I originally posted the following on a Facebook discussion group I participate in, but I thought it might be of interest to all you Alexandrians in the light of the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado.
I was just thinking about this–I haven’t seen The Dark Knight Rises yet, and I was trying to decide if I will, in light of Aurora. I saw “Batman Begins” and thought it was the best Batman movie made up to that time. I watched “The Dark Knight” and was both greatly disappointed and depressed. Unlike the majority of the critics who praised Heath Ledger’s performance, I found it flat, nasty, nihilistic, and hard to watch. I still think the best interpretation was in the animated series, where Mark Hamill did the voice of the Joker.
Before all this stuff went down, I was planning to go see The Dark Knight Rises in the hope that Nolan would redeem himself with the last entry in the series. I was unsure about having Bane in it (he’s so connected to the “Knightfall” arc in the comics that I’ve always thought he wouldn’t work as just a generic Batman villain in a movie), but Catwoman is one of the more interesting Batman villains, and I like Anne Hathaway. Then came the shooting and the discussion of all the darkness and the seeming fetishization of authoritarianism in the current movie. The hopes I’d had for the third movie were shattered. I’ve been trying to decide what to do. What I’ve come up with is this–I’m not going to see it in the theater. One, I don’t want to spend that much money to go out to see something I probably won’t enjoy; and two, just on the off chance that some crazed copycat happens to pick that theater–well, sounds crazy, but in this day and age, is a movie worth your life?
I think I will eventually see it on DVD or Netflix, but not because I “want” to. It doesn’t sound like something I’ll like, or that will make me feel good. However, I think it might be important to watch it in terms of seeing just what Nolan has done, what kinds of syncs and resonances it has, and what it says about contemporary pop culture in light of current events. In short, I think I might be obligated to watch it, not for fun, but to be able to discuss it intelligently in years to come. Like it or not, it’s a watershed, and I’d rather be able to dismiss it with intelligent discussion than to say, “Nah, never watched it.”
I’m interested in what everybody else thinks about this, especially those who haven’t seen the movie yet. What are your plans, and why?