Through the meandering halls and infinite tubes of this home we call ‘internet,’ the distinct click-clacking of a solitary fandom can be heard, readying their calloused and nimble fingers in a call-to-arms to defend what some would call a masterpiece, and others would call a ‘movie.’
It’s a bone-chilling thought: an army of faceless warriors, unstoppable in their ability to string together a simple sentence, marching on the blogs and websites of those whom they deem enemy. Surely, Marshall Fine will have a restless night, tossing and turning, opening his eyes wide at the mere ruffling of a sheet or settling of a foundation.
Beware, Marshall, for the army has your scent.
And yet, as the dawn turns into day, on this Friday, the 18th, and The Dark Knight is released upon the humble and unsuspecting theaters across this nation, soon to be followed by the world, one must stop and ponder: does Batman deserve a mature and rational treatise such as that given to it by Christopher Nolan?
If one were to base their opinion on the reaction of the legions of followers of this highly anticipated sequel to 2005’s Batman Begins, it might be plausible — and it might be needed — to ditch the effort all together in lieu of a return to a campier, more kid-oriented (i.e., better suited to appear in a McDonald’s Happy Meal) version of Batman, ala the 1990s.
At around ten this morning, I checked out Rotten Tomato’s Dark Knight page and found that out of the 15 reviews counted, not a single one was negative. Hovering at a healthy 100%, with a ‘fresh’ rating, The Dark Knight was, if the forums were to believed, going to do the impossible: retain a 100% rating, with absolutely no negative review counted.
The stage was set, then. And no later than the idea surfaced did the antagonist emerge (the Joker to its Batman, if you will): “Who will give the first negative review?” the topic title asked.
And no one fathomed that it would come so soon.
This movie is grim and jammed together. The narrative isn’t shaped coherently to bring out contrasts and build toward a satisfying climax. The Dark Knight is constant climax; it’s always in a frenzy, and it goes on forever.
The words struck like steel against the naked, flabby flesh of the RT forums. As if he had stepped into a volcano, barefoot, David Denby of The New Yorker magazine was assaulted by the flames of nerd-rage, bottled, and ready to be unleashed.
“Pretentious Douche Bag… ”
“This guy is g-a-y.”
“WOW!!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS GUY IS AN IDIOT!!!!!!!!!”
“Look at his ugly *** face. Just by looking at it you can tell this guy has no life and craves attention by saying oh my god its in a constant climax I can’t stand it!”
But this is one of three total negative reviews counted this far. Could there be more? Yes, and there probably will be. Is the movie great? Based on critical consensus thus far for a movie that hasn’t been released yet, one might assume so… but can the fans handle it?
I present this question, in a serious manner, and have to wonder: do we deserve The Dark Knight?
Or do we deserve Joel “Rubber Nipples” Schumacher?
Can we all agree that not everyone is going to like it? Can we differ between what is fact and what is an opinion?
When even a critic who praises the movie is hammered away at for having even the slightest negative thing to say about the film, then, it is time to close the internet.
Have you seen any of the movies that this reviewer compares The Dark Knight to?
Martin Scorsese’s The Departed. Michael Mann’s Heat. Brian de Palma’s The Untouchables.
If so, then you’ll understand that they aren’t meant for children.
You’ll have all the rubber nipples you want, then.
And lest I seem pious — I too have succumbed to this internet rage in the same form on the same message board. We all have.
But now, it’s time to grow up. It’s shameful to see a comment posted under my own name — one that cannot be deleted, mind you — written when the very poltergeist-essence of pure, unadulterated nerd rage has taken over my hands and keyboard. As our heroes transform before our eyes into Oscar-worthy men, so too must we defeat this ghost, and become more than our internet pseudonyms. We must become more than men. We must become gentlemen. Of the internet.
If you’d like to see just how serious this undertaking has been for all of those involved — and I’m not talking about IronFan42 or AgentONeal — then please, take the ten minutes it’ll take you to read through this transcript of an interview between Chris Nolan, Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, and Maggie Gyllenhaal.