The reception to 2012’s “The Dark Knight Rises” — Christopher Nolan’s final film in his acclaimed “Dark Knight” trilogy — was definitely more polarizing than its acclaimed predecessor, “The Dark Knight.” Even so, “Rises” still holds an 87% on Rotten Tomatoes, a number that’s a bit better than “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’s” rating of 27%.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt joined Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy in the final installment, playing the character Detective John Blake (full name: Robin John Blake). “The Dark Knight Rises” concludes with Blake entering the Batcave and presumably becoming the new Batman — an ending that Gordon-Levitt thinks works verywell. In a new interview with CinemaBlend for his upcoming film “Snowden,” Gordon-Levitt reflected on Nolan’s vision and how that compares to the modern state of the mainstream superhero film:
“I know we’re all used to the sort of Marvel movies, which are just kind of [an] endless series. They don’t really have a beginning, middle, and end. But I think Nolan very much thought of that movie as a conclusion, and there’s a theme that runs through all three of those movies that begins in the first movie, runs through the second movie and it concludes in that moment where he says that Batman is more than a man, Batman is a symbol. And so to have another man other than Bruce Wayne kind of becoming Batman at the end of that trilogy, I think that’s the perfect ending to that story.”
Well said, JGL. The “Dark Knight” trilogy isn’t without its flaws, and yet there’s no denying its overall arc and its rock-solid commentary on the cyclical nature of the hero’s journey. True change comes not from one person, but from a group of people rallying behind something and making sure it continues for many years to come. It becomes difficult to suss out such a strong theme in the latest string of Marvel and DC movies, not because some of the individual films aren’t good or even great, but because their respective universes are huge and ongoing; they take great care to tell stories while also preparing for what’s next.
On a meta level, another actor has taken on the mantle of Batman, although it was not Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Ben Affleck debuted as a new Batman, part of Warner Bros. new shared DC movie-verse, in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” Affleck’s now racking up screentime as Bruce Wayne, having appeared in this year’s “Suicide Squad” and heading up next year’s “Justice League.”
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