Picking the best of any trilogy is hard work. There are so many great trilogies with so many good installments, it’s hard to make a reasonably sound decision on any of them, especially when everything is subjective. But I’ve got a beef with anyone who hates on The Dark Knight Rises, dismissing it’s rightful place as the best of the Nolan Dark Knight trilogy. So please, let me explain myself.
NOTICE: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS
Planejacking > Bank robbery
Let’s start at the beginning. Both films start with a great opening sequence, and I’m not discrediting how amazing the bank robbery sequence was, but when Bane and Co. get caught on purpose and hi-jack a CIA plane? Magnificent. And can you really get a more breathtaking shot than when the plane falls AROUND Bane and his captive? No.
Bane > Joker
And no, I’m not saying Heath Ledger wasn’t great. HE WAS. I’m talking about the ACTUAL CHARACTERS and their dynamics within the film. Joker was scary. He was a madman who gave no bothers about anything. But Bane was scarier. Joker killed elected officials and put citizens in harms way, sure. But Bane KILLED HIS OWN MEN. Numerous times. Joker told Batman he didn’t want to kill him. That he couldn’t. That he needed Batman. Bane discovered Batman’s secret identity, broke Batman and then told him he would kill him once he was done destroying everything. Bane’s strength and intelligence bring an amount of fear that Joker never could.
Better Supporting Characters
It was awesome watching the rise and fall of Harvey Dent/ Two Face in TDK. But it was much more fun watching Catwoman kick ass throughout the entire DKR film. Did I mention she saves the freakin’ day? And Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a Robin/Nightwing-esque character? Fantastic. Just more icing on the cake. In DKR the film makers were able to tie in many great elements of the Batman mythos without ending up with a muddled mess like Amazing Spiderman 2.
Throughout the series Rachel was always someone Bruce would never have. And I didn’t even want them to get together. Rachel was a… well, I didn’t like her. Miranda on the other hand… Hoo-wee! Get some, Batman! Bruce finally finds his love connection. And then finds out the truth and loses it. But then ends up with Selina Kyle. But it was still a better series of events than the wishy-washy, do they-don’t they BS that was Rachel & Bruce. Plus, as much as I like Maggie, Marion and Anne are both better actors and, less importantly, much cuter than Maggie or Katie.
It Ties In Better to Batman Begins
Bane and Co. brought us back to Batman Begins‘ roots of Ra’s Al Ghul and the League of Shadows. It brought us back to Gordon’s connection to Bruce when his parents got murdered. It brought us back to Alfred’s connection with Bruce. The Dark Knight… had scarecrow… a little bit… and… mentioned that Falcone was gone. Other than that, there wasn’t much else to tie the films together.
Dark Knight Was Muddled
It’s just one thing after the other, isn’t it? I felt like I was watching The Return of the King end all over again. It didn’t seem to flow together to me. Rises felt much more cohesive.
All in all, it all comes down to opinion, and whatever yours is is fine. And I’m happy to have all of the films in Nolan’s trilogy. But I hope that when you look outside Ledger’s amazing performance and look at the films for ALL that they are, you will see the truth. Dark Knight Rises is the cream of the crop.