This post contains no spoilers for the Dark Knight Rises or the Avengers. So feel free to read on, even if you havent seen the two movies. This is not a full on review. It is about the two movies but not as much about the plot.
I managed to see “The Dark Knight Rises” on Saturday on IMAX. I was expectedly thrilled by it. It was the epic finish to the trilogy I hoped it would be. As a credit to Chris Nolan, I now expect to be blown away in every one of his movies. He is 41 and has a long career ahead of him. Looks like I am going to be watching every one of his releases (and yes, I have seen all his directorial ventures till date). I also got to watch the Avengers earlier in the year and loved it for being a fun movie- one that did full justice to the comic books without getting bogged down by the semantics. This post is not about which movie is better- that is for the fanboys to do. This is about how they contrast with each other and how it worked for me.
The Avengers is a great summer movie and the perfect definition of a blockbuster. It has a great cast of actors working with a comic book fan’s dream of a director in Joss Wheadon to come up with an utterly entertaining actioner. The characters are well defined and the actors deliver their lines as well as they could. Robert Downey Jr. shines as Iron Man while the rest of the superhero cast do their bit to make the movie a whole lot of fun. Marvel has always done a bang up job in treating its properties with the utmost care and this is no different. The action is big, plot is bigger and Wheadon still manages to make it as intimate an affair as it can be. Overall, very much recommended as a fun movie to watch with friends.
The Dark Knight Rises is the concluding part of the Batman trilogy by Christopher Nolan. Suffice to say like Nolan’s two other Batman movies, this one is brilliant. I will use hyperbole and say that this is quite possibly one of the most epic superhero movies I have ever seen. And the most ironic part about it is that it is one of the least likely superhero movies. Yes, it is a Batman movie but you’d be hard pressed to find the dark knight in very many frames performing your typical superhero stunts. This movie is all about the characters. Be it Bane or Selena Kyle (Catwoman) or Alfred or Lucius Fox, each character is flushed out and given their moment in the sun. And therein lies Nolan’s genius.
For all the action in the movie and there is quite a bit of it, at its heart, this movie is and feels like the concluding part of a sweeping epic drama. And that really is its difference with the Avengers. The Avengers offers light and breezy summer thrills. Yes, the world has to be saved but isnt that almost always the case in most superhero movies?. In the Dark Knight Rises, the world’s survival is not in question. It is all about Gotham. And rightfully so. Batman has and always will be the son of Gotham and fittingly the action revolves around the city. Every scene is heavy in anticipation and dread of what lies ahead. Humor is a rare commodity. The gravity of the situation is weighing down on everyone and you, the audience can feel it. The spectacular music adds to the emotion taking you along for the ride. And what a ride it is. As a standalone movie, the Dark Knight is probably more climactic but as a human drama, the Dark Knight Rises excels.
The Avengers is fun and cool. You know the superheroes are going to save the world. It is just a matter of how spectacularly they do it. The Dark Knight Rises is deep and emotional. You feel the pain. And you know that everything has a price. And Nolan gives you a ringside view. Hans Zimmer delivers an epic score worthy of the saga.
I loved both movies for what they are. I didn’t feel compelled to write about the Avengers after I walked out of the theater. I have been itching to write this since I walked out of the theater 48 or so hours ago. That is the impact Nolan’s movie has. I cant wait to see it again- maybe a back to back to back trilogy viewing marathon. There is so much awesomeness oozing in Nolan’s Dark Knight saga. Watch it. You won’t regret it. And if you haven’t seen the first two, try to see them before you watch the conclusion.