The “Dark Knight” In Twilight And The Problem With Action Movies.

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There’s a pair of fascinating Black Friday reads in The Guardian this morning.

In the first, film critic Ben Child goes inside “The Dark Knight Rises,” to consider what the film might hold if — as director Christopher Nolan claims — it is set eight years after the events of the last movie.

Here’s the nut graf:


Exactly how badly off is Batman in the new film? Might he be returning after a lengthy lay-off? Or is he injured early on in the movie? Gary Oldman, who plays Commissioner Gordon, described the film this week as “epic”, so it’s possible the movie takes place over a number of years, or utilises flashback sequences to show us what’s been happening since the last time we saw Batman on screen. We know that Liam Neeson has shot scenes for the film as the supposedly dead Ra’s al Ghul from Batman Begins, so such an approach doesn’t sound too far out.

Read the full story here.

Elsewhere in the newspaper, author Rick Moody turns in an essay explaining why no one should be surprised by comic author Frank Miller’s toxically hostile reaction to the #Occupy movement and how it fits in with the generally conservative bent in of action movies generally (and Hollywood, in particular.).

Here’s the nut graf:

And yet with action films, the moral and political ideas in play are surpassingly easy to spot. What about the entertainment films that came later, during the era of CGI – the big-budget films primarily generated from more imaginary fare, such as the apparently numberless comic book franchises of Batman, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Daredevil, Fantastic Four, X-Men, Captain America, et al? In these cases, the moral framework of the product is just as simplistic as in action films, if not more so, and the triumph of the social order is just as violent, and just as relentless, though the films are couched in a sugary glaze of graphics and “wow” moments that distract from ideological branding. The CGI sheen is seductive enough that it’s sometimes difficult to divine the message at first. You are too busy being bludgeoned by the sounds and lights. Nevertheless, the message is there. Might is right, the global economy will be restored, America is exceptional, homely people deserve political disenfranchisement, and so on. It bears mentioning that these are films that are in many cases being marketed to children. When I was a kid, you could not gain admission to a film such as Dirty Harry or The French Connection. But an American adolescent can now see Batman in The Dark Knight, rated PG-13, without much difficulty.

Read the full story here.

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About jlmicek

I'm an award-winning journalist in Harrisburg, Pa. I also run and cook all the things.
This entry was posted in action, Film News, Spoiler-itis, Summer Blockbusters, Superhero Cinema and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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