DonAithnen (donaithnen) wrote,

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Dark Knight Rises (and why I might not go see it)

I'm not sure if I'm going to go see Dark Knight Rises.

I'm going to wait for reviews and to find out what friends think. I'm not just waiting to find out if it's good or not, I'm waiting to find out if it's depressing or not. The Dark Knight was very good. It was also very dark and depressing. A film making you depressed and sad is not necessarily a bad thing, in fact it's probably a sign of good film making. But I'm not sure if I'm ever going to watch The Dark Knight again. It was good, but I've seen it, and I don't really think the value to be gained by watching it again would be worth getting depressed and sad again.

The Dark Knight isn't the only very good movie I've seen that I don't feel the need to rewatch. However not every depressing movie gets that treatment. Kick-Ass was rather depressing in parts, but I've watched that multiple times. (I'm sure there other examples though they're not coming to mind right now. I may need to do a search of my movie library.)

The Batman series on the other hand has managed to not only convince me not to rewatch The Dark Knight, but also potentially convinced me preemptively to not watch Dark Knight Rises even once. So what's different about it?

I think it's because what happens to Batman doesn't matter. If you look back far enough the Batman film franchise has been rebooted four times. (Started in 1943, rebooted in 1949, 1966, 1989, 2005.) We know it's going to be rebooted again after Dark Knight Rises. And that's only counting in film! I have no idea how many reboots there have been if you count all the different TV versions and comic reboots.

When tragic things happened to the characters in Kick-Ass i had to accept that, because that was their only reality. If tragic things happen to Batman... well, i can always just go watch or read something about some other Batman instead. Or another way of looking at it, there are already a dozen or more Batmans i haven't watched or read and which i don't really ever intend to get around to, so one more than i don't see isn't really changing things much.

Superman is in very much the same category, with even more reboots than Batman. Which i think is why a lot of people were not happy with Superman Returns, but there wasn't the kind of massive internet nerd outrage that we've seen for Michael Bay's (proposed) adaptions of Transformers and TMNT. likewise with Spider-Man, i don't care that much how good or bad the new reboot is when the last reboot was just a decade ago. (Though i must say, the new person they got to play Spider-Man really doesn't look dorky enough to be Peter Parker to me.)

This isn't to say that drama and tragedy aren't important in art (and obviously trying to do Batman or Superman without a certain amount of tragedy is just impossible because of their backstories) just that if it goes beyond a certain point it can turn viewers/readers off, and the point at which that happens is likely to be lower if there are other stories about the same character that can be had instead. So for characters like Batman and Superman any tragedy has to be significantly outweighed by awesomeness or humor or something.

This is also of course not to say that i absolutely won't go see Dark Knight Rises, just that i'm going to see what people think and try to get an impression on whether it sufficiently balances the tragedy and awesome scales, or if i'd be better off watching Batman Begins again, or Batman Beyond, or Batman Something Else.
Tags: comics, movies

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