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Batman: The Dark Knight Rises vs. The Avengers (no spoilers)

I’ve always been upfront about my inherent nerdiness/geekdom but I have to admit, this has been a banner year for my brethren. (and no, that wasn’t a Hulk pun *grin*)

Most of my friends have seen both Batman: The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers and it seems like the verdict is a resounding “Avengers is way better!” all around. I have to take exception to that because, in my mind, it’s like comparing apples and coconuts. Sure, they’re both round and taste yummy, but one’s got a hard outer shell and the other’s just easy to bite into. 

I love both these movies. I think they are both top of the line in their genres but yes, they are in different genres.

Avengers is a “typical” summer tent-pole movie with action, wit, humor, and awesome dialogue and special effects. It’s lighthearted and easy to digest and fun, all the way through. We don’t meet anyone new, we just get to have a hell of a lot of fun watching them all interact for the first time and the resulting drama/humor when a bunch of alpha personalities clash. 

Dark Knight, on the other hand, is… well, dark. And long. And has a trilogy to finish off, loose ends to tie up, characters to both introduce and weave into an existing universe. That’s a lot and it’s no wonder that it takes a solid 3 hours to get it done. Some people claimed to me that it dragged in its pacing, but I don’t think it did. I think people’s expectations of a summer tent-pole weren’t met and so they think the movie failed. 

If I’m honest, I have to admit (reluctantly) that I think TDKR is the better film. Please don’t burn my browncoat on the Joss alter, because that doesn’t mean I didn’t love Avengers. I absolutely did. But given all TDKR that had to work together into a cohesive and moving piece of work, it more than met the challenge. I was left wanting more even though it’s the last film in the trilogy and I knew that going in. 

A special shout-out has to go to Joseph Gordon-Levitt because he, imho, absolutely made the film. He was the lynchpin tying old and new together, although I won’t tell you why or how. He did a phenomenal job, as always, and I can’t wait to see him in his next movies, Looper and Premium Rush. And if you haven’t seen him in Brick, you need to, right now.

(As an odd notation, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tom Hardy, who played Bane in TDKR, worked together before on Inception. I wonder how their experiences compared on each set?)

In any case. I’m just thrilled that I got two such awesome movies this year. It does a geek girl’s heart good. 😀

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About Nancy M. Griffis

Author and screenwriter who loves scifi/action/adventure/urban fantasy genres. I have two published novels, Mind Games and Eternal Investigations, as well as a short story published for charity called "Home Fires Burning." All are available through amazon.com and barnesandnobles.com.

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Nancy at the Tim Burton exhibit in L.A.

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