Oh look! It's Aquaman--here to save the day with his matching snorkel and water booties. How exciting! Maybe after he saves the girl he's had a crush on since first grade, we can convince him to saunter on over to The Fortress Of Solitude for a nice gooey circle jerk with the Green Lantern and Mr. Freeze and Ron Weasley. Won't that just be smashing? Go ahead and bring your limited edition Wolverine action figure still in the packaging too; you might be able to negotiate a trade for those Bionic Woman replica earrings you've been stalking around eBay for. Yay! Can your mom drive this time?
Superhero movies make me sick. More specifically, they make my manhood shrivel up and hide. I hate Superman and his annoying, homo-erotic Narc persona. I hate the Power Rangers and their goddamn color-coordinated outfits. I hate just about everything about every superhero ever created or yet to be created. I'm not a fanboy; I'm not the guy inside the comic book shop; and I'm definitely not the guy who pays to see superhero movies. The last one I went to? Spider-Man 2. I walked out less than half way through, choosing instead to sit in my car playing paper-scissors-rock against myself until my friends come out.
So, it probably comes as a surprise to you--hell, it's even came as a surprise to myself--that I bought tickets ahead of time to see The Dark Knight. Why'd I do it? Because certain movies transcend their own genre. I'm not one for sappy, romantic comedies, but I proudly own and consistently watch My Best Friend's Wedding. I also don't really care for musicals, but I sang along with Hairspray and The Rocky Horror Picture Show this week. A great movie is just that--great--regardless of subject matter or designated Blockbuster section. And The Dark Knight? Well, it's shaping up to be one of those motion pictures.
Listen: I'm not proud of it myself. I've been perfectly happy in my little comfort zone of shitting on superhero movies for the last few decades, but the trailer for The Dark Knight changed me. Well, actually Batman Begins changed me a little. I won't say I was overwhelmed by Nolan’s first take, but that film did a lot of things right. Christian Bale's performance was spot-on, and for the first time, I found myself intrigued by a superhero--no--intrigued by a broken man playing dress-up to both fight his own demons and change the world.
You see: Batman is less a superhero and more a fucked-up rich guy in need of more Prozac than Elizabeth Wuertzel. And Batman Begins was less a superhero movie and more a journey into the dark recesses of a jaded and downright scary protagonist. The Dark Knight looks even better.
So, here I am…a self-aware, superhero basher, nerding out and buying advance tickets to a superhero movie. I'm not going to put on Joker make-up or trick out my CRV, but I am going to give this film a legitimate chance. And who knows? If this goes as well as I'm expecting, you may see me at next month's Sci-Fi convention, though I wouldn't hold my breath on that. People don't change overnight.