Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers

After this weekend’s big premier, the question floating around the nerd-o-sphere is . . . The Dark Knight Rises or The Avengers?

You know the comparisons are coming. When Marvel and DC put out their two most anticipated movies in the same summer, everyone is going to have an opinion on which was better. And if there were ever two better movies to choose from, I certainly don’t know what they are. So here’s my opinion on the matter.

They cannot be compared.

The Avengers was epic, shot on a grand scale that wowed audiences worldwide. It had the perfect blend of Joss Whedon humor and deep, internal character struggle, with all the highs and lows in between to take the film beyond an “ordinary” action film. The action sequences were massive but meaningful, with characters that we’re invested in battling side by side, the fate of the whole world in the balance. It was a crowd pleaser. Fun, plain and simple.

The Dark Knight Rises, on the other hand, was anything but fun. It was dark and passionate. It brooded and despaired, making the audience feel ever moment of Bruce Wayne’s pain. (Spoilers ahead.) It brought the Christopher Nolan reboot full circle, ending where it began – with Ras al Ghul’s plan for wiping out Gotham city, and Batman’s struggle to save it. It was heart wrenching and the perfect end to an amazing trilogy.

I cannot say which of the two I liked better, because I simply cannot find a way to compare them. Apart from their comic book roots, these two movies are as different as night and day. What I can say is that this has been the most incredible summer of all time, one that comic book fans will not soon forget. These two movies proved without a shadow of a doubt that the age of the superhero is upon us. Comic books, and the movies based on them, are no longer seen as  men running around in tights, rescuing beautiful  albeit insipid  women. They’re epic tales of heroism, of good triumphing over evil no matter the cost. They’re here to remind us that for all humanity’s flaws, there’s something in us worth fighting for, and people who will step up to lead the fight.

For every child that ever tied a towel around their neck and imagined it a cape, this summer is dedicated to us.

Avengers assemble.

Dark Knight rise.

Comic book fans – applaud.


  1. Haven't seen Batman, yet, but I'm not holding my breath. Dark Knight was overrated. Good but not great. Nolan tends to be overrated. I haven't seen Memento, but The Prestige is the best I've seen by him.
    At any rate, I'm hoping to make the new one this week.

  2. Haven't seen either movie yet but I plan to see Dark Knight next weekend. Have seen both Memento (loved it) and The Prestige (ditto).

  3. You're right, you can't compare them, because these movies are two very different styles. One is rapid fire fun, the other serious and dark. I thought Dark Knight Rises was amazing, although almost too dark at times. And the ending was perfect.

  4. They're polar opposites, so that's exactly why some fans will have an easy time comparing them. They're two very different ways of doing superheroes.

  5. It has been a great summer. Hurray for us! I thought Spidey was a great movie too. That's a trifecta of comic goodness.

  6. S.L., you're right. Both films are great, but they are vastly different.

  7. I'm a geek left out of all this fun. I'll have to wait until both come on to DVD before I see them.

  8. Very true, it's nigh impossible to compare them. I loved the Dark Knight Rises, but the Avengers just tips it for me due to Whedon's brilliant use of humour. Still, Christopher Nolan can do no wrong.

  9. Good post! I agree, they are too different to compare. Though I am not a huge Batman fan so I would pick the Avengers if I had to. I also love how Whedon combines the darkness with humour.

    Allison (Geek Banter)