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Old October 29 2008, 04:58 AM   #24
Lapis Exilis
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Re: Nolan 'Unsure' about Batman Sequel

gaith1 wrote: View Post
I certainly can't think of many particularly good chapter three movies, not even BttF and Jedi; though there were wonderful parts to both of those. (Azkaban doesn't really count, since it's part three of seven.)
I think BttF has a solid and satisfying Third. And, of course, there's always Return of the King.

I think the crux of the matter is that we inevitably expect trilogies to have a three-act structure. Threequels should really be the third act of one big movie, which is why Return of the King and the Luke vs. Emperor parts of Jedi work so well. And I think a main reason why third movies tend to fail is that third acts should be the shortest acts, and they should have less conflict than the middle. But since half-hour movies aren't possible, directors try to cook up another second act, and we get messes like Spider-Man 3 and Pirates 3.
You've got a good point regarding threquels and their relationship to third acts, but I disagree that they always need to be third acts, and that those should be the shortest acts. That's a relatively recent development of narrative, and it's based largely on the time constraints of a single movie. That is, the structure of movies has bled over into novel and storytelling in general, yet it's a constant complaint of many that endings of modern stories are too quick and don't really resolve everything. Remember Shakespeare worked in a five act structure, with the acts being pretty much the same length. It is possible, and probably beneficial to take some time with a third act rather than following the Hollywood dictate that the final act be the shortest and fastest paced.

If not a half-hour wrap-up, what should filmmakers aim for? I think taking the series in a whole new direction, a sort of reboot/spinoff/new first film. I thought T3 worked great because it was all about John, who wasn't in T1 and hadn't really developed during the Sarah-centric T2; T3 was sort of a spinoff in that regard. Heck, even to use the Azkaban example, that story really hinged on Sirius, Lupin and Pettigrew, all new characters. (Even disregarding the quality jump, the fact that the whole movie's aesthetic was radically different didn't hurt either.)

So, what should a Batman 3 be like? Different. With TDK's mid-movie death and twist-ish ending, Nolan's already on a promising track. Maybe Bats should have to work with someone as an equal - Catwoman or a Batwoman or something; maybe he should be injured early on and have to play an Alfred-ish part, and have the main focus be on the new person.
Different I think is a necessity, and considering the utterly different tones of BBegins and TDK, I'd assume it's a given if Nolan helms a third movie. But I think, following the nature of these particular movies, the different has to be a different direction for Bruce Wayne as a character rather than a focus on a different character altogether. TDK spun off of some very particular points in Begins, especially the idea that Bruce is looking for a way out of being Batman. But it spun off of that very loosely, which I think was a real strength. There was no attempt to make the two movies look and feel like a single story, and that looseness would probably serve Nolan well in a third movie. Meaning, I'm not sure that in this particular trilogy, it's really necessary to see a threquel as a third act, per se. TDK really stands on its own - you don't have to have seen Begins to follow it. Maybe the smartest approach would not to feel any need to resolve things, but to simply tell another good Batman story in much the same way TDK simply told a good Batman story and didn't worry about advancing any particular plot points or themes of Begins.
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