Thursday, August 16, 2007

I can't wait until Batman dies

But that's never going to happen, is it? Not with yet another sequel, The Dark Knight, in the works for the summer of '08.

What's up with this American fascination with comic-book movies in general and Batman movies in particular? Let's see, The Dark Knight will bring us up to six Batman films in the modern era -- seven if you count the 1966 film featuring the cast of the campy TV series. I don't know, maybe I'm forgetting a few. It sure seems like there have been more.

Each new entry is invariably described as "darker" and more serious than the others, but they're all fundamentally the same: the guy in the cape suffers a few setbacks from costumed villains, and eventually prevails. We get it, already. It's like if they kept making the same Rocky movie over and over. Oh, that's right: They did.

Anyway, how dark and serious can a movie be if the protagonist has to run around in a hood with the maneuverability of a salon hair dryer and a cape that would surely be sucked into the wheels of the Bat Cycle every time he took it out? Hey, Dark Knight: hope you packed some scissors in the utility belt.

The advance word on The Dark Knight is that the script focuses more on his detective skills. Good idea. Maybe they could also lose the costume. Give him a rumpled suit and half bottle of cheap whiskey in the desk drawer. Send in a leggy blonde to ask if something can be done about her husband. Now that's dark.

I've got nothing against comic books and graphic novels. But I sure hate the movies they inspire.

(One interesting tidbit from the Web site: the movie will include Heath Ledger and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Think if they could have signed Jake Gyllenhaal. Nothing like a homoerotic subtext to pack the seats of a summer action movie.)


Peter said...

I wonder at what point "dark" and therefore serious elements became an essential part of comic books. Probably about the time comic books became graphic novels.

You can keep your full-bleed color, high cover prices, brooding seriousness and graphic novels. When it comes to guys who put on weird costumes to fight crime, I'll take a good, old DC 80-page giant for twenty-five cents any day.

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Dave Knadler said...

My thinking exactly. Justice League of America all the way, baby. And I don't need any stinking movie about it, either.