The Dark Knight Trilogy. These are three well-shot, well-directed and well-acted movies that DC can put on their belt. After years of many different Batman interpretations, Christopher Nolan nailed the aesthetic by choosing to have a Gotham City set in a more realistic environment. Everything, from the Batmobile to The Joker, was all brought into a grittier light as we saw a different take on the Caped Crusader.
Many people even regard The Dark Knight as one of the best superhero films of all time (we agree). However, we're not ones to simply look at something blindly and regard it as perfect, and the trilogy in question is no exception. Upon a rewatch, we've noticed that there are a handful of things in each of these films that begin to bother us and make us question -- why does everyone ignore these problems? If you're still in the camp that regards this trilogy as a masterpiece of cinema, prepare to be given another way of thinking. We love Christopher Nolan's amazing work, and we love The Dark Knight Trilogy, but these 16 issues stick out to us every day and everyone else just seems to ignore them. Don't believe us? Keep reading.
16 BATMAN'S VOICE
We'll start with the easy one. This is something that many people complained about when Batman Begins came out, but we learned to roll with it by the time The Dark Knight came out. Bruce Wayne has to figure out a way to disguise his voice as Batman so no one can discover who he is, but for some reason, this trilogy takes a weird approach.
Batman has a gritty voice that sounds like he has rocks stuck in his throat (or simply has a massively soar throat). Some might see it as awesome, but it's extremely hard to understand at times. This is especially weird considering that Arrow and Batman V Superman used voice modulators to get around this. Why couldn't Nolan have done the same?
15 RUSHED CLIMAX
It's not just The Dark Knight Rises that is guilty of having a rushed climax, but The Dark Knight as well. In the latter, Batman and The Joker have their excellent fight, and that would've been a perfect note to end the film on, but it doesn't end there. They still had to rush Harvey Dent's development so he could become Two-Face. At that point, the movie rushes into the climax, when it would've been much more succinct had it been left out and Two-Face appear in the third film.
In The Dark Knight Rises, there's a lot of buildup to the final battle, but it all happens haphazardly. Bruce Wayne gets out of the prison, goes to Gotham, and immediately goes to war. Then it all goes down so quickly that we can barely register what went on.
14 BRUCE WAYNE CRIPPLED
At the beginning of The Dark Knight Rises, we see a Bruce Wayne eight years older who has been hardened by his experiences in the past. He is a crippled man and a shadow of the vigilante he once was. He is so disabled that anyone who knocked over his cane would instantly win in a fight. However, duty calls and he must don the cowl once again.
The problem here is that Bruce being crippled serves no purpose. It's immediately undermined by him developing gadgets (special leg braces) to be able to fix himself. From that point on, his crippled state is never addressed again. The back breaking was handled a bit better, but it's never quite given the weight that it should have from the original "Knightfall" storyline.
13 COMPLICATED SCHEMES
We love the villains in this trilogy, but let's face it, they have some unnecessarily complicated schemes. Let's examine Ra's al Ghul first. He decided to take this microwave device from Wayne Enterprises and work with the Scarecrow to get the fear toxin in the water system. Then the emitter would vaporize the water so the toxin would be shot into the air. The toxin has already been shown to be effective as a gas, so couldn't there have been an easier way to get it in all of Gotham City?
Then there was the Joker's brilliant plan in The Dark Knight. While it was fun to watch, it relied on numerous circumstances that he could never have been able to predict, ending with him managing to blow up the police station.
12 BANE'S VOICE
Once again on the subject of voices, we have to touch on the now infamous voice of Tom Hardy's Bane. As if it wasn't enough that Batman's voice was difficult to understand, Nolan had to one up himself and create an antagonist that was even more challenging to understand, with Hardy speaking in an accent and with a mask over his face.
However, it could've ended up a lot worse. Bane's original voice was so muffled that audiences complained upon the first preview that his voice was too indistinguishable. Nolan then did some work to make sure that he was easier to hear. Still, that doesn't fix the problem of his voice, it just softens the blow. We dare you to try and watch the football scene without having to turn on the subtitles.
11 TALIA'S BACKSTORY
How cool would it have been if they kept the backstory they told in The Dark Knight Rises? The way it's told originally, Bane was the son of Ra's al Ghul who climbed out of "hell on earth" and then came to Gotham to wreak havoc on its citizens and Batman himself. That would've been a brilliant way to end the trilogy, as Bruce's actions came full circle to haunt him.
However, they introduced a plot twist that had Talia (Miranda Tate) out of nowhere become the true antagonist. This had no weight, as the only reason we're supposed to care about her is because she was romantically involved with Bruce. Then they took the opportunity to introduce this weird relationship with Talia and Bane. It fell flat, to say the least.
10 BANE'S DEATH
When it comes to the climax of The Dark Knight Rises, we want to complain about the way Bane died. Throughout the film, he was built up as an antagonist who was always three steps ahead of Batman and could easily take him in a fight (remember that whole backbreaking thing).
Move to the final fight in which Bane's forces are going toe-to-toe with Batman and the people of Gotham. They throw fists at each other for a bit, but Batman suddenly has the drive to beat this villain to a pulp. After it was revealed that he was not the central bad guy, he is about to beat the Dark Knight before being blasted by Catwoman. He is never seen again, and he deserved better than that.
9 RUSHED BATMAN DEVELOPMENT
Batman Begins got a bit of criticism in the beginning for how quickly it seemed to establish Batman. While it might take 45 minutes for Bruce to actually get to any vigilante antics, that's not what we're addressing. Instead, what we mean is that the movie takes its time to establish his own story as a character who will eventually put on the cape and cowl. Instead, after the first act, he gets the suit altogether and starts going to town.
Just imagine how much more streamlined the film would've been if he was still learning the ropes as he went? Then it wouldn't be until the final battle with Ra's that he would actually become the Batman that he set out to be in the first place. It's like the studio knew that a film without a lot of Batman wouldn't be as marketable.
8 THE ACTION
This is an issue that we only have with Batman Begins. When watching the action scenes, it's extremely difficult to determine what's going on. The best example of this is Batman's first fight at the docks. He slowly picks off criminals before appearing in the middle of them. Then he fights them all, but we never get a proper look at it. The camera is constantly jumping around and never focuses even for a split second. The same can be said for the fight with Ra's, but it's handled a bit better there.
Thankfully, Nolan did a much better job with The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, having more continuous takes with few shots that jump around from angle to angle. That's the stuff we like to see, and at the very least, Zack Snyder understood that.
7 RIDICULOUS GADGETS
Batman having ridiculous gadgets is something that will remain true of the character. We're not taking issue with the fact that he has them, but in the context of the grounded world of that Nolan established, some suspicions have to be raised when it comes to some of the more unrealistically advanced weaponry of the Caped Crusader.
Granted, most of these weird gadgets appeared in The Dark Knight Rises. Some of the standouts were the little flares that seemed to have no effect as well as the entire concept of the Bat. It made the entire film feel more like a sci-fi action flick at the end rather than a gritty Batman story. We're just thankful they took a more realistic approach with his Batmobile Tumbler.
6 BRUCE WAYNE IS ARROGANT
Bruce Wayne's life was forever changed when he saw his parents get murdered, so it's easy to imagine that he would suffer some mental shortcomings as a result. That being said, that is no excuse for behaving the way he does later in the trilogy. If you're still not quite on board, let us explain.
After training with the League of Shadows, Bruce decides to destroy their entire set up just because they wanted him to execute a farmer. However, they wanted the same thing as Bruce but just had a different perspective about how to handle it. He didn't agree and burned the place down. Furthermore, in The Dark Knight Rises, Bruce goes into hiding because he can't manage being seen, but then all of a sudden decides to jump right back into the fray after eight years of inactivity. It screams of arrogance.
5 CRINGEWORTHY DIALOGUE
A lot of the dialogue in this trilogy is decent and communicates many different messages and tones well. What changes things up are a lot of the throwaway lines that you hear from random extras. Particularly in The Dark Knight, you hear phrases like "No more dead cops!" and "Have a nice trip, see you next fall." Considering how tight the rest of the film is, it completely sticks out like a sore thumb.
Even Batman gets some chances to make us cringe in horror, as he repeats Rachel's awful fortune cookie wisdom line, "It's not who I am, but what I do that defines me." Thematically, a lot of these lines work, but at face value, we can't help but cringe at the overall delivery of them.
4 BRUCE'S LOVERS
If there was one type of character that we would say got the short end of the stick in this trilogy, it would be the women, and more importantly, the love interests of Bruce Wayne. Rachel is built up to be a childhood friend, but her character is never defined enough to help us understand what she is really all about.
Fast forward to The Dark Knight Rises, where we get Miranda Tate and Selina Kyle. Miranda never amounts to anything other than "I'm trying to save Wayne Enterprises," and she's only given a relationship with Wayne just so they can do a plot twist later. Selina almost subverts this trend, but never quite reaches the levels of a believable love interest. We do like that she is included in Bruce's happy ending, but their connection is never developed enough to be believable.
3 CHANGE OF GOTHAM
From the very start, Gotham City felt like its own character. Iconic places like Wayne Enterprises were incorporated from the beginning, which led to a clear economic problem within its streets and buildings. We got to see people struggling on a day to day basis and how the state of the city affected their everyday lives. This occurred in both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.
Move toward The Dark Knight Rises, and we're singing a completely different tune. Gotham is taken over by Bane and led by his henchmen. The city is devoid of its iconic imagery and instead, we're given a barren wasteland. No longer does Gotham feel like its own character, but a mere set piece for conflict to take place in.
2 SCARECROW (AFTER BATMAN BEGINS)
We are not knocking Scarecrow as a whole. As a matter of fact, it was a nice twist on the classic portrayal of the character. His inclusion in Batman Begins was earned and he served his purpose in the climax (though he went out like a punk). However, it was his part in both of the sequels that raise some flags in our minds.
Scarecrow has minor appearances that serve no purpose other than giving fans of the franchise a familiar face. He shows up in the beginning of The Dark Knight only to be taken down by Batman. He has a spot in The Dark Knight Rises to condemn people to death or exile. These are roles that could've been filled by any other character. It's a further travesty that his fear toxin isn't used after Batman Begins.
1 JOHN BLAKE
Come time for The Dark Knight Rises, and a new rookie cop had reached the scene. John Blake was a powerful supporting cast member for the film, and he wasn't all bad. He got things done and seemed pretty competent. That said, he has two fundamental flaws.
The first is that he came to the conclusion that Bruce Wayne was Batman way too easily. Apparently, he identified him with just a look on his face. Secondly, it was the reveal that his legal name was Robin. Once again, this was just a big heap of fan service that made us roll our eyes a bit. He was given a character arc and learned more about right and wrong, but these two issues are too glaring for us to ignore.
Did we miss any other problems with The Dark Knight Trilogy? Let us know in the comments!