Why trilogies are a bad thing for comic book movies
I think some directors are too constrained by the idea of wrapping up a super hero's arch within three movies. These heroes have decades of stories to tell, and three movies do not do them justice. I think, for some comic book movies, they should have expanded the series to at least four films.
I'm going to discuss why directors of CBM's shouldn't set up their films for just three movies.
SPOILERS: If you haven't seen either The Dark Knight Rises or Spider-Man 3, though I can't imagine anybody not seeing them by this point, I warn you this is spoiler-filled.
In this article, I'm going to talk about two movies that could have been greatly improved, had they had the freedom of another film. The two films are The Dark Knight Rises and Spider-Man 3.
The Dark Knight Rises has been seen as a superior ending to Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, finishing on a higher note than Raimi's Spider-Man series.
However, I think both of these films should have been expanded into two parts, much like the final Harry Potter film, and what The Hobbit initially was supposed to be.
The Dark Knight Rises
While I thoroughly enjoyed The Dark Knight Rises, there were quite a few areas I feel that could have been expanded on.
To start off with, I don't like that Bruce Wayne had to go on the same journey twice throughout the film. When The Dark Knight Rises opens, Bruce Wayne is a recluse, hiding behind his cane from his injuries. With the arrival of Bane, he decides to put his body back into shape to take on this new threat.
Great, right? Perfect way to bring Bruce Wayne and Batman back to Gotham. However, Christopher Nolan has him do this same character journey twice. He is able to come back as Batman, much in the same fashion he first appeared in Batman Begins, but Bane breaks his back, and condemns him to a prison, broken once again.
If The Dark Knight Rises had been broken into two films, we could have seen Bruce Wayne return as Batman to take on Bane in the first film. He would have stilled had the same conflicts with Alfred, and still have the reunion with Gordon.
The first film could have ended with Bane breaking Batman's back, and seeing that, despite his best efforts, he was back to square one.
This would have also helped the time line in The Dark Knight Rises. We are told that the bomb will explode in about 5 or 6 months, and in the blink of an eye, Nolan speeds time up to just hours before the bomb explodes. The break in between movies could have given the audience time to breathe and realize just how long Gotham had been under siege.
This would have also helped to give characters like John Blake to grow, and given him the freedom to find out Batman's true identity, instead of the somewhat cop out excuse of "just knowing."
Through two films for The Dark Knight Rises, they could have saved the "big reveal" of Miranda Tate as Talia until the second movie, giving the audience more time to feel connected with her.
Like I said, I really enjoyed The Dark Knight Rises, but felt some of the areas, as I've described, were too rushed.
This section isn't going to bash Venom in the movie, or "emo-Peter," but like The Dark Knight Rises, it suffered from a character overload that could have been more developed through a Spider-Man 3, Part I and Spider-Man 3, Part II. I mean, the movie had enough villains for two movies: Sandman, New Goblin, Venom, and Black Suited Spider-Man (who I consider a villain).
To start out with, I think the biggest villain in Part I would have been Sandman. He was constantly in the film, but seemed to take a backseat to other villains like Harry and Venom. Sam Raimi could have kept much of the same ideas from Spider-Man 3 in Part I. I would have had Spider-Man in the black suit for much of the film, having to overcome that obstacle, while battling Sandman. The ending battle could have been the giant sand creature Sandman became, without taking too much from the the film.
As for the handling of Venom and Harry, I think they could have been saved for Part II. I wouldn't have given Harry amnesia, but instead had him masterminding his own plan during Part I. The final time Spidey and Harry meet could have been similar to Spider-Man 3 with black suited Spider-Man whipping a pumpkin bomb near Harry's face.
The final few scenes would have been Spider-Man shedding the symbiote in the church, and having Eddie Brock taken into the symbiote. Then the regular suited Spider-Man could battle Sandman, and the second movie would deal with the ramifications of Spider-Man when he was under the control of the symbiote.
This way, both Venom and Harry could have had bigger roles, rather than just a few quick scenes. The second part would have dealt with Peter getting M.J. back, as well as convincing Harry he didn't kill his father (and maybe come up with something other than that god-awful scene with the butler confessing).
I think films like Thor and Captain America realize they cannot just have three films, hence having subhead titles (The Dark World and The Winter Soldier). This way, the films can continue for a while, past the trilogy stages.
I know this was a long article, so if you have any questions, comments, criticisms, please sound off below, and thanks for reading!!
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