EDITORIAL: The Dark Knight, Not as Realistic as You May Think!
Are you a Nolan or a Burton? Do you love The Dark Knight for it's "realism?" Follow the jump to see if it's as "realistic" as you think it is.
Since Christopher Nolan first presented the world with Batman Begins, the Nolan vs Burton debate has been a nonstop, ongoing argument among fans, with no apparent winners. They are all outstanding movies that look at the same character, in the same city, from two distinctly different points of view.
Burton's world, beginning with Batman, is a dark, mysterious version of both Gotham and Batman himself, that also gives us the outlandish visuals and styling found so often in the comics over the years. The costumes and settings are all larger than life and everything about the movies never, at any time, lets you forget, you're visiting a place that doesn't exist. It's all ripped from the comics to make it feel as if the pages themselves have "come to life."
On the other hand, Nolan's films have been set in the here and now, realistic version of Gotham, a city that could be any of a variety of actual existing cities, including but not limited to, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia. In these films Bruce Wayne has engineered his Batman persona to the utmost level money and training can take him. Everything about the films is geared to be believable or a distinct possibility, if a man in his position ever chose to do the things he does.
Before I go any further, let me make it CLEAR that I love all four films. The two directed by Burton are completely different viewing experiences than the two directed by Nolan. The things I am about to attempt to point out are somewhat obvious things that many of you have probably noticed. They are in no way, an attempt to "pick a comic book movie apart." I am well aware of the fact that this is a comic book world. These are simply things I have noticed in The Dark Knight that, in my opinion, make the "Nolan's Batman films are anchored in realism" aspect of the Nolan fans argument null and void. You may still think Nolan's are gold and Burtons are garbage but after reading this, you really should move on from the theory that Nolan's Batman films are "realistic".
The following things are just some things I would like to point out that for me, render Nolan's The Dark Knight anything but "realistic."
Remember, I love the films as much as you.
This first point, even I consider somewhat nit picking but I felt I should include it. After being bitten by a very large rottweiler, we see Bruce getting a large slash on his arm "stitched up" by Alfred. Have you ever seen a dog bite? It's a nasty thing to look at with an abundance of penetrations to the skin, in a plethora of patterns. A dog of 100lbs or more does not tackle you to the ground while shaking any part of your body between his teeth, and leave one singular incision. Doesn't happen.
The second thing that more than stands out to me is the fact that a 200lb man can jump off of anything he chooses on to the top of a moving van and any number of things will happen. One thing that can most certainly happen, is he can, as planned, incapacitate the driver. One thing that would never happen, is for the van to be instantly stopped in it's tracks, as if tied to an anchor or as if it hit a wall. There would be some sort of forward momentum (more times than not, a great deal of it.)
The third thing (this one is a great big, confusing can of worms) is the ballistic tests that Batman and Alfred conduct on the retrieved bullet lodged in the brick. There would be no need to painstakingly, mount a gun that you must painstakingly, aim and calibrate, to automatically move itself into place, in order to fire a bullet into four or five bricks, which were also painstakingly, placed in just the right place in order for them to receive these bullets. All he had to do was take aim at four bricks and fire, he would have achieved the same exact results. And what did he hope to achieve by doing this? Fingerprints! While going through all that aforementioned trouble would give you a fantastic ballistics match on what particular gun was used, it would never begin to give you the fingerprint you were searching for, on the bullet lodged in the original brick taken from the crime scene. Even if it informed you as to how the original shattered bullet should be placed back together, the fingerprints would have been wiped off upon entering the brick
The fourth thing that bothers the Hell out of me (as well as many die hard fans of the film) is that Batman (not alone mind you) falls what looks to be 400,000 stories into the top of a parked car and they both walk away. That's all I really think I need to say about that one. He is, if I remember correctly, a "non powered hero."
Fifth on the list, is the fact that Batman proceeds through Gotham on his motorcycle, shooting missiles at parked cars lined up under the tracks. Regardless of the fact that he had no idea if someone could possibly be sitting in one of those cars (just as the two boys who witness the event are doing), they are cars owned by citizens that he is supposedly trying to protect. We could discuss reckless endangerment or unlawful destruction of public property but there is no sense in that since we are all well aware that Batman is one of the good guys.
I won't even mention the fact that Harvey Dent is not only alive but walking around with half of a scabby, burnt, puss filled face that evidently is not a very painful ordeal at all.
I could go on but I think if I was trying to make any kind of point, I probably have already. I believe there are instances found right in the heart of The Dark Knight's "realistic" setting that take liberties Burton's Batman never dreamed of taking.
As I stated earlier, I love Nolan's Bat films. I also love Burton's Bat films. I don't think I prefer one over the other and while fans of each can argue their favorite until they're blue in the face, neither one should ever bring the term "realism" or "realistic" into the argument. There. I said it. I think that may have been my point.
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