, 2022-07-01 11:30:00,
The Dark Knight trilogy remains a hugely beloved depiction of Batman, but the best version of Christopher Nolan’s flawed Gotham isn’t in live-action.
Christopher Nolan is credited with redefining superhero movies, but his best version of Gotham City wasn’t in The Dark Knight trilogy. After the dismal failure of 1997’s Batman & Robin, it was eight years before the Batman franchise was revived with Nolan’s far more grounded vision in Batman Begins. The Dark Knight trilogy remains hugely popular, but one point of contention is Nolan’s inconsistent and mundane depiction of Gotham.
2005’s Batman Begins delivered a grimy city that was rotten at its core, with the monorail leading to Wayne Tower contrasting well against the claustrophobia of The Narrows. However, with each sequel, Gotham shifted into a more ordinary metropolitan landscape. To some extent, this fits the increasingly mature tone of Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, but it also made Gotham a lot less interesting. It felt too close to New York and Chicago as opposed to the Gothic city of the comics. In his attempt to deliver a “realistic” version of Batman, Christopher Nolan stripped his movies of what should have been a crucial character – Gotham itself.
Nolan’s financial districts and stadium are no match for the surreal, nightmarish monstrosity envisioned by Tim Burton or even the neon-soaked decadence of Joel Schumacher. Ironically, the best version of Christopher Nolan’s Gotham can be found in the animated tie-in film Batman: Gotham Knight. Set between the events of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, the animated movie successfully…
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