I was recently enjoying a fast-food lunch with my old friend Josh, and we were discussing the film we'd just seen. (A little something called The Dark Knight.) And in the middle of my ramblings I accidentally said something slightly insightful. It went a little something like this: "The thing about superheroes is that, on the outside, what with the costumes and the nifty gizmos and all the punching, they're kids stuff, which is great. But once you scratch the surface just a little bit, you're dealing with acres of subtext that kids can barely comprehend."
And then Josh asked me what my point was. It's this: We finally have some filmmakers who aren't afraid to handle superhero movies for grown-ups. I'd hardly call Hancock a family-type flick, both of the recent Marvel movies (Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk) managed to treat their "older" audiences with respect, last weekend's Hellboy 2 is chock-full of dazzling ideas, and now this: The Dark Knight. Dang. My review will arrive later this week, but I won't be the only one calling it the Godfather 2 of superhero movies. (In a lot of ways it's also a bit like The Empire Strikes Back! Tonally, anyway.) Best of all, the movie is a big meaty DRAMA, and I don't mean "drama" as in "masterpiece theater."