That sound you just heard? Millions of geeky dads across the country hyperventilating over the new Dark Knight Rises trailer. (You can watch it in all of its non-bootlegged HD glory here. And the first person who can tell me what Bane is saying wins … well, nothing, but I’m sure the rest of us Bat-geeks will all be eternally grateful.) I’m counting down the days until the movie premieres; like most Batman fans, I firmly believe that Christopher Nolan’s two other Batman flicks, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, are the definitive big-screen version of The World’s Greatest Detective. And this one looks awesome. THE BATCOPTER, PEOPLE.
But I have a problem, and he’s a seven-year-old comic book fan who asks me, at least once a week, if he can watch The Dark Knight on TV and if he’ll be able to go and see The Dark Knight Rises when it comes out next summer.
The problem is one of my own making, because last year I let him watch Batman Begins. Listen: you can’t blame me. What was I supposed to do, after the kid had watched Joel Schumacher’s horrific Batman and Robin, proclaiming it to be “awesome” and “the best Batman movie EVER”? (Yes, he asked me why the Batsuit had nipples, and no, I didn’t have an answer.) What kind of father would I be if I didn’t correct his misguided opinion? So I sat him down and explained things to him. “Listen, kid. You may think that what you just watched is Batman. But the real Batman … he doesn’t ice skate.” Lucas wasn’t convinced. “But DAD. That was COOL.” “Oh, yeah?” I replied. “Cooler than … NINJA BATMAN?”
I had him at “Ninja Batman.”
So we watched Batman Begins, and he dug it — he liked the origin story, and the Scarecrow didn’t freak him out (“It’s just a guy with a sack over his head, Dad.”). But that’s where I drew the line. The Dark Knight is a decidedly more adult movie: there’s quite a body count, and Heath Ledger is genuinely terrifying. And though it pains me, I’m gonna stick to my guns: he’ll have to wait until he’s older to see the other two. Of course, by the time he’s ten, I’m sure someone else will have rebooted the franchise. What about you guys? Will you take your youngsters to see The Dark Knight Rises?
(Image courtesy of Warner Bros.)