Everyone is pretty whipped up about the release of “The Dark Knight,” which shattered the record for largest first-weekend box-office haul in its debut. Unlike previous champ “Spiderman 3,” “The Dark Knight” is actually a very entertaining film.
Christopher Nolan’s Batman franchise is darker, more serious, and consequently more frightening. It also captures the psychological complexity of the titular character in a way that the more stylized vision of Tim Burton — not to mention the dreck produced by Joel Schumacher — never could.
Nolan’s vision is inspired by the Golden Age Batman, who was a different breed altogether. Batman of the early 1940s, for example, shot people, tossed them off rooftops and had few reservations about killing criminals. He menaced murderers, gangsters and thugs, not overgrown graffiti artists.