Batman Begins – Bruce Wayne gets his origin story, his fear of bats. He’s on a revenge quest to beat up scum and trains as the ultimate assassin in an order to achieve justice but what he finds is too destructive for his liking. There’s a lot of build up, establishing the characters both friend and foe, fantastic relationships with a calm, calculated Ra’s Al Ghul (Liam Neeson) and a power mad, drug weaponising Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy) for the newly formed bat themed hero to face off against. I found it most impressive that the villainous organisation is talked about as if it was responsible for big events in history, not just something that’s formed to fight Batman. It’s a powerful, well made film that leans into the dark side of DC for an effective setup of a superhero that believes in justice.
The Dark Knight – “You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain”. The one with Heath Ledger’s legendary Joker. A plot where a madman wants to beat the Bat and corrupt all the good in Gotham. The great Harvey Dent emerges as a legal hero to the city by finding a law that lets him lock away the majority of the city’s criminals. Batman has the criminals running scared. The criminals turn to someone that they can’t possibly understand and this man has one motivation: chaos. The weird thing is that the Joker technically wins in more ways than one, his plan is just so cleverly done. There’re so many good scenes, the action and use of tech are done just right but putting everything together with a pretty much perfect cast and having some truly iconic lines mean that this may just be one of the best movies ever made, never mind superhero movies.
The Dark Knight Rises – Set eight years after The Dark Knight, Batman has gone into hiding and Bruce Wayne is a crippled recluse. A mad mercenary called Bane comes to finish what Ra’s Al Ghul tried to do in the first film, only this time it’s an army with a nuke instead of gas. Bane bests Batman in combat and we get a strength of Bruce Wayne story. Bane to me is a rubbish villain, his voice sounds terrible, his head is exposed so why no-one shot him is a mystery and the defeated Batman story didn’t make much sense, but they needed the Bat to have a physical challenge, Bane having half his face covered didn’t give much opportunity for acting quality to redeem him. Catwoman was probably my favourite part of this film, being an interestingly moral character that strikes a good balance between strong and sexy. Gordon was mostly written out due to the fact that they needed a lower rank, younger cop to take his place, this was Blake who didn’t really stand out to me. The plot twist was too predictable, especially since I’d played the Arkham games before seeing this the first time and the fact that senseless or unbelievable things happened so much ruined it a bit for me. It’s the worst of the series but not really a bad film, it just can’t compete with those before.
- Michael Caine as Alfred is incredible constantly, his delivery is fantastic plus the writing makes him have friendly banter and be like a father to Bruce.
- These films are so great because they seem like a more realistic way for Batman to happen, the Bruce Wayne idea’s the same but the villains being an ancient secret order, a man who has no fear and a mercenary faction are all possible.