Friday, July 20, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises May Have Dignity, But It Doesn't Have "Kiss From A Rose"

Posted By on Fri, Jul 20, 2012 at 5:01 AM

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Batman Returns, meanwhile--I think the era-appropriate comparison would be to the Smashing Pumpkins' "Disarm." Sometimes you're listening to an inherently depressing Smashing Pumpkins song, or watching an inherently depressing Tim Burton Batman movie, and you just think--I wonder if this comes in Even Sadder?

It does. There are church bell samples, and Danny DeVito enacts a Biblical plague.

Batman and Robin goes beyond pop into Europop, infantile, campy, cultural exhaustion. After some excruciating trial and error I discovered that the musical equivalent of listening to Arnold Schwarzenegger ad-lib ice puns over really tentative gay porn for two hours had been lurking in my childhood all along:

Then: A well-justified reboot, the likes of which the Spider Man series could only dream of. But I'm not sure Batman Begins and The Dark Knight have a pop equivalent.

If they did, I guess it would be some kind of U2 reboot--the critic's arena-rock band, with blunt philosophical implications and a lot of Christ-figure-abuse and record-breaking tour after record-breaking tour.

Smart Comic Book Movies, like Socially Aware Arena Rock, are easy to laugh about, and to doubt, but as much as I hated "Vertigo" I'm glad U2 exists; I'd rather bands be too socially responsible than not socially responsible enough. And as ham-fisted as some of the Joker's college-dorm thought experiments were, The Dark Knight was a great movie, and better for making its villain into something more than Arnold Schwarzenegger making ice puns.

So I don't doubt The Dark Knight Rises is a great movie. But it's a great movie that, to my infinite regret, has no tonal room for a love scene set to a Seal song.

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