Trilogies. There’s something about the three-film story format that appeals to not only fanboys and science fiction junkies, but the world at large. Nearly any great fantasy movie deserves a chance to expand upon the characters and ideas introduced in the first film, and even conclude its epic story in a third. So trilogies are par for the course when it comes to most of the movies released these days, though Marvel’s The Avengers has kind of broken the mold on how movies are interconnected. Why trilogies are so ingrained in our film culture is open to speculation, but the fact is that some of the best cinematic narratives exist within this tried-and-true system. Today we’re asking the question: When The Dark Knight Rises opens on July 20, will Christopher Nolan’s Batman saga become the greatest movie trilogy of all time?
Before you start with the “rabble rabble”, hear me out. I have put a lot of thought into this, often fueled by alcohol and post-hooker sex shame. Of course there are just some Nolan-haters who will never be pleased. I don’t take them into consideration, and neither should you. Some people, like moon-landing conspiracy theorists, just can’t handle awesome s@#t.
Star Wars, though one the original and definitive trilogies, has fallen off hard and steadily in many people’s eyes since George Lucas apparently lost his mind and decided he was an evil interdimensional being who feeds on negative fanboy reactions. If you can honestly tell me you haven’t lost respect for the entire franchise due to the prequels and endless, pointless revisions to the originals, I will give you $100.*
The Matrix could have been one of the greats had it not collapsed under the weight of its own genius and stumbled in the second and third installments, unable to live up to its own innovative story and filmmaking breakthroughs. I still hold a fond place in my heart for this series, but even I admit that it could have been much better. We all know that Sam Raimi’s Spiderman trilogy crapped out in the final film, shooting the entire franchise in the foot with a poor script, eyeliner, and emo dancing. Sony is already trying to push that turd out of our minds with a brand new take in The Amazing Spiderman, opening July 7. And let us not forget the Great Ratner-F*#@ing of the X-Men trilogy after a solid first film an excellent second. The list goes on, from Blade to the original Batman films, and even the Godfather Trilogy is considered less pure due to a boring and pointless third entry. The Lord of the Rings may be the only competition for the title of best trilogy, but as great as those films are, I find myself re-visiting Nolan’s Gotham more often than Jackson’s Middle Earth.
So what makes The Dark Knight Trilogy(man that feels good to type) different? Well, we can’t know for sure until July 20. But considering Nolan’s track record of consistently improving in his craft, and steadily building a fantastic series so far, I think we have little to fear in terms of a Spiderman 3-type misstep. The question is whether the end of the legend will live up the the brilliant beginning and shockingly gripping second chapter. If Nolan succeeds here the way we all hope he will, and blows us out of our seats with a final explosion of cinematic achievement, this could very well be the most well-rounded, solid, financially successful, critically acclaimed, and fanboy-approved trilogy of all time.
What do you think? Am I being unfair about some trilogies or do you agree?
*Can I borrow $100?