- Published on Thursday, 02 August 2012 12:55
- Written by Lori-Rae van Laren
2008 saw one of, if not the, greatest super-hero movies of all time: The Dark Knight.
It’s the movie that immortalised Heath Ledger in a way 10 Things I Hate About You was never able to. It saw Morgan Freeman’s best character since, well, God.
It was clever enough for UCT’s Game Theory lecturers to incorporate it into their syllabus and good enough for most of us to make room for it on our list of Best Movies Ever. And now the long wait for the only movie that has the potential to top the 2008 cult classic is over. This July: Hope is lost, Faith is broken but the Dark Knight will rise again.
So why is there so much fascination surrounding this particular super-hero sequel? Perhaps it’s purely because we love super-hero movies. If the release of The Avengers, and its opening-week take of $654.8 million, has taught us anything, it’s that people love any story DC or Marvel comics throws at them.
The Dark Knight Rises could be just another comic-book-based film and the hype surrounding it will dissipate as soon as the trailer for “The Adventures of Flash Gordon” is released. That having been said, I don’t know anyone who booked out a movie theatre and dressed in black tie apparel to watch Iron Man 2, but I know plenty of people who are planning to do so on the 20th of July.
Maybe there’s something more to the story of the defender of Gotham City that is generating so much hype. Batman is arguably the hero we can most relate to: he’s a layman fighting injustice as well as his own personal demons.
Only, he has a cape. And a lot of money. Moreover, The Dark Knight Rises is an opportunity for Christopher Nolan to provide the justice we feel the hero deserves. Is affection for a character, even if the character is Bruce Wayne, explanation enough for the sensation surrounding the sequel?
The possible reason this particular super-hero film has generated such high expectations could be that, while most Marvel and DC movies provide us with high intensity action scenes and sufficient character development to keep us interested, the Batman series (specifically the Dark Knight instalment) is simultaneously action-packed and highly philosophical.
The Dark Knight made us question everything from the law to what heroism really looks like, and through characters like the Joker and Harvey Dent, the dark side of humankind is confronted. If this is the case, then it is no wonder we’re so excited for the concluding film.
Perhaps the real reason we’re so excited is simply because the story thus far has proven to be excellent, with unexpected twists and enough suspense to leave us desperate to know how the Dark Knight’s fate plays out in the series’ third and final chapter. Personally, I’m curious to see if Nolan’s adaption of the Selina Kyle character will make up for the precious time I lost watching Halle Berry’s Catwoman.
Whatever your reason for watching the final instalment of Batman, there is no doubt that on opening night the audience will be massive, eager and possibly suited up. We can only hope that the Dark Knight rises high enough to meet our expectations.