The Longer Knight

Next weekend Christopher Nolan’s concluding entry in his Batman trilogy opens. There is no hyperbole in describing it as one of the most anticipated films of the year (Only Prometheus, Avengers, and The Hobbit are close). I am looking forward to seeing it and shall pay the extra to watch it on the IMAX screen, but I do have one reservation; the running time.

The preeminent US film critic, Roger Ebert, recently stated that the ideal length of a film was between 90 and 120 minutes. There are notable exceptions to that rule; Apocalypse Now and 2001 both add half an hour and Gone with the Wind doubles the maximum limit. There has been a recent trend for longer movies, even ones without the narrative breadth to require the time.

Chris Nolan’s Batman series demonstrates that increasing bloat. The first in the series, Batman Begins ran to 2hrs 20mins. The Dark Knight was 12 minutes longer and I felt it was an overlong film. The third film again adds 12 minutes, so it will be 2 hours and 44 minutes; just over an hour longer than Casablanca.

I have no doubt that TDKR will be visually stunning, filled with great performances, and have moments to make me gasp; I just hope that whilst I am watching it, I am not noticing the length and thinking of scenes that could be cut to bring the running time back to sanity.

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Published in: on 15 July, 2012 at 15:45  Leave a Comment  

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