Well, summer is over. School has started back, for most, and the tone at the local box office has changed. I believe this was a pretty good summer for films. The Avengers avenged, Spidey was back in action, The Dark Knight saved Gotham again, and the Bourne series birthed a new hero. However, which film was the best of the summer? One might easily look to the numbers and say, ‘The Avengers’, however, that’s not necessarily a fair comparison. For one, TDKR wasn’t released in 3D (hooray for Nolan!), which greatly decreased the monetary return, plus, should money determine the best film?

In my opinion, summer is about blockbusters (no offense to Moonlight Kingdom) and that brings us to two, The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises. And I really really enjoyed TheAvengers, but have to pick The Dark Knight Rises as the best film of the summer. In a sense, comparing these two is sort of like comparing apples and oranges. Yes they’re both blockbusters and they’re both superhero films, however, we are comparing the first installment of a film with a third. When The Avengers 3 comes out, then we can compare the two. Plus, TA has the advantage of using the various individual stories, like Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and The Hulk, to assist in character development. That being said, I go with Batman, and, as promised, here is one more theme I enjoyed from TDKR and some closing thoughts on the franchise.

(As always…SPOILERS).

One More Parallel

I mentioned one theme I enjoyed in an earlier post, and a second was the theme of resurrection. After Bane took the formerly reclusive Batman out to the wood shed and broke his back, Batman is then locked in a pit for a time. Even though it seems that our hero may be confined to this sort of prison for good, he eventually rises. After regaining a great deal of strength and returning to his heroic self, Bruce Wayne appears to be ready for battle. But, he continues to fall short until he exercises a great deal of faith to climb out of the pit.

I couldn’t help but think of the resurrection of Christ while watching this. As always, any earthly parallel falls short of Christ, but there are similarities. Jesus Christ, too, seemed to be defeated and locked in a pit (the grave) for a time. He, however, rose victoriously conquering the grave, giving his children the boldness to ask of death, “Where is your victory? Where is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:55)

I once heard John Piper comment on Christ’s death on the cross as Satan committing suicide. Satan knew what His death meant. The death of death and corruption for all time. Was this not also true of Bane? His severe beating of Batman only aided in Batman’s resurrection and, eventually, defeat of Bane.

Some Final Thoughts on the Batman Trilogy

It wasn’t too long ago when my father and I attended The Return of the King with several other friends. As the film ended, my father remarked, “It’s kind of sad that it’s over.” There was a sense in which we didn’t want an end to Frodo’s journey’s. Although different, a similar feeling occurred as I sat to watch, The Dark Knight Rises. Before the film even began, I didn’t want it to end. There was an anticipation for the lights to go down in the cinema, but I knew that meant the end of a great story. But isn’t that always the case? We don’t want good stories to end. Why is that?

Some of you may have read Christopher Nolan’s farewell letter to Batman. It was excellent and he’s illustrating this deep truth without even knowing it. Read an excerpt below (This forward appears in the book, The Art and Making of The Dark Knight Rises Trilogy):

Alfred. Gordon. Lucius. Bruce . . . Wayne. Names that have come to mean so much to me. Today, I’m three weeks from saying a final good-bye to these characters and their world. It’s my son’s ninth birthday. He was born as the Tumbler was being glued together in my garage from random parts of model kits. Much time, many changes…Michael, Morgan, Gary, Cillian, Liam, Heath, Christian . . . Bale. Names that have come to mean so much to me. My time in Gotham, looking after one of the greatest and most enduring figures in pop culture, has been the most challenging and rewarding experience a filmmaker could hope for. I will miss the Batman. I like to think that he’ll miss me, but he’s never been particularly sentimental.

The conclusion of The Dark Knight trilogy was obviously bittersweet for Nolan, and it should be. You see, we don’t want good stories to end, because the best story never ends. God’s story will last for an eternity for those who have faith in Jesus Christ. Enjoying a good story and not wanting it to end is simply illustrating the fact that we were created for an eternity. I can’t wait to see and enjoy that story more fully!

  1. […] sequels to the side. We should all desire for stories to keep going. In my recent reflections on The Dark Knight Rises, I said we never want good stories to end because the best story never does. We were all designed […]

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