The Dark Knight Rises and the Trilogy Trend
Here’s a little thing I noticed – spoilers regarding something that The Dark Knight Rises has in common with the third parts of other movie trilogies…
The Dark Knight Rises continues the trend of third films in movie trilogies tending to look back to the first film in the series for inspiration, rather than the second. For example:
Return of the Jedi – After a second film set in entirely new locations, the third film returns to the setting (Tatooine) and threat (Death Star) of the first film.
Back to the Future Part III – After a second film featuring the characters undertaking lots of easy time-travel hops, the third film is like the first in that it’s mainly set in a single past time period, and the characters face a big challenge in getting back home.
Toy Story 3 – The film opens with a scene from the first movie, presented in a different way.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade – After a second film with a completely different villain, the third film returns to Nazis hunting a Christian relic (and they’re defeated when their faces melt or crumble).
Superman Returns (which I’m classing as a sequel to Superman II!) – After a second film with a completely different villain, the third film returns to Lex Luthor with a land grab scheme.
Die Hard With a Vengeance – After a second film with a completely different villain, the main baddie in the third film is is the brother of the villain killed in the first film.
Spider-Man 3 – After a second film with a completely different villain, one of the baddies in the third film is is the son of the villain killed in the first film.
The Dark Knight Rises – After a second film with a completely different villain, the main baddie in the third film is the daughter of the villain killed in the first film (and her allies belong to his organisation).
Of course, there are exceptions to this trend. Apart from the opening scene mentioned above, Toy Story 3 follows on from the second film more than the first. The Bourne Ultimatum does the same (partly due to the fact they are the pair that share a director – although having said that, it does look back to a certain line of dialogue from the first movie). The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions are also more tightly linked to each other than they are to The Matrix.
On the subject of The Dark Knight Rises and links between films: in the comments thread of Film Crit Hulk’s article on the film, someone linked to this piece pointing out a connection between the endings of most of Christopher Nolan’s films (except Following and Insomnia).