The Unexpected Humor in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Movies
The Dark Knight’s most quippy big screen incarnation ever is in theaters this weekend with The Lego Batman Movie, but it’s easy to forget the Caped Crusader has been witty for quite some time underneath all of that brooding.
Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy is credited with making superheroes dark and grounded, but Nolan also injected small doses of charm into each film, allowing his Batman (Christian Bale) to get in a few one-liners (naturally, they almost all of these one-liners made their way into the trailers).
Are these lines actually funny? Well — they are not Guardians of the Galaxy or Tony Stark funny, but there’s something rather charming about them, almost like your distant, ultra serious dad cracking wise.
Here are some of those moments, as spoken by Bruce Wayne/Batman.
“Nice coat.” (Batman Begins)
Before disappearing for years, Bruce Wayne gave a man his cash and coat (“this is a nice coat” the man says repeatedly). The same man happened to be on the docks when Batman makes his first appearance in costume. When the fledgling superhero sees the man still wearing his old coat, he remarks, “nice coat.” What’s funny about this interaction is that The Dark Knight Rises establishes that one of Batman’s favorite ways of revealing his secret identity is through callbacks involving coats. He tells Gordon that he’s Bruce Wayne by hinting that anyone can be a hero, even just a man who draped a coat around a scared little boy’s shoulders.
“Does it come in black?” (Batman Begins)
This one definitely made its way into the trailer, with Lucius Fox showing off a Wayne Enterprise prototype that’s perfect for Batman, except for its camouflage coloring. Testing out the tumbler one of the few times in the franchise that Bruce actually seems to be enjoying himself.
“Well, a guy that dresses up like a bat clearly has issues.” (Batman Begins)
Bruce Wayne’s greatest acting job is pretending to be a pompous, billionaire playboy — and during a dinner…