Christopher Nolan's 'Dark Knight Trilogy' is one of cinemas greatest achievements, and all takes place in the same world. It's all grounded within the same timeline and has the same cast of characters throughout. The only thing that separates these films are it's individual look and feel. Each Batman film in this trilogy stands on it's own and is it's own genre. They all contain different cinematography, color palettes, character motivations, and story structure. For example: 'Batman Begins' is simply a superhero origin story. In my opinion it's the only film in the trilogy to feel like a 'Batman' film. That's not a bad thing. We all know Fear is the main theme in 'Begins', and after Batman conquers his fears he feels like he can save Gotham and it's the first glimmer of hope Bruce has seen in the city his entire life.
The first time where we see Bruce Wayne as the pupil/sidekick is also intriguing and was very impressed that the first ACT of the film took place outside of Gotham. It let the audience know this was a real world Batman and the events in Gotham effected the entire world. Bruce had to explore the world before saving Gotham. Our genre here is his origin, making him into a superhero. So simply, we have here: A superhero origin drama.
Next up is anarchy. While 'Begins' showed the criminals running scared and causing chaos in the streets, The Joker is the true agent of chaos. And that's why everything falls apart. The Joker is Batman's arch enemy in this film because he destroys Gotham's White Knight, Harvey Dent, by unleashing Two-Face on the city and manipulates him into killing; which forces the blame onto Batman. Batman has one rule: No killing. Joker breaks his rule by pure manipulation. Just when there was hope in the last film, Joker destroys any glimmer that Batman ever saw.
And like the last film, this movie takes place globally. There's a large set piece in China where Batman has to track down corrupt businessman, Lau. But this film is a Crime Drama. It does not feel like a superhero film. We are drawn into this movie by the suspense of cops and lawyers trying to kidnap a psychopathic clown, and when they can't get the job done; Batman takes matters into his own hands and it costs him everything.
The scarred half of Dent's face foreshadows the events that follow into the next film. It's a shame they killed the wrong villain because Joker totally would've shown up in "Rises" if not for Ledger's passing. Like Joker says, "I think you and I are destined to do this forever."
Lastly is the grand scale epic disaster film "The Dark Knight Rises." No, when I say "EPIC" film I mean the scale of the film is that of 'Titanic' Or 'Lord Of The Rings' territory. No, it's nowhere near as good as those films, but this film had an enormous budget and felt like a gigantic blockbuster epic. There was almost an hour of IMAX footage, at the time that had never been done before. Nolan used even more IMAX for 'Interstellar.' And when I say "Disaster Film" I mean parallel to that of movies like '2012' or 'San Andreas.' No, the movie isn't as bad as those, however there's a tremendous amount of destruction in this film. The plot is about a terrorist threatening to detonate a nuclear device in a civilian population for christ sake. And an awful lot of things get blown up f.y.i.
The movie, although weak in terms of story, features two of the greatest fight scenes in movie history. While the previous films theme's were Fear and Anarchy, this one is "Body." For Bane is the only Villain to ever break the Bat physically. Batman goes toe to toe with Bane, a mercenary, hell bent on incinerating Gotham. Not just about causing chaos, he was like Ras Al Ghul from 'Begins'. He just wants to cleanse the world of oppression. It's heartbreaking to watch when Batman get his back handed to him, and amazing when Batman kicks Bane's ass.
We also get our first Live Action Selina Kyle since Michelle Pfeiffer made everyone nerdgasm in the 90's. Anne Hathaway plays 'The Cat' purrrrfectly. Each movie takes place over the course of a different season. 'Begins' is clearly fall, 'Dark Knight' is summer, and 'Rises' is winter. Granted they all take place in a separate year, but each get their own taste of season.
And something Nolan does all too well, is mess with our minds and emotions. He tries to get us thinking. Which is a good confidence booster for our intelligence but makes us frustrated as fans. Did Batman really survive the blast? Was Alfred dreaming? Did Robin Blake become Batman/Nightwing? Either way the point of this film and holy trilogy is that "we are all Batman, and anyone can be." And from looking at these pictures as well as the different clips, you should be able to tell each has a story and genre of it's own; and can stand separately. Although it's not called a trilogy for nothing. Watch them side by side, you're in for a show tonight.