The Dark Knight Rises
The Dark Knight Rises was a good movie. Seeing as it’s a Batman movie, it’s fine for the story to be a little far-fetched as long as it’s told well within the confines of the Batman world. The uncertainties and genuine surprises were well played. It had just enough references to current issues to make the story more potent, but not so much to be preachy or look like it’s trying to be more profound than it really was. I did think the prison dynamic that developed under a demagogic warlord was well done and I was reminded of Escape from New York.
I really liked Bane as a villain and I thought Catwoman was cool. And yes, even anarchists can like a movie where cops are good guys (though the Gotham police force is not portrayed as unambiguously good).
No, The Dark Knight Rises wasn’t as fun as The Avengers, but that’s a Joss Whedon project we’re talking about. Comparing the two films shows how the superhero genre can be told differently. The Avengers was a larger-than-life epic with comedy and cheese sprinkled tastefully throughout. The Dark Knight Rises was dark and gritty but kind of uplifting in it’s own way.
And as for the movie theater shooting in Aurora… this is why it shouldn’t be considered weird for a responsible person to carry a handgun to a movie theater. As we try to understand the root causes of such violence we should keep in mind that these kinds of crimes are rare and there are many more gun owners than there are murderers. Giving more power to people in government is not a real solution; building communities with a culture of respect for individual life and liberty is. It is not infrequent for police to shoot people under questionable or unacceptable circumstances and it is even more common for them to harass and victimize people. Police in Denver, which neighbors Aurora, even got t-shirts commemorating how they “BEAT the crowds.” The more that police are viewed as special protectors standing above the rest of us, the more they will adopt authoritarian mindsets, and the worse police violence will get.
I hope the families of the Aurora shooting victims are given space to mourn and I’m dismayed that this would need to be added to the discussion of the film.