I saw The Dark Knight Rises this weekend, and it was an incredible movie-going experience. My full review is forthcoming, but today I want to touch on something. One of the big debates is which is better – The Avengers or TDKR? Well, I’m here to provide you with the definitive answer…
The Dark Knight Rises. And it’s not even close.
Don’t get me wrong; The Avengers is great. After all, I gave it 5 boots out of 5, so don’t try to label me a “hater.” But its greatness lies solely in its pure entertainment value. It is carried by its wit and non-stop action. TDKR, on the other hand, is so much more. It’s a film with true purpose. The characters and story contain an emotional depth that The Avengers simply does not have.
I understand why Marvel fanboys are jealous of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, but as a true Batman fan I can say that Nolan has done a masterful job of taking Batman back to his roots as The Dark Knight and has a created a world where we can believe that Batman and his adversaries could truly exist.
In my opinion, Nolan has created the ultimate Batman – a Bruce Wayne and Batman that we can relate to. He’s a Batman with emotional depth and an internal struggle. I love all the characters in The Avengers, but there is no emotional connection. The story isn’t very strong, and though Loki does an adequate job as a villain, he pales in comparison to Bane.
“But this isn’t the Bane from the comic books!”
Thank goodness. I assume you’re referring to the Bane that’s only been around since 1993? Let’s not get too carried away on our assertions that Nolan has violated some sacred character backstory here. A cartoonishly roided up monster wouldn’t have worked in Nolan’s realistic universe. Besides, Nolan’s Bane is much creepier because he (much like the Joker) is developed in such a way that he’s believable. I got the sense that someone could pull off something like this in today’s world, and that’s frightening. Loki’s plan to steal the tessaract and take over the world? Yeah, I’m not losing too much sleep over the eventuality of that one.
Complaints about how this isn’t the “true Batman” betray themselves because there has never been a definitive version of Batman.
“But Batman isn’t a quitter! Nolan violates this sacred fact!”
Actually, Bruce Wayne quits on at least three different occasions in the comics, and in one version he marries Selina Kyle, has a kid, and retires as Batman for the sake of his daughter.
Nolan had his own vision (which draws heavy inspiration from Frank Miller’s version of The Dark Knight) because there’s no way to swim through 70+ years of comics, tie together the multiple backstories for the characters, and create a cohesive storyline that everybody would be happy about. Plus, he had a story arc to complete in three movies. Sure, he could just leave everything open-ended and continue to make Batman films as long as they made loads of money, but he had a creative vision to complete and with that comes some sense of closure.
The biggest argument I hear from those in the minority who think The Avengers is better is that it supposedly stays more true to the comics than Batman does. I’m sure I could do some research and nitpick the holes in that proclamation, but I have neither the time nor interest to do so.
The bottom line is every comic changes – not just Batman. The argument comes down to the fact that some are upset that this isn’t “your Batman” and therefore you aren’t happy about it. Well, here’s the breaking news for today – there’s no definitive “your Batman” for anybody. Nolan took his own daring approach and succeeded in creating the greatest collection of superhero movies of all time.
As always, this is just my opinion; you could be wrong.
What are your thoughts on this very pressing issue?