While Ethan tackles the weightier questions of the trilogy, I’ll look at the geekier ones.
All in all, this comic geek can’t complain all that much. This trilogy turned out to be a departure from the Batman tradition in many respects. I’ll start with the third movie and then move backwards.
The most frustrating thing to me, was John Blake. Namely, that he wasn’t named Tim Drake (the third Robin). Given the similarity of name, I actually wonder if it might have been their intent. If their intent was to make the Robin connection a surprise, they gave their game away with more than the resemblence I saw. As the movie wore on, I kept thinking “Just call him Tim!”
I was smacking myself over the head for not picking up on Talia. The signs were all there. How did I miss it? The timeline of Bane didn’t make sense (namely, Bane having simultaneously been crippled in the pit and having escaped uncrippled) as I tried to piece it together. The obvious answer just didn’t occur to me. Watching it the second time was even more painful in this regard. Could they have been more obvious? Tate talks about balance!
This was probably the best depiction of Catwoman that I have seen to date. Unlike previous depictions, rather true to the character. I was a little worried about Catwoman with no overhead mask and the cat ears, but they made it work.
Bane was also well-done, though much more of a departure. The trick of combining the concepts of the Lazerus Pit and Pena Duro was kind of neat. Bane just isn’t the same without Venom. And, of course, it turned out that we were dealing with Bane The Henchman rather than Bane The Mastermind. At least he was an intelligent Henchman and not a drooling idiot.
It’s a bit irritating that Nolan took two of comparatively few minority Batman villains (Arabian Ra’s al Ghul and Latin American Bane) and replaced them with two white people. I’m really quite tired of villains with British accents.
As with Catwoman, they did a good job with the Batman costume throughout the trilogy. One of the more ridiculous things about the previous Batman franchise were the stiff necks. To see anything that wasn’t right in front of him, he had to turn his entire body around. Here they produced a costume that not only looked good, but had much more passable functionality.
Notably, a porn production also did a pretty good job with both Batman and Catwoman’s costumes.
Out of curiosity, will Harvey Bullock or Rene Montoya ever appear movie form? They made Flass a Bullockesque character in appearance, not unlike the corrupt Lt. Eckhardt from the 1989 movie. They had a Montoya-like character in the second. I had actually guessed that she was a mole because they hadn’t named her Montoya. The inclusion of Hugh Foley was an interesting touch.
The lack of an actual Batmobile in this series was an interesting and unexpected decision. Mostly because it’s the kind of thing that directors/producers seem to like to have fun with.
One of the things that struck me is that, starting at the second movie, was that Gotham really had too many good and loyal servants. Commissioner Loeb, a corrupt piece of work in the comics, was actually a good commish. Mayor Garcia. By the time Harvey Dent came along, the city already seemed like it was in good hands.
Whenever a series of movies conclude, I always feel a bit of loss for the villains who weren’t used. I liked that this one introduced some less common ones, like Ra’s, Scarecrow and (a non-drooly version of) Bane. I’m sorry that Riddler and Penguin didn’t get a showing. One of these days I want to see a master franchise. Five movies or more. Let it build, let it continue, and so on.