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Old July 28 2008, 07:26 PM   #778
Lapis Exilis
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Re: The Dark Knight - Grading & Discussion

TheBolianChef wrote: View Post

From what I understood in Batman Begins, he was trying to recreate Batman and the villains. He was trying to make them more real and to do away with the -- fantasy? I don't know how you would say it. Things like the Lazarus Pits with Ra's and the origin of Joker. But essentially, he was trying to make Batman more realistic than anything, no?
Once again I have to protest the use of the word "realistic". There is nothing realistic about Batman Begins or The Dark Knight. They are both done ina naturalistic style, but that is not the same thing. There's nothing realistic about secret societies of ninjas in mountaintop monasteries training people to destroy the world's major cities across history. It is however more naturalistic to tell such a fantastic tale without magical revival baths.

We can argue semantics and can argue about this and that but we can agree that there are certain things in Batman that stay true through each medium and each outlet for the character.

- Batman's parents are killed
- Dick Grayson/Robin/Nightwing's parents are killed. Even in the horrendous reboot, Grayson's parents are killed.
- Batman creates the Joker -- Joker's origin is never explained. This I can agree upon with the movie. And I actually liked that Nolan nodded to the comics in this, that Joker gives different reasons for his being. It doesn't have to be the same stories, I just like that the fact that the Joker doesn't have an origin and that he is a pathological liar.

But what I did have a problem with, is that the Joker came out of a vacuum. I thought we would have the delight of seeing Batman (when it was first reported) create the Joker and that is why the Joker is obsessed with the Batman. It doesn't have to be a vat of chemicals. It could be anything but I wanted to see that connection between the two. It could be a botched robbery or something.
There is nothing more cliche and tired than a villain "obsessed" with a hero because the hero was there when he was disfigured. Joker's obsession with the destruction of rules was a thousand times more interesting. His pointing out that Batman is not like the rest of the world, that his adherence to rules is ridiculous considering the number of them that he tramples, not only rings more true than "you turned my skin white and my hair green - WAHHHH!", but actually has some universal appeal as a human dilemma.


Another thing that I simply cannot remove from my mind is Harvey Dent's split personality. Nolan leaves two explainations in the air for Dent's transformation to Two - Face

1/ Dent has always had two personalities buried within himself. A split between good and bad. That personality is brought out by the Joker and by his disfiguring; that what he looks like now represents who he is.

2/ Dent just goes insane from the trauma. He never had two personalities. The loss of Rachel and the disfiguring adds to this trauma and his personality fractures.

Which one of these is the correct one?
There's nothing mutually exclusive about these options. Dent has some hints of a dark side early on. His trauma brings that out. It's his image that is spotless, not he himself. Bruce Wayne makes a hideous error in pinning his hopes on Harvey Dent because Harvey Dent is imperfect just like everyone else.

Nolan seems to be leaning toward re-creating a new Batman universe devoid of comics except in name only with the re-imaging of Gordon (family),
Gordon could not be more straight from Year One and The Long Halloween.

the origins of Dent (which I found actually more plausable), Joker, and Ra's.
There are nods to comics all over Two-Face's origin - my father's lucky coin and the two-headed coin are straight from the comics; Dent's alliance with Batman and Gordon to fight the mod - straigth from the comics.

As has been pointed out, Joker appears from nowhere originally and rampages as a psychotic clown. Red Hood and the vat of chemicals came along much later. Ra's, significantly reimagined, was worlds better (in my humble opinion) than the comic Ra's, who was always some kind of bad Bond villain knockoff. O'Neil created him during his "I want Batman to be Bond" period in the 70s, and it really shows.

I also kept thinking Ramerez was Montoya for some odd reason.
Apparently she was, at first. But when Nolan realized she had to be corrupt, he changed her so that it was not Montoya. It is possible to have more than one Hispanic female police officer on the force of a major metropolitan city...

So my question is, what is Nolan doing with the Batman movies?
Tell a good story.

He's also doing exactly what every other good comic book adpatation has done - taking bits and pieces from the source material and using it creatively to take the character some place new.
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Last edited by Lapis Exilis; July 28 2008 at 08:00 PM.
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