Well crikey, this has been a long time coming. To put it into context, I posted my review of Batman Begins on here several months before excitedly writing about getting my own MySpace page. Remember MySpace? Batman Begins existed in a world that still had Top of the Pops and Smash Hits. I was still in my twenties, that's how long ago it was.
2012 will be remembered as the year when trailers went too far. The besuited morons responsible for turning trailers into tiny abridged versions of the films they're meant to be promoting just lost all sight of why people go to the cinema in the first place. The Avengers and Prometheus trailers gave far too much away – particularly ridiculous given how much of an easy sell both of those films are – so I've made the rather rash decision to simply not watch trailers any more. I was a bit too late with The Dark Knight Rises unfortunately, but have successfully avoided the campaign for a good couple of months now. I'm not alone in this either: twitter seems to be awash with people proudly abstaining from trailers at the moment. It's not the easiest thing to do (particularly with Dredd trailers starting to appear), but it's totally worth it so that I can walk into the cinema without knowing exactly what's going to happen in the last five minutes of a film.
3. Unstoppable spoils
Of course, no matter how many trailers you dive out of the way of, with a film of this size you simply can't avoid some spoils. A couple of days ago I received a tweet, innocently asking me what I thought of [ACTOR] being cast as [CHARACTER]. I had no idea this character was going to be in it, but now that I do, the plot just kind of writes itself in my head. Damn. Blast.
4. Plot holes
Batman has been in safe hands throughout this trilogy – Nolan knows what he's doing. I still have concerns though. Many superhero franchises fall apart in the third film for some reason or other (the worst example being X-Men 3: Let's Just Write This Around Cast Members' Availability And Get It Over With), and Batman isn't immune to that. Plus, as good as it was, The Dark Knight still fell foul of some good old-fashioned plot-holery. This is particularly evident during one non-sensical sequence where Batman jumps out of the window of his penthouse, catches Rachel, lands safely on a car several hundred feet below, and then doesn't bother to return to his apartment where the Joker and his goons are still terrorising party guests while looking for Harvey Dent. WHO IS IN A CUPBOARD.
5. Loose ends
I'm sure by the end of the film, there'll be lots of niggling little threads left dangling, but there's one I just can't let go of. In Batman Begin, they make a point of highlighting how brittle the Batmask is … and then never mention it again. It felt like they were foreshadowing something that has yet to happen. In The Dark Knight, the suit was updated, so presumably that design flaw was ironed out. It's a little thing, but it still bugs me.
Apparently the new film wasn't shot in Chicago like the previous two. It defined the mise-en-scène of the story, so it seems a shame to get rid of it now. (I have qualifications in this sort of thing, so I'm legally obliged to say mise-en-scène every now and then. Now where did I put my beret?)
Here's something else to make you feel old: Batman Returns is now twenty years old. TWENTY YEARS. Even so, Michelle Pfeiffer still casts a long shadow as the definitive Catwoman. It's hard to imagine how Anne Hathaway can make this role her own, particularly as she's been lumbered with that same costume Hollywood has been lazily zipping actresses into for twenty years (see also: GI Joe, The Avengers, the other Avengers, Underworld, etc.).
8. Justice League
The success of The Avengers' shared universe franchise has not gone unnoticed, and there are already plans to make a Justice League movie. Wherever they go with Batman after Nolan's films wraps up, putting him alongside a bunch of intergalactic superheroes just seems silly. And this is where I shamelessly quote myself from a few months ago:
Nolan has created a world in which a costumed vigilante fights organised crime using fear and wealth. Not an entirely realistic world, but one that has the right amount of internal logic for it to make sense and seem real. Sticking Supes in there would make it a world in which a costumed vigilante exists side-by-side with a flying cape-wearing super-powered alien. That's like making a sequel to Seven in which Detective Somerset finds a portal to Narnia. It just isn't going to work.
Then again, what do I know, as that basically describes the relationship between Iron Man and Thor.
The Dark Knight Rises is not in 3D. Do you know how many people are disappointed by this fact? None. None whatsoever. I'm glad Nolan stuck to his guns on this one – gimmicky headache tax should be left to the like of Paul WS Anderson and his knee-sliding, axe-throwing wife.
If there's one constant with Christopher Nolan's films, it's that he likes playing with time. The back-to-front Memento, the Russian-doll timeline of Inception, the never-ending day of Insomnia – everything he makes involves some kind of timey-wimey trickery. The shuffled chronology of Batman Begins and The Prestige are particularly impressive when you think how confusing they could've been if dealt with by a lesser film-maker. It'll be interesting to see what he what tricks he plays in The Dark Knight Rises.
11. Our biggest export
Right now, Batman, Superman and Spider-Man are all played by Brits. You're welcome, America.
So what's next for Nolan? Inception was the first film he'd made since Following that wasn't an adaptation of something else – I'd love to see him come up with more entirely original works. Or something a bit smaller perhaps. Or maybe I'll hate him by the end of Sunday, who knows.