Next year the final film in the Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale trilogy of Batman films, The Dark Knight Rises, will be released. I am looking forward to it so much I seriously considered buying the Empire Magazine issue with an article about it in. Before it is released, however, some of it will be shown on Imax cinemas before the new Mission Impossible film.
Now, not many Imax screens will be showing this, there are only about 40 or so globally. However, one of the four in the UK which will be doing is right here in Bradford. Which means I will almost certainly be going to see the new Mission Impossible film at the Imax when it opens. Hell, I may even watch the film instead of just leaving after the Batman segment.
Now, The Dark Knight Rises sounds interesting because it allows the Batman story to have an ending. Certainly within the constraints of what Nolan has been doing with it. It also sounds to have a distinct theme and villain (or villains) than the previous two films. Which were very different from one another.
In the first film we get a rookie Batman working out who he is and what his modus operandi will be. He trains and makes mistakes, before settling on his own identity. We have the villain who is his former mentor and there are a lot of references to his father as well as seeking to become his own man in defiance of his mentor’s wishes. There is a definite theme there.
In the second film we have a more veteran Batman who is looking to stop being Batman and pass his mantle to someone else. We have pretenders to the throne in the form of amateurs, and a dashing hero in the form of Harvey Dent. Then we have chaos in the form of the Joker. Whereas the first film was about discovery and planning, the second film is about weariness and chaos. The villains are different, the stakes are different and Batman is a different person. It is also a bleaker film.
The third film is subject to much conjecture. It’s set 8 years after the last. The villain is much more physical. Its title echoes The Dark Knight Returns, in which an aged Batman comes out of retirement to save Gotham City from new threats. Some of which are just the citizenry itself. Could this be what the new film is about?
Or is it about Batman finally getting to retire?