What’s up folks? Thanks to an overwhelmingly positive response from you guys on my last article, I started to wonder… why should Marvel get all the fun? This is the second instalment in my ‘trilogy’ of comicbookmovie.com articles highlighting the best moments in the biggest CBM franchises…
Cited by many as the series that forever changed the comic-book movie industry, Christopher Nolan’s dark and gritty trilogy has always been a favourite of mine. Full of heartwarming emotion, clever symbolism, memorable quotes and some fantastic villains, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises all rank amongst my Top 10 CBMs of all time.
Scroll down to check out some of my favourite moments from the trilogy below…
Ra’s Trains Bruce, Batman Begins
“Theatricality and deception are powerful agents. You must become more than just a man in the mind of your opponents.” – Ra’s Al Ghul
Despite having always been the ‘forgotten child’ of the trilogy, I’ve always found Batman Begins matches up to its sequels in almost every department. It’s blessed with a fantastic lead performance from Bale, a plot that twists and turns, and an underrated villain in Liam Neeson’s Ra’s Al Ghul – who has some of his best moments here while training an inexperienced Bruce Wayne.
Group Therapy Session, The Dark Knight
“Hahahahahahahaha ho hehe aha ha ho he ha aha… And I thought my jokes were bad.” – The Joker
Frequently referred to as the highlight of the whole trilogy, Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker was nothing short of magnificent. And while his first appearance in the movie’s opening sequence grabbed my attention, it was this scene that truly wowed me. Able to be both hilarious and frightening at the same time, Ledger’s Joker captivated the audience here, through one simple magic trick…
Batman Sacrifices Himself, The Dark Knight Rises
“A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a young boy’s shoulders to let him know that the world hadn’t ended.” – Batman
Throughout the trilogy, Batman has many heroic moments – but perhaps none more so selfess than in the Rises finale. With the clock ticking (albeit rather inconsistently) and time running out, Batman swoops in to save the day – but not before sharing an emotional goodbye with Selina and Gordon. While the final scene reveal may sour the romance of it a little, it still has to rank up there amongst Bats’ greatest acts.
The Aftermath & Robin Rises, The Dark Knight Rises
“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known…” – Jim Gordon
While The Dark Knight Rises was easily the most inconsistent of the three, it’s hard to deny how epic its last 20 minutes were. Nolan capped off his fantastic trilogy with a fitting epilogue – featuring Alfred’s emotional goodbye to Bruce, Gordon’s excerpt from Dickens’ A Tale Of Two Cities, and ‘Robin’ John Blake rising as Batman’s new successor.
10) The Tunnel Chase, The Dark Knight
“Come on, come on, come on, I want you to do it, I want you to do it. Come on, hit me. HIT ME!” – The Joker
It’s one of the best action sequences of the whole trilogy – and the first time Batman and the Joker go up against one another. In a masterstroke from composer Hans Zimmer, the whole scene is set to the sound of nothing more than a dull drone, which builds with the tension. Finally, the one-on-one face-off between the machine-gun wielding/suicidal Joker and the Bat-Pod was nothing short of sublime.
9) Bruce Makes The Climb, The Dark Knight Rises
“What does that mean?” – Bruce Wayne
“Rise.” – Prisoner
While the whole concept of ‘the climb’ gives rise to a number of plot holes in Rises, the scenes Nolan manages to create with it are superb. Featuring a fantastic call-back to Batman Begins’ “Why Do We Fall” quote, and Christian Bale at his absolute best, Bruce’s pain and struggle is truly inspiring. And as for that soundtrack… incredible stuff.
8) The Joker Vs Two-Face, The Dark Knight
“Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes… chaos.” – The Joker
The one thing The Dark Knight got right more than anything else were its villains. For me, The Joker and Harvey Dent remain the two best comic-book movie bad-guys we have ever seen (sorry Bane!). No other Batman film has quite managed to replicate what The Dark Knight did here, and find a perfect balance between its two villains. It’s a truly mesmerizing scene.
7) Rachel Finds Out, Batman Begins
“It’s not who I am underneath… but what I *do*… that defines me.” – Batman
God I love this scene. No matter how cheesy it gets, to me it’ll always be one of my favourite lines from the trilogy. If Bane has the best quotes in Rises, and The Joker wins The Dark Knight, then Bats beats all in the first movie. There’s something undeniably awesome about watching the Caped Crusader say something cool, and then just running off into the night. What a hero.
6) Bane’s Blackgate Speech, The Dark Knight Rises
“The powerful will be ripped from their decadent nests, and cast out into the cold world that we know and endure. Courts will be convened. Spoils will be enjoyed! Blood will be shed. The police will survive, as they learn to serve true justice. This great city, it will endure. Gotham will survive.” – Bane
Tom Hardy and Christopher Nolan created something special with Bane. While perhaps not as brilliant as The Joker, he was certainly as quotable, while also bringing a far more physically imposing threat. But what often gets lost underneath all of the fight scenes and Bane-voice impressions is how well Tom Hardy did in the role – essentially only being able to act with his eyes. And they are terrifying here.
5) Why Do We Fall, Batman Begins
“Why do we fall sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.” – Alfred Pennyworth
This quote represents the emotional core of a trilogy that had a surprising amount of heart. Popping up throughout the series, it’s most notably used when Alfred saves Bruce from his burning home. With the help of Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard’s poignant score, Alfred’s heartfelt and inspirational words still give create a warm, fuzzy feeling inside me every time I watch this scene. God I love My Cocaine Michael Caine.
4) Bane Breaks The Bat, The Dark Knight Rises
“Oh, you think darkness is your ally. But you merely adopted the dark; I was born in it, moulded by it. I didn’t see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but BLINDING!
The shadows betray you, because they belong to me!” – Bane
As I mentioned earlier, Bane’s inclusion in the series introduced a new kind of threat for Batman – someone who could match (and overpower) him physically. And boy, was he physical? His brutal takedown of the Dark Knight is only made more epic by his awesome dialogue. The villain toys with Batman, goading his spirit for a little while, before effortlessly breaking his body.
3) Leaves A Calling Card, Batman Begins
“I never said thank you.” – Jim Gordon
“And you’ll never have to.” – Batman
Batman Begins exceeded all expectations of it at the time of its release. Able to atone for Schumacher’s sins at the same time as creating a fantastic origin story, it surely must go down as one of the most successful reboot of all time. Ultimately though, Nolan managed top all of this with a single scene – capturing the selfless heroism of his protagonist, while foreshadowing the much-anticipated appearance of his archenemy.
2) The Joker’s Interrogation, The Dark Knight
“See, I’m not a monster. I’m just ahead of the curve.” – The Joker
Wow. I’ll forgive you for wondering why this scene isn’t number one. Tortured hero Vs. chaotic villain. It rarely gets any better than this. This is arguably the scene that won Heath Ledger his Oscar – and boy, is it a masterful performance from the late acting legend. Like his character says, despite all of Batman’s physicality and threats, there’s only one person in control here – and that’s The Joker.
1) The Hero Gotham Deserves, The Dark Knight
“So we’ll hunt him. Because he can take it. Because he’s not our hero. He’s a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Knight.” – Jim Gordon
That said, this scene is, without a doubt, my favourite moment from the whole trilogy – and potentially my favourite cinematic moment ever. It’s that good. From Hans Zimmer’s pulsating score, to Wally Pfister’s magnificent cinematography, to Jim Gordon’s excellent speech – nothing tops this. I’ll never forget how awestruck I was watching this movie in cinemas for the first time. This is why I love movies.
So there you have it folks! My ten favourite moments from The Dark Knight Trilogy. Do you agree with them, or have you got any other favourite moments? I’d love to know what you guys think in the comments.
Thanks for reading!
If you liked this, why not check out some of my other articles I’ve written over on CBM?