The Dark Knight – 12A

As the title implies, yes, I did go to watch this recently released cinematic extravaganza. No, I didn’t get hold of a pirate copy. No, I didn’t abandon the baby for an evening of hedonistic revelry. I took Reuben with me….!

This was our first cinema trip together. I had been informed that there was a ‘Mums and Babes’ showing at a local picture house and enthusiastically went along with a couple of other mums for the mini-adventure. When we got there, we were reliably informed that it was a ‘mixed’ showing – though we had been led to believe it was being exclusively viewed by mums and their tots, it was actually a combination of regular cinema punters AND the mums and babes. This put me at some unease. I have to confess, I am one of those people who get quite distracted and sometimes annoyed by others in the theatre chatting, letting their mobile phone ring, getting up to go to the toilet and making a whole row of people stand up to let them out, which blocks your entire view.. But to have a *baby* in the cinema theatre, crying and fussing, and mum shush-shushing them, well, that would aggravate me more than anything! And I became that person! I tried to evacuate the theatre when Reuben got a little fussy, but obviously, I couldn’t anticipate all his little whimpers.

However, I did catch the first hour of the movie, as Reuben was contentedly asleep (that changed later on; I missed the crucial hour in the middle, and then saw the last ten minutes..). I went to the changing room to check his nappy wasn’t soiled, in an attempt to curb the fussy behaviour, but then he just smiled at me – he wanted to play, and his idea of fun wasn’t to sit in a darkened room without toys and with sudden loud noises! It was an experience. I don’t think I’ll be repeating it, unless someone else is looking after the baby and I’m out with my husband on a romantic evening escapade (hint, hint!).

Although I didn’t see all of the movie, I got the general idea, and enjoyed what I saw. I’m a fan of comic book characters and their resurrection from comic to big screen. The Batman movies made in the past started out with a dark edge when directed by Tim Burton, then became a bit more cartoony again when Joel Schumacher took over the reins. But with the entrance of Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne, aka The Batman, and Christopher Nolan as director (who also directed and wrote the screenplay for the mind-twisting Memento) comes a similarly caliginous portrayal of the DC comic hero.

Interest in the movie release itself has been surpassed by stories involving key players of the film: Heath Ledger, who plays The Joker, was found dead in his appartment following a prescription drugs overdose in January this year; Christian Bale was arrested after assault charges from his mother and sister in July; Morgan Freeman was seriously injured in a car accident in August, then announced his marriage of 24 years was over; and a special effects technician was killed in a truck incident whilst the film was shooting. I’m no believer in superstition, so that’s an awful number of unfortunate events.

Still, the movie itself is enjoyable. The plot of the movie is simple: it’s the bad guy versus the good guy, literally. The Joker tries to enroll all Gotham City criminals in the quest to overturn the reign of The Batman and causes chaos and anarchy in the process. I get particular titillation from all the crafty gadgets and vehicles our Gotham City hero gets to use in the course of executing The Joker’s demise (I’m not giving anything away; you knew Batman was going to overturn the plots of his opponent!). If you enjoyed the Michael Keaton Batman movies, then you’ll like this.

Gayle’s verdict: Definitely too violent and *NoT* suitable for the average 12 year old. But if you can get past Christian Bale’s put-on husky Batman voice, then the special effects are great and the characters draw you in to a complex and captivating tale.

 

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