Originally Posted by jmc
There's two schools of thought going on, those who feel these films should be comic booky and those who are perfectly fine with the films trying to do more. Lets look at the 'comic booky' thing - how exactly are we defining this? Is it all about the fun factor? Comics books aren't always fun, in fact more often than not they've actually got a solid story as the foundation for what's going on. Some of the best stories written for the page are about as fun as a kick to the groin. Comic books are a medium, they're not a genre.
The better term to use is 'superheroes'. What is a superhero? In basic terms it's someone who develops extraordinary abilities and uses it for good. The thing about that synopsis is that it's broad. There are films which do nothing more than stick to that synopsis, which is perfectly fine, however if every film was to be like that the genre never evolves. Enter Batman Begins, it really was the first film in recent times to try its hand at redefining what a superhero is, and more importantly what it means to be a superhero. It may not have re-written the rulebook but it made a very compelling argument that there's more here than meets the eye. When the storm that was TDK hit 3 year later suddenly the rule book was thrown entirely out the window, instead of just a superhero movie we had a crime drama, a genuine crime drama. Up until that point everyone was happy to sit comfortably in the costume and villains sandbox, but TDK shook the establishment and those tremors are still being felt to this day.
Thing people need to realise now is that the 'superhero' movie as we've known it is becoming extinct. The Avengers may be the pinnacle of a pure superhero movie, and perhaps the final time we will see such an unashamedly pure movie like it within its genre. The first film after it, Iron Man 3, is almost a complete 180 in terms of style and tone to not only Avengers but the preceding IM movies, it's not longer just a superhero film, it's feels more like a buddy cop action flick, and unsurprisingly it divided fans. Thor 2 looks far more like a proper fantasy movie now than it's first film ever did, and from all reports CA2 is more Bourne Identity like than its predecessor, and that's the influence from TDK coming into play, for without that movie and the film before it to elevate the genre there isn't going to be the drive to do anything really different within the genre. It may have happened eventually, but it wouldn't be now. Without Batman Begins and TDK we don't get Iron Man, Man of Steel, Amazing Spider-man, Star Trek, Casino Royale, Skyfall, and probably even Avengers, or at least not in the way they were released.
If TDK isn't what you want in a superhero movie then that's fine, if you want more colourful characters and a simpler plot then loving Avengers or Iron Man more is fine. I know people are going to scream to the high heavens that TDK influence wasn't as big as some make it out to be, and will debate against just how much it redefined the genre, but I honestly think if you say so you're letting how you feel about the movie get in the way of the reality of what's going on. TDK changed perspectives, and those changes are still being felt today.