Recently, John Couture over at VideoETA wrote a piece detailing why he’s afraid that the final installment in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, is “destined to fail.” Not financially (Batman is too big to fail, after all), but artistically. While I think he makes some good points about the nature of trilogies and the general drop in quality between the second and third films, one aspect of this particular series should be enough to curtail any fears audiences might have. That one aspect?
Christopher Nolan himself.
Couture does take Nolan at the helm into account, but he handicaps the director with a supposedly necessary Never Before Seen Ending; namely, Bruce Wayne’s death and the continuation of Batman via another Gothamite. I agree that his idea for the denouement would be great, especially if Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the one donning the cowl, but a less shocking finale won’t break this Bat. What’s important here is that most film series, whether trilogies or longer, don’t have a singular creative force driving the production from the beginning to the end. Outside of the Star Wars prequels and The Matrix movies, writers and directors come and go on franchises all the time, and rarely do the new artists simply want to be derivative of their predecessors. Sam Raimi may have directed all three Spider-Men, but Sony had more say in that movie’s narrative than he did, and he’s all but admitted to tanking the final chapter on purpose. And, I think it’s safe to say, with the amount of control Christopher Nolan has here, he’s no Sam Raimi — or George Lucas, or either of the Wachowski siblings, for that matter.
Whether The Dark Knight Rises will reach the heights of The Dark Knight, or even Batman Begins, is impossible to know until this July, but it will not be a bad movie. Much less will it be a failure of epic proportions. If it is, Rises will be the first time Nolan has made a bad movie. Actually, it will mark the first time Nolan has made a film that can be described as anything but “good.” Below are the 7 Reasons Why The Dark Knight Rises Won’t Fail, and if it does, we certainly shouldn’t have seen it coming.
The Dark Knight
Rob Payne also writes the indie comic The Unstoppable Force, tweets on the Twitter @RobOfWar, and his ware can be purchased here (if you’re into that sort of thing). He admits to being a Nolan fanboy, but not a Nolan apologist. Because there’s nothing a Nolan fan has to apologize for.