell how far Gotham has fallen in those eight years but after even Gotham’s White Knight, Harvey Dent, fell prey to the darkness, it seems the corruption of the city has reached an all-time high.
This one is definitely a tricky question. Catwoman, Selina Kyle, has appeared as both an ally and antagonist to Batman. Michelle Pfeiffer’s rendition was the most unique thus far as she appeared as an independent rogue in 1992’s Batman Returns. Anne Hathaway could follow down Pfeiffer’s path but it seems that she is acting as more of an ally to the Dark Knight. The trailers could be purposefully misleading us but I think Nolan has a more sinister surprise up his sleeve for the film’s second villain.
Over the course of the Batman series many lives were lost while others survived by the skin of their teeth. So here is a list of the important characters that have died, survived, and whose fate remains unknown.
Commissioner Gillian B. Loeb
Dr. Jonathan Crane/The Scarecrow
Mayor Anthony Garcia
Ra’s Al Ghul/Henri Ducard (Billed in The Dark Knight Rises but previously thought to be dead)
The Joker (Presumably dead)
You sneaky Christopher Nolan! Marion Cotillard appearing as the mysterious Miranda Tate rises an endless amount of questions. After numerous unanswered rumors about her being Talia al Ghul, Ra’s al Ghul’s daughter, it seems almost positive that that is her part. However, after this picture surfaced…
…Cotillard’s part became that much more mysterious. Could she simply be a love interest? If so, why introduce a love interest so late in the series? Is she the second major villain? Too many questions. July 20th, hurry up and get here!
At the end of The Dark Knight we watch as Batman must flee Gotham to escape the persecution that awaits him. We do not know where Wayne is going to nor do we know what he has planned. Typically Wayne holds his cards close to his chest, yet this time we are left completely in the dark. Gordon has the Bat signal destroyed, Lucius shuts down his lab, all while Alfred burns Wayne’s last chance of a normal (Rachel’s goodbye letter). The life of our Caped Crusader is not idilic.
Bruce Wayne/Batman goes into hiding after the events of The Dark Knight and stays there for eight years. Yet after all this time he comes out of hiding to protect his beloved city of Gotham from evil. Bane must be brewing something extra sinister to cause this, but what could it be? All this and much more will be answered on July 20th.
If you haven’t done so already, get out there and buy your tickets for the big premiere. Last year we said goodbye to our childhood friends of Harry Potter, now let us bid adieu to another modern masterpiece, Christopher Nolan’s Batman. The Dark Knight Rises premieres this Friday, July 20th, and it is sure to be an experience. Don’t miss out! Happy moviegoing!