"The Dark Knight Trilogy" is a pretty arrogant term for the "Nolanverse" Batman movies. On that note, "Nolanverse" is a pretty clunky catch-all term for the most recent Batman pictures, but whatever. Notice they didn't call it the "Batman Begins" trilogy, and I'm sure the fact that Batman Begins didn't make a billion dollars at the box office has nothing to do with that. Nope.
It shows DC Comics and Warner Bros. have no clue what they're doing. They're blind, grasping tightly to whatever made them money the most recently, instead of trying to figure out HOW these films made money in the first place. The only reason we didn't get more Joel Schumacher garbage is because "Batman & Robin" tanked at the box office. Nobody got the sudden epiphany that he was the wrong director, or that they were putting too much pressure on him to make it into a toy commercial.
Those movies didn't stop getting made because they were awful. They stopped when they stopped making money. That's it.
"The Dark Knight Trilogy" also presumes that these are the three films that make up that entire story:
But I think we're forgetting something. This is not a trilogy. There are FOUR movies here:
"Gotham Knight" is a collection of animated shorts(not unlike "The Animatrix") that takes place in between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. The events of Begins are referenced more than enough times for it to be coincidence, even if in later years they've tried to make its' connection more vague. Nolan didn't direct any of them, although it was produced by his wife and frequent career partner, Emma Thomas.
That means "The Dark Knight", the one with Heath Ledger's Joker, is actually the THIRD film. Which would make "Rises" the "On Stranger Tides" of this franchise. But I gather people either don't remember Gotham Knight, or they just don't count it because it's animated, and because Chris Nolan didn't direct it.
Fine. Okay. Let's say we want to retcon this, so only the "good" ones are canon. Let's chop the odd one out so this can be a legitimate, seamless trilogy:
Tell me that doesn't look better. Tell me the lack of a mumbling idiot played by Tom Hardy in a Goatse mask is something you genuinely miss from this lineup.
Even considering the sudden change from live-action to animation and back, I still think that looks like a more focused three-act structure. That is a trilogy. That is what it's supposed to look like: a breath of fresh air, a chance for experimentation, and then a thrilling conclusion.
Hey, at least my way, it ends on a high note.
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