Culture

The Best Quote of the Dark Knight Trilogy

Batman Begins

First, the quote in question:

Bruce Wayne: They told me there was nothing out there, nothing to fear. But the night my parents were murdered I caught a glimpse of something. I’ve looked for it ever since. I went around the world, searched in all the shadows. And there is something out there in the darkness, something terrifying, something that will not stop until it gets revenge…me.

That’s awesome. That pretty much sums up Batman without mentioning anything about bats. Now if you’re saying “I don’t remember what movie that’s from,” it’s actually not used in any of the three Christopher Nolan Batman movies. This quote is taken from the teaser trailer for “Batman Begins,” if you were too lazy to click the above link or it didn’t work. This was the first look at Nolan’s Batman and for die-hard fans, it didn’t disappoint. I could go on about how dark, gritty, realistic and yet true to the comics it was, but that’s been done. As someone who grew up in the 90s and got to see “Batman Forever” and “Batman and Robin” in theaters, let me say that going into “Batman Begins,” I was worried. After all, when I was a kid the Bat-Suit had nipples. This monologue delivered by Christian Bale helped ease those worries. It was summer vacation of my sophomore year of high school when I saw “Batman Begins.” How big an impact it had on my life can probably be measured in…hell, everything. But that’s a discussion for another time.

If I can put on my “never satisfied asshole fan” hat, there is one thing that I would like to get nitpicky about, and that’s the use of the word ‘revenge’ in the monologue. In “Batman Begins,” Bruce Wayne looks for revenge on Joe Chill, the man who killed his parents. He doesn’t find it, though not for lack of trying. He went so far as to bring a loaded gun into a courthouse, which in Gotham is not that big of a deal now that I think about it. Having found only some revenge, he gets a good talking-to from childhood friend (and “I don’t want to date Batman” crazy lady) Rachel Dawes. Just for the record, if I couldn’t be Batman, I’d date him. Anyway, Rachel explains to Bruce the difference between justice and revenge. Turns out they’re not the same, so even Batman can be wrong. (Although Bruce wasn’t Batman yet.) For Rachel, justice is about harmony and revenge is about making yourself feel good.

Bruce takes this to heart, and it’s the reason why he can no longer be part of the League of Shadows, besides the whole destroy-your-hometown thing. Batman will not kill…unless you’re Two-Face, but to be fair he was already half dead so that doesn’t count as a full kill. Anyway, that’s my nitpick with the monologue: Batman isn’t out for revenge, he’s trying to bring justice to Gotham City. Taking out “revenge” and inserting “justice” doesn’t have that same intensity, though. And Batman’s justice is intense, but it’s not revenge. And you can’t say his revenge is bringing justice because they’re two different things and he knows that. So the monologue is flawed, but so is Batman. So is the Dark Knight Trilogy. But that doesn’t stop it from being the best superhero trilogy of all time, nor does it stop Batman from being the best hero of all time. And it certainly doesn’t stop this monologue from being one of the best of the trilogy. Fanboy out.