Before I even try to talk about the Dark Knight trilogy, I would like to open with a disclaimer. I freaking love Batman. I really do. I’ve been watching the cartoons since the age of three. Poison Ivy was one of my earliest childhood idols. I definitely still own a Batman mask, and I’m not even going to pretend that I don’t occasionally wear it while I’m doing the washing-up or going out to buy milk. It’s just that – when it came to actually watching the biggest blockbuster of the summer – I never quite got round to it. I totally saw Avengers about eight times, though, so lay off me.
I’m mostly just going to focus on The Dark Knight Rises, the most recent of the three films. Let’s not pretend that any of you can remember anything from the previous two, aside from Christian Bale’s voice getting progressively more ridiculous, and Heath Ledger hissing “Why so serious?” at various points that may or may not actually be relevant to the storyline. I think there was something to do with boats at one point too, and humanity turning out to be inherently good and inspirational, but who actually remembers that? We’re all in it for the punching and the things going ‘boom’.
While talking to friends (read as: lurking around groups of people conversing in public places and pretending to be their friend), I picked up some hugely mixed reviews of Dark Knight Harder. They ranged all the way from “Oh my God, it’s the greatest cinematic masterpiece of our generation and perhaps of all time!” to “It was four thousand hours long and what the fuck is wrong with Tom Hardy’s voice?”. This, almost without exception, led into an intense argument, at which point I would back away and go back to standing alone in the corner. If I know nothing else about students, I know that they take their superheroes seriously.
Despite not actually seeing it, I’m pretty sure there was a point when I was super excited about The Dark Knight Strikes Back. It was around the time when they kept rumouring that various people were going to be playing the Riddler. Johnny Depp was going to be the Riddler, and then David Tennant was going to be the Riddler, and then male Zooey Deschanel was going to be the Riddler, and then we ended up with no Riddler at all, but instead got Tom Hardy with a hilarious accent playing that one creepy guy with the Hannibal Lecter thing on his face who nobody’s really heard of. I’ve heard he was pretty good, but I’ve also heard that he was terrible. Then again, no matter how good he was, he never had a hope of living up to Jack Nicholson, poor guy.
And then, of course, there was Anne Hathaway, who is apparently no longer just that girl from The Princess Diaries, but is now, to our collective shock, quite good at her job. Of course, we were all very concerned that she wasn’t going to live up to the… ahem… high bar that previous Catwomen (I’m talking, of course, about Halle Berry) set for her, but she was wonderful. Spectacular. You’d almost think she was a trained actor. In fact, Anne was the only aspect of The Dark Knight Goes Forth that didn’t have confusing mixed responses. Everyone loved her. She’s our leather-and-spandex-clad sweetheart. Well done Anne. You rocked them cat ears that weren’t actually cat ears.
Bizarrely, despite spending so much time listening to people talking about The Dark Knight Two: Pig in the City, I have heard absolutely balls-all about the storyline. I could honestly tell you zero things about what actually happens in those ninety two hours of film, aside from a lot of punching and angst. Considering I usually get the storyline of any film I haven’t seen screamed in my ear by people who are deeply, intensely offended by the fact that I haven’t seen it, I’m starting to suspect that, like The Godfather, most of you haven’t actually seen it either.