Way back at the turn of the Millennium (yes, in the year 2000) I remember watching a trailer for a film entitled Memento. The film looked strangely appealing with Guy Pearce’s character admitting he had a “condition” which only allowed him to remember things in 15 minute increments before completely forgetting everything. As he was trying to solve his wife’s murder, this seemed to be a handicap. As I watched that trailer and in the following weeks read reviews and spoke with fellow movie buffs, I became more and more excited to the point that I was worried when I watched the film it wouldn’t live up to the hype. Well the film was as incredible and captivating as I thought it would be so I made special note to find about the director. His name is Chris Nolan.
Nolan followed up that masterpiece with Insomnia and The Prestige, two more films that made me remember why I loved films so much. Chris Nolan (and sibling-screenwriting partner Jonathan) has a gift of grabbing your attention to the point that you forget you are watching a movie. When I heard that Chris was going to reboot the Batman franchise, it was like Christmas morning, getting my driver’s license and my 19th birthday all rolled into one. As an admitted former comic-book geek (some in my house may argue the “former” part) and Nolan’s biggest fan I couldn’t wait to see what he would bring to one of the darkest and most storied characters of all time. Well, I think it is safe to say that myself and about a billion people around the world are happy with the result. Batman Begins and its sequel The Dark Knight are arguably the two greatest comic-book adaptations in film history. The story-telling, the realism, the emotional element. Those movies made it seem like Batman could actually exist. There was only one question after The Dark Knight: how would it all end.
When Nolan announced that The Dark Knight Rises would be his final Batman film and wrap up the trilogy, it was a bittersweet moment. I mean this is the director who, between Batman films, sneaked out a little film called Inception and while it is doubtful that no director can ever come close to the Nolan-Batman partnership, the last thing we need is for Nolan to sell out as we watch Batman 8: Alfred dons the Cowl. He was able to lay out a storyline over three films with a beginning, middle and end in true Nolan style.
That brings me to the title of this post. Thank you, Chris Nolan. Thank you for making the final film an epic, powerful, gripping and satisfying conclusion to one of the greatest film series’ in history. Thank you for keeping story lines consistent, characters interesting, events in Batman Begins holding importance in The Dark Knight Rises. Thank you for not caving to the relentless fan-boy blogs who insisted on The Riddler or The Penguin as a nemesis. Thank you for, as you did with Memento, making a film that easily stands up to the hype. Most of all, thank you for providing an ending that satisfies everyone and not only stays true to the whole story but clearly shows that you will not go back on your word and run this franchise into the ground. It has been an amazing 7-year ride and it will live on in my DVD player for a long time.
For those of you that are having a hard time letting go, remember that the new Superman franchise begins next year with Nolan as an Executive Producer. Although he is not directing, the screenplay for the first film, Man of Steel, was written by the Brothers Nolan and David Goyer, the exact team who wrote the Batman films. History may not repeat itself, but it will definitely take us on another hell of a ride.