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Reporter Shaun Byron and Video Editor Andrew DuPont sound-off on whatever is on their minds, from politics to pop-culture, from movies to the main stream media. Local, national, world-wide? If it's in the media mix, these two are sure to have an opinion on it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Should there be a Dark Knight sequel? Five reasons the answer is "no"

I doubt anyone can really argue that The Dark Knight is not a phenomenal movie. As far as sequels go, it's all anyone could ask for. It took the story established in Batman Begins and took it to the next level. Christian Bale was at his best. The story pulled no punches, and it showcased what it quite possible Heath Ledgers greatest performance. The ending leaves the door wide open for a third film, but should one be made? Director Chris Nolan is not committing just yet. For what it's worth, Nolan is one of my favorite directors, and has been since I first saw Memento. As rumors of potential villain casting persists and fan-made posters begin to fill the Internet, Nolan himself has been quoted as saying "I have to ask the question: How many good third movies in a franchise can people name?”

He has a good point. Movies that were perhaps not originally intended to be a trilogy end up running the story into the ground by the third time around. It's not just that the first or second film may be too hard an act to follow, sometimes everyone, from the cast to the fans, grow tired of the same thing, and a lack of creative energy results in films that may succeed commercially, but are ultimately regarded as failures.

Even though I really enjoyed The Dark Knight, here are five reason why a third Nolan-Bale Batman film should not be made.

5.) Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
The original director drops out, only one cast member returns, and the plot completely contradicts the previous film, which just happens to be legendary. A perfect example of when well enough should have been left alone. Now there's a TV series which complete ignores the story in the third movie, much like the rest of the world.
Fatal Flaw: Pointless sequel with gimmicky characters

4.) The Matrix Revolutions
Okay, so the second one wasn't all the great either, but it could have been had the third not dragged this groud-breaking film series into the depths of crappiness. Love it or hate it, nobody can deny the influence the first film has had on film making. So what went wrong? The sequel turned the notch up, adding increasingly complex plot devices and characters into an already convoluted story. The subtle symbolism and allegory presented in the first film ended up being a club the Wachowski brothers beat the audience over the head with by the time the trilogy wrapped up. And what are we treated to for the grand finale? After an entire film building up the idea that Neo and Smith are equals, we get to watch them fight... and fight... and fight... just like we did in the first film... and the second film. With all the pretension stripped away, all we've got is a bunch of complicated philosophical and moral conflicts settled by another long, CGI-powered fistfight.
Fatal Flaw: A shallow story trying to appear deep

3.) Spider-man 3
Speaking more directly to comic book films, Spider-man 3 really shows how a good thing can go bad fast. The first two Spider-man films were great adapatations. Despite the relative absurdity of the plots, the characters were convincing in context. Then the third film rolled around... and Sam Raimi made the same mistake that has condemed other comic book films: TOO MANY VILLIANS!!! The first two films built up a major conflict between Peter Parker and Harry Osborn, but the third threw in the Sandman AND Venom as well. Venom deserved his own movie, to be played by someone other than Topher Grace and not the afterthought treatment he got in this film. Taking a legendary villian and royally screwing them up is the easiest way to allienate fans. And of course there was dancing Emo-Peter...
Fatal Flaw: Too much of everything

2.) X-3 (X-Men III)
Sequels are expected to up the ante, but when the series already involves nearly two dozen characters, it is very easy to go overboard. This movie did just that, adding dozens of nameless characters as well as so many well-known ones that the real fight ends up being one for screentime. Then they took the Phoenix Saga, one of the most well-known stories in Marvel Comics history, and cram it into the film with everything else. Then there's characters like Nightcrawler, an awesome addition to X-2, that inexplicably disappeared in the third film without even a moment's notice. The finished product is just a big mess sold on the premise that people would pay just to see live-action versions of other famous characters, and nothing else.
Fatal Flaw: New characters trying to make up for a terrible story

1.) Batman Forever
It only got worse from here. So bad they had to reboot the entire series. It's unlikely Nolan would let go of the new Batman series now anyway, but this, like Terminator 3, shows what happens someone takes over for a more talented director. Rumor has it, the Riddler will be the next villain if Nolan makes a third film. With the darker tone these movies have taken, Jim Carrey's take on the role should be completely abandoned. I'm confident that would happen, just look how the two handled Two-Face in different ways.

And if nothing else, one word could ruin everything like it did here: ROBIN
Fatal Flaw: New director, cheesy characters, Robin, Robin, Robin and Robin

But I could be wrong. Just because the series goes on does not mean it will only get worse. Sure, it helps if you keep the same cast/director and have a story in mind long before production begins... but if you need movies that argue "yes" to making a third Batman, how about:

- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
- Return of the Jedi
- Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
- The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
- Army of Darkness (Evil Dead 3)
- Once upon a time in Mexico (Part 3 of "El Mariachie" trilogy)

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Blogger Monkey said...

The Dark Knight still makes me so happy it's hard to think of another Batman movie making me even happier. That being said, if a third film does get made and Nolan directs it, I'm sure that at the very least it won't suck as much as the films already discussed here. Just leave Robin and spandex jumpsuits out of it, and it should be just fine.

November 24, 2008 at 9:56 AM 

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