Originally Posted by BatLobsterRises
I have to agree. From a fan standpoint, Begins holds a special place. A VERY special place. But I always felt that it set itself up to be easily surpassed by sequels, and I think it definitely was. The filmmaking just went to higher and higher levels and became so much more commanding and epic. The sequels felt "bigger" in all the right ways.
Just a great trajectory for the whole series. But I understand why some fans still love Begins the most or have the most sentimental attachment to it completely.
And I love how much more important Begins feels after Rises too.
Yeah, it's always been about escalation. Things getting bigger and bigger. Like a balloon.
And that's why I never got my hopes up about Nolan doing a fourth movie, even if I wanted him to do more things with his approach (obviously, the Riddler or Strange). He was painting himself into an impossible corner with the theme of escalation - and I'm surprised he pulled off a third as gracefully as he did, even if it's not completely perfect. The balloon literally cannot get any bigger from here.
This is another personal reason I favor Begins. It's more intimate. I feel like a million great stories could take root around that level. My approach would've been more along the lines of really exploring that style of Batman and that style of Gotham. It felt like that exploration was over before it really got started. We had the beginnings of the Scarecrow, got a glimpse of Arkham, saw Batman prowling the streets a little, but it was a tease.
When I first saw Begins, I misinterpreted that tease as a promise. I thought Nolan was setting the stage to go deeper into that sort of thing, not essentially just dump it there.
I like 'street Batman', I guess.
I don't dislike the big scale stuff, but I feel like we've had plenty of it now, and I'd like to see us cool down from the 'bigger is better' mentality and just get into some rich mystery/noir storytelling.
The biggest thing that bugs me, though, is how Batman was nearly perfectly portrayed in Begins, but he gradually devolved going into TDK and got worse with TDKR. It was like, as the balloon expanded, Batman's competency and quality was slowly being pushed out of the room by it's girth.
And it's not just the voice getting worse, or the increasingly appearing stupefied :0 face, or the confusingly often abandonment of stealth or logical tactics established during his training and initial career, but the writing, the drama - both in terms of how he holds himself and how he appears or is shot by the camera. Batman seemed more and more like a plastic tool and less like Bruce showing his true face. He has less and less intelligent things to say as Batman, and seems more strained than cool and ominous when he says anything.
But more importantly than any of that, is the fact that he becomes less mature.
He goes from intelligent, mysterious, scary, careful, and efficient in Begins to utterly reckless, arrogant, and amateur by the time we hit Rises.
I know the pit was supposed to be the bit where he cures himself of his arrogance and recklessness (but not of the other portrayal problems). But these are common sense things, things that someone like Wayne spent years of his life discarding
to become the best he could possibly be and, you know, stay alive
doing what he's doing. He can't afford to be that childish and he's known it since Begins.
So why would he ever
behave like that, especially as he becomes more seasoned?
It's just counter to logic. It feels like Begins Batman should be the seasoned one we see at the end of his career, while Rises Batman acts like he should be the novice from the beginning (IF that). It's totally backwards, and along with the voice degradation, I'll forever be painfully distracted from fully enjoying the movies, even if I otherwise absolutely love them (excusing more minor nitpicks here and there).
This alone tempts me to call Begins my favorite, regardless of how blown up the balloon is or isn't at that point in the trilogy.