If you look at the most successful movies from the past 8 years you’ll see they’re all superhero movies. They capture peoples’ imaginations like no other genre, a genre we here at Grump Factory are keen to focus on with our dopey articles most of the time, because each new superhero flick carries with it a certain amount of weight, of hype and expectation due to familiarity with decades of comic book continuity and because many of the movies, despite their overwhelming success, are so lousy they deserve a proper skewering. For some perspective as to where The Dark Knight sits on the superhero movie scale, it was only two years ago when X-Men 3: The Last Stand made a killing. Now, people are rewarding a good movie and it’s not a feel-good movie. This is a feel-bad movie with one of the saddest endings I’ve seen in a mainstream movie. I’ve heard comparisons to movies as stark and cheerless as Se7en and Requiem for a Dream. I think it was statements as hyperbolic as that that made up a perfect storm of reasons for people to go see the movie, and go again, and again and again: to see if it lived up to the impossible amount of hype, to see the final full-on performance of Heath Ledger, and because the movie’s been in the public conscious in the past two or so years thanks to the most ambitious viral marketing campaign ever perpetrated.
Chances are you’ve seen it, most likely twice, in IMAX, and from here on I’m going to assume you did.