This weekend all cinema-worthy eyes shall be directed at The Dark Knight Rises, the film which has been your retinas’ reason for existing for the past four years. Since Christopher Nolan and Heath Ledger made such sweet love to them in 2008, every other movie they have seen has been a fleeting fling, a casual dalliance, a kiss without lips. Your heart belonged to Nolan and it was for only Nolan that it longed. Well he’s here now.
But first, let’s talk about the dalliances.
Avengers was an deep-soak immersion into a lava field of awesome. Romanov, Barton, Fury, Rogers, Banner, Odinson, Stark and Coulson spent a night locked up in the Smithsonian studying every dictionary definition of kicking ass and cramming. Then they emerged the next morning, called Loki and proceeded to do exactly what the book said.
Maria Hill was kind of insipid, though.
But Avengers was was not deep, or haunting, or profound, or intriguing; it did not inspire, illuminate or illustrate anything about life or society; it was not The Dark Knight. It was just freaking awesome and that’s all.
After Avengers, we shifted our bottoms to proffer our other more cerebral asses for Dark Knight Rises’ kicking.
In the meantime, we had The Amazing Spider Man to watch. It had great trailers, and a good, firm, well-trusted name. Spider Man is Marvel’s Batman—the one character who all the best writers should consider their Olympics; their opportunity to perform at the peak of their abilities.
Batman has been tackled by Frank Miller, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman… these are not simple characters. Not joking subjects #gololamoses and the reason for this is that Batman has so much room for nuance and subtexts and explorations of so many things… It’s a simple story but so many complex things can be said with it.
The same for Spider Man. The character gives so much room to play in, there are so many things going on with Peter Parker, that what the jargon calls a “gritty reboot” should be as brilliant with Spidey as it was with the Batman.
And that is why I, for one, thought that The Amazing Spider Man would surprise everyone and be Marvel’s Batman Begins.
It didn’t. While it was not, at least in my opinion, a disappointment, and while it was not worse than Raimi’s Spidey trilogy, it wasn’t better enough to satisfy me and I watched it the whole time thinking of how much better it would have been, and wincing at all the parallels with the movie it was supposed to be improving upon.
At the very least this should make me enjoy TDKR more. My expectations have been lowered.