Went to see the Dark Knight with Guan and Mary this morning at Eastgardens. A very good movie, but not one I could say I enjoyed. For sheer entertainment value, I’d probably rate Iron Man over it – probably because there are more moments of levity, and in their respective roles Robert Downey Jnr is more fun than Christian Bale. But the Dark Knight had a much more terrifying villain in the form of Heath Ledger’s Joker, and a much more absorbing subplot in the form of Harvey Dent’s downfall. You can read a more detailed comparison of the two movies here, though note that the reviewer was intent on drinking a bottle of wine during each screening, so his assessment might not be the clearest.
There was a bunch of teenagers in the audience – I guess they must have been 14-15, though they looked about 10 to my ageing eyes. I know that I had a much greater capacity for gore and violence when I was that age, but the fact that they giggled and mocked during some pretty awful scenes made me think they probably weren’t old enough to handle a movie like that.
I think that rather than becoming desensitised to graphic stuff in movies, as time goes on I am even more affected by it. I remember absolutely loving Interview with the Vampire when I was a teenager, and watching it again a couple of years ago and thinking “Whoa. I don’t remember it being quite this gory.” I mean, it’s a movie about vampires for goodness’ sake. Or Silence of the Lambs, which I found fascinating when it first came out, but which terrifies me now. It’s a movie about a serial killer, it’s supposed to be terrifying. It’s much like mum rewatching Dirty Dancing and saying “I don’t remember them sleeping together!”, even though that’s basically what the movie was about.
Perhaps as I get older, get a better understanding of the brokenness of our world, and see the awful things people do to one another reported on the evening news, fictionalised terror no longer serves as entertainment. As a teenager, it’s all just a joke, it’s not real, you get a bit of a thrill and a buzz out of being scared and then you shake it off and walk out into the sunshine. But when you start to understand something of man’s inhumanity to man, it ceases to become something you can just shake off that easily.
I don’t think I’d want to live in Gotham, even if Batman was the perfect saviour.