Batman is back in the news regarding the latest Justice League rumors. So I figured this was a good time to rehash this post from Modern Myth Media and give my own. Though there is no such thing as a bad time to talk about Batman. I love nearly everything about the trilogy. So this was difficult to narrow down. But there are some moments that are more awesome than others. So here, we, go:
"Bats are nocturnal"
This is the scene after one of Bruce's first nights as Batman. He's tired and beat up. Alfred swings open the blinds, waking up Bruce who says, "Bats are nocturnal". I thought this was a nice moment of lightness and real emotion from Bruce. That realness is one of the things I love about the trilogy. Bruce gets hurt. He sleeps during board meetings, or til 3 in the afternoon, which according to Alfred is pushing it, even for a billionaire playboy. And to top this scene off, even though he is tired, the first thing he does when he gets out of bed is pushups. He is fully dedicated to his job as Batman, which takes a lot of work.
The Joker meets the mob
This scene is just a ton of fun. He makes jokes. He shows he can handle himself physically. And he begins to establish himself as the arch-enemy of Batman. A new class of criminal has arrived.
Rachel slaps Bruce
This is a key moment in the trilogy. In a way, this is what convinces Bruce to become Batman. He had just seen Joe Chill get killed, which is something he wanted to do on his own to avenge his parents. But Rachel explains to an angry Bruce that vengence is not justice. And that unless good people do something, more people will be hurt just like Bruce was. Rachel's courage and moral strength influence Bruce. Bruce isn't the same without her.
The first Batman vs Bane fight
Batman is a complete badass. He is a highly trained ninja who is really smart and has a bunch of cool gadgets. Not many people can match up with him. The Joker matched his intellect. But no one really matches him physically until Bane. Batman pours all of his energy, training, and gadgets at Bane and it barely phases him. Everything about this scene makes it very tense. And of course it culminates in Bane breaking Batman. Thematically I like it because it shows Batman's vulnerability. And it sets up the rest of the movie in which Bruce has to find a way to fight back as the underdog.
The end of The Dark Knight
Things have completely gone to shit. The Joker has won. Harvey Dent is dead. Batman has failed. But because Bruce cares so much about Gotham, he decides to take the blame for what Dent has done. He is prepared to do anything in order to save Gotham, even become the villain. That sacrifice is what makes him a hero. That, along with Gordon's speech and the awesome music make what was a tragedy a great ending.
The prison climb
Bruce spent months healing his back and building back up his strength so that he could make a climb only one other person had ever been able to make. I like this mostly because of the theme. Bruce fails multiple times. But he keeps working at it and finds a way to get out. It harkens back to the beginning of the trilogy where he learns from his father that you can either stay down or get up and keep trying.
The Joker interrogation
The similarities between Batman and The Joker are apparent throughout TDK. They physically fight each other in other scenes. In this scene they have a philosophical fight. The Joker is challenging the very idea of Batman, who he is and why he does what he does. And he's so close to the truth (if not on it) that he angers Batman to the breaking point. And even though Bruce is full of rage, he still can't break the Joker. To kill the Joker is to kill Batman. They can't exist without each other. This scene highlights why they are the greatest hero and villain.
"Not everything, not yet"
Selina tries to convince Bruce to not take on Bane and try to save Gotham. She thinks he doesn't owe Gotham anything more. She thinks he's given Gotham everything. But he hasn't. He knows he might die. He even suggests he will. But that's why Batman is the hero. He is willing to give his life to save the people of Gotham. There's just something so beautiful and heartbreaking about the line and the way Christian Bale delivers it. To me, it's the essence of Batman.
The end of Rises
Where I define the end of this movie might be slightly arbitrary. I'll start it when he decides to fly the bomb out over the bay. There's so much great stuff from that point until the last shot. He tells Gordon he's Bruce Wayne, and why Gordon never had to thank him for all he had done as Batman. He supposedly dies getting the bomb away from Gotham, leaving Alfred heartbroken and feeling like a failure. He leaves Wayne Manor to the city to be used to house orphans. We find out that Blake was basically Robin, or a combination of the three major Robins from the comics. And all that happens with the depressing music signaling the death of Bruce/Batman.
But then, when Lucius learns that the autopilot to the Bat was fixed by Bruce, the music changes to the triumphant tone that signals the rise of Batman. Gordon gets a new Bat-signal, putting a great smile on his face. Blake gets directions to the Bat-cave. It all builds up to Alfred seeing Bruce alive in Florence, fulfilling Alfred's dream that Bruce move on with his life. And Blake makes his way through the cave, swarmed by bats, and onto the platform where the cape and cowl rest to take on the mantel as Batman. The Dark Knight has risen. Bat-perfection.