5 things I’m already sick of hearing about The Dark Knight Rises

Wednesday July 18th 2012


I still haven’t seen The Dark Knight Rises, Christopher Nolan’s $250million conclusion to his sombre, introspective Batman franchise, but like the vast majority of film fans, I’m eager to do so. One thing that’s made me slightly less enthusiastic about the prospect is the recent resurgence of that most heinous contingent of moviegoers, humourless superhero fans. They’ve been pouring out of the woodwork en masse since the first screenings of the movie took place a couple of weeks ago, eager to contribute their two cents to a conversation that shouldn’t even be happening yet.

Here are five of their most dubious claims:

“It’s just a great movie, objectively.”

Most of the lunacy that arises when discussing Christopher Nolan movies can be traced back to the idea that there’s some kind of equation that would allow mankind to perfect the filmmaking process, and that Nolan is well on his way to solving it. Tell a hardcore Batfan that you don’t like The Dark Knight and they’ll belligerently point out its placement in the IMDb Top 250, its 94% Rotten Tomatoes score and its numerous major awards, as if these things have the slightest fucking pertinence to your personal opinion of the film. Hard as it might be for them to understand, it’s a simple truth that movies have no objective merit, regardless of how many ‘fresh’ reviews they garner or how many nominations they get in the technical categories at the Academy Awards.

“Critics who write bad reviews of the film are just trolling.”

First off, if you believe this, don’t post a comment saying so beneath the review in question. You are giving the critic exactly what you perceive that they want. But more importantly, get a grip. Chris Tookey didn’t give The Dark Knight Rises two stars in the Daily Mail because he wanted to rile people up on the IMDb forums. He probably doesn’t even know how to find the IMDb forums. Newspaper critics are paid the same amount whatever they think of a movie, so why they’d go out of their way to engage with hoards of anonymous online detractors — some of them capable of death threats — is beyond me.

“You have to see it in IMAX. And on film.”

Full disclosure: I wasn’t invited to the The Dark Knight Rises‘s IMAX press screening in Central London this morning, so forgive me if this point is coloured by that fact. But should I ever have the privilege to see the film in IMAX, I hereby swear that I will not leave the cinema and immediately tweet about how everybody *has* to see the film as Nolan intended it (which means not just in IMAX, but in one of the small handful of IMAX cinemas that are showing the film from film rather than digital). Such tweets aren’t designed to tip people off to the pleasures of 70mm film — after all, if you haven’t already booked your IMAX tickets, you’re pretty much fucked from now until mid-August. They’re designed purely to show off, and to ensure that the author will still have some shred of superiority over the plebs once the film opens worldwide this Friday and is no longer a secret club for film critics and industry cunts.

“I already know I’m going to love it.”

The confidence that Nolan’s fans have had in him since Batman Begins is astonishing. In their eyes, he is literally incapable of doing any wrong. More amazingly, he doesn’t yet appear to have let it go to his head: while the quality of his movies has varied over the last decade, his dedication to them has remained pretty constant. But keep up this ‘we are not worthy’ bullshit and eventually he’s going to go the way of every other auteur who was told repeatedly by their fans that their movies were guaranteed to be brilliant: he’s going to make Lady in the Water just to prove them wrong.

“It’s probably the best movie of 2012.”

You haven’t even seen The Lorax yet, you premature fuck.