7 years

Top 5: Nolan’s best and worst Batman moments

We take a look at the best and worst moments from Christopher Nolan's first two Batman instalments; Batman Begins and The Dark Knight

(Written prior to The Dark Knight Rises)

The Best…

5. The Voice

A controversial choice, perhaps, but one that – when you stop and think about it – makes perfect sense. If you had a problem with Bale’s growling in Batman Begins, and particularly The Dark Knight, then take a step back. In the scene where Batman grabs bent cop Flass and puts the fear of God into him you soon realise this a very different beast (and we mean beast) to previous big-screen versions, and a big part of it is the voice – barely concealing a shaking rage.

4. The Train Fight

Although Nolan really got a grip of action sequences in The Dark Knight, this scene tonally summed up the difference between Ras Al Ghul and Batman perfectly, echoing advice given to Bruce Wayne earlier in the film. Finishing off with a fantastic image of Batman billowing out of the train, and the crash itself, it was an excellent way to finish off the film

3. The League of Shadows

Stealing every scene he is in, Neeson is the epitome of nonchalant malevolence in Batman Begins. Although perhaps not the most bombastic or terrifying villain Batman has faced over Nolan’s two films (that award surely goes to Heath Ledger’s Joker), he is perhaps the most psychologically interesting. Although the Joker presented a man with a terrifying anarchy and amorality, it was Neeson’s head of the League of Shadows that had the more interesting moral ambiguity. He also gets the best line in the script at the beginning of this clip.

2. The Slow Reveal

‘Where are you?!’ Batman does finally begin when he’s revealed in the dockyard. A slice of Batman at his very best.

1. The Interrogation

An example of how the Joker is Batman’s greatest adversary. Just by getting under his skin, the mental advantage is tipped in his favour and pushes Batman to breaking point. It is also filled with the dark humour associated with Ledger’s interpretation.

… and the worst.

5. The new Batcave

Beneath a shipping yard, really? How is that not incredibly exposed? Classically it’s below the Wayne Manor (destroyed in Batman Begins), but it’s hard to believe this would have even remotely the same level of disguise. Who built this exactly? We’re assuming Wayne didn’t do it with his own bare hands…

4. Batman Blowing Shit Up

Would a masked vigilante sworn to protect Gotham really just blow cars up willy-nilly, which may have folk in them, to get them out of the way?

3. Scarecrow’s dismissal

An excellent villain that deserved better after Cillian Murphy’s engaging turn in Batman Begins. Still at large, albeit defeated at the conclusion of the first film, the way Dr. Crane is reduced to a small time drug peddler who is swiftly rounded up with some Batman impersonators is a disservice. For a character who gave rise to some of the best imagery from Batman Begins, this was a clumsy way to round up his story.

2. The Batpod Flip

Talk about killing the wonder in a scene. Following the best action sequence in the film (perhaps the hospital scene runs it close), for which the soundtrack goes deathly silent to let it sink in, the spectacle is killed stone dead by a childish flip and turn up a wall on the Batpod. A whole articulated lorry flipping over is payoff enough, we didn’t need this cheap looking gimmick.

1. The Disappearance of The Narrows

What exactly happened to them between the two films? Echoing the Kowloon Walled City, it was a fantastic location for the character to operate in, and the decision to dispense with it in favour of a more realistic Chicago-like city for everything is perhaps questionable.

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