Christopher Nolan has become one of the most acclaimed filmmakers over the past two decades, with many people calling him one of, if not the best director of all time. Personally, I think he’s had a mixed career despite his immense talent and unique style.
I’ll start with what I like about Nolan. His films are unique and feel like they were made by a visionary rather than some studioheads. “Inception,” “The Prestige,” and “Memento” prove Nolan has the ability to work with complicated concepts and turn them into original, psychological dramas & thrillers. For example, there has never been a film like Memento which tells its story in reverse, most likely because directors are too afraid to copy Nolan’s style. He’s also made other great films, with Batman Begins being my favorite live-action Batman movie to date. With all that said, I have a lot of problems with Nolan — as well as his fan-base.
Firstly, I think Christopher Nolan’s career has been pretty disappointing for the last decade. “The Dark Knight Rises” and “Interstellar” were both filled with plot holes which many people ignore. “Dunkirk” was a decent movie, and while it succeeded in immersing the viewer, it never accomplished anything memorable. “Tenet” is by far Nolan’s most confusing and pretentious film, with a plot that moves far too quickly with little to no explanation. There’s enough plot points in that film for a full trilogy, but people still loved it because there were some unique visuals.
As I previously stated, I have problems with certain members of the Nolan fanbase. Specifically, the pseudo-intellectuals who say that Nolan is a genius who has every right to make an overly-complicated film, and if you don’t understand his movies, then you’re just not intelligent enough for them. The only fanbase surrounding a director that’s (much) worse is Zack Snyder’s. To be clear, I’m not saying that all Nolan fans are bad; I’m only saying that a few of them are bad.
I’ve met several people who tell me Nolan is their favorite director, and when I ask why, I always almost get this answer: “Because he made ‘The Dark Knight.'” This leads me to my next point: “The Dark Knight” is one of the most overrated movies ever made. While it’s definitely a very good film, the fact that people still consider it to be the gold standard for comic book movies baffles me, especially considering the release of movies such as “Logan,” “Joker,” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” “The Dark Knight,” despite its merits, has a terrible interpretation of Batman. Nolan fans completely ignore this fact and I’m frustrated that some people actually view the Christopher Nolan version of Batman to be the best.
This version of Batman is possibly the worst, since he’s not actually a hero. His motivation is to retire so that he can date someone else’s fiancée even though Gotham needs him to continue fighting crime, as proven with the Joker. The Batman character should always be ruthless and heroic; he should care more about saving lives than his retirement plans. Nolan’s Batman — maybe not in “Batman Begins” — isn’t a superhero, and he’s definitely not the real Dark Knight.
I don’t want people to read this and think I hate Christopher Nolan and believe he’s a bad director. That’s not the case. In fact, I think he’s an incredibly talented filmmaker who has made some of the best films of all time. The problem is that he has gotten too caught up with his complex concepts to the detriment of an enjoyable, well-crafted narrative, and he has a fanbase which ignores all flaws and will love all of his films no matter what. We need to put every director with great talent up to a higher standard and give fair criticism to their films; that’s how we get the best movies out of them. I’m still excited to see Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” film, and I hope he will put his talent to great use.