Commenting on the critics with Simon Columb…
Andrew Pulver writes for The Guardian about the ongoing battle between The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers…
“Steven Gaydos, executive editor of movie industry bible Variety, says that the gloomy introspection we associate with Christopher Nolan’s superhero series may be in danger of passing its sell-by date. The two movies would also appear to be in opposite corners visually, with Avengers’ candy colours enhanced in loving 3D, while Nolan favours the large-format detail of IMAX for his intricate visions. “When the last Batman film, The Dark Knight, came out, people thought Nolan was doing something different. It got everyone excited: it seemed like he was saying something interesting about politics and society in a new way. But now, it feels like The Avengers have stolen his thunder, and his style looks a little outdated. If you take music as an analogy: he’s a little bit in danger of being guitar rock to The Avengers’ electronica.”
Read the full article here.
The article also details the DC vs Marvel battle – which I do believe is completely irrelevant. Back in 1992, the same article would have dictated how strong DC is – with successful Superman and Batman franchises. At the time, Marvel had Conan the Barbarian as one of the few success stories. Times change, and we are currently in a very pro-Marvel time period. It could swing back in another couple of decades.
Suffice to say, before the release of Avengers Assemble, I wrote an article on Flickering Myth about how The Dark Knight Rises was clearly going to ‘win’ this battle. But, it seems I stand corrected. For one, I believed The Amazing Spider-Man would completely bomb at the box-office and it did not. It made nowhere near as much as Avengers Assemble, but it broke some midnight records and Tuesday release records. Now we are bracing ourselves for The Dark Knight Rises – and we question whether it will even come close in achieving the financial success of Avengers.
I think we can easily argue both sides to the argument. As Pulver states, “fanboy mentality appears to have spilled out into the mainstream” and that means that the only way is up for The Dark Knight Rises. The success in 2008 was due to the high quality of the film. Everyone agreed Batman Begins was a strong film, but it was only as word of mouth spread over a number of years, did it gain support and ensured a huge success for The Dark Knight. Fact is, the sequel was hailed as superior to the original and people have only watched and rewatched the films more. People are desperate to see the end and, I believe, we will not be disappointed. Indeed, has Chris Nolan ever bombed? No. The fanboys will be there opening night. And the week after. Others will watch it through the positive press and discussion – because everyone has seen The Dark Knight. Even those who watched The Dark Knight due to Heath Ledger, I would assume, will still want to see it. Casino Royale is a stronger film than Quantum of Solace, but it was the latter that made more money – why? Because people liked Casino Royale enough. This should mean that The Dark Knight Rises will make more money than its predecessor.
But, the argument against this is the family film that The Avengers is. Unlike Batman, the Marvel films are all about enjoyment for everyone in the family – from the 5-year through the teenage market (male and female) and then including the twenty-something ‘fanboys’ and, inevitably, the parents of the 5-year old. Is the market as big for the Dark Knight? Exceptionally young children will get nightmares looking at Bane and not everyone wants to be challenged with issues of social injustices and urban revolution. Some people just want to watch the world burn. Well, not in the way the Joker wanted to watch the world burn, but in the way that people can laugh at the Hulk smashing up the cityscape of New York City and root for multiple heroes fighting aliens on Broadway. Its not the same type of action in The Dark Knight Rises.
It’s a tough call, but I’m a man of my word, so I’m going to stick with Nolan. If anything, I prefer the artistry of Chris Nolan to the MTV action-and-arrogance of the Marvel series.