"I don't think they are making them an elevated art form. I think it's still Batman running around in a stupid cape. I just don't think it's elevated." This was the review David Cronenberg gave to "The Dark Knight Rises." I have encountered a number of opinions that echo these sentiments, from friends to film critics around the globe. They have had the mild effect of dampening my own enthusiasm for Christopher Nolan's Caped Crusader trilogy. As the fifty-year-old father of a teenage boy, I should be the one rolling my eyes as he begs me to take him to see the summer's next blockbuster, or simply dropping him off at the theater so that he and his adolescent buddies can get their action-movie glands squeezed for a couple of hours.
Nope. I was there on opening day. I enjoyed the boom, crash, and bang. I liked the size of the story, but under it all the thing that makes it all work is the tale of this twisted individual bent on revenge. Who is this David Cronenberg, anyway? The director of a number of films about twisted individuals, who happen to be bent on revenge. For me, the biggest difference is that in Cronenberg's movies, that individual tends to stay twisted. Christopher Nolan offers his protagonists a way to untie the knot.
Way back when, David Cronenberg made a name for himself by directing a number of creepy, low-budget science fiction movies. His big break came when he was offered the chance to direct a big-budget remake of "The Fly." Then he went on to make a whole slew of medium-budget creepy movies. I found them all fascinating, but I can't help but feel that this most recent outburst comes at a point of professional jealousy. Twentieth Century Fox has decided not to make his suggested reboot of his 1986 creepfest. But let's be honest: A guy running around in a black rubber suit maiming and beating on people wouldn't be out of place in a David Cronenberg film. Maybe we should ask David Lynch to settle this.