First, let me say two things. I don't consider myself a qualified movie reviewer for the general population. I am WAY to sensitive and fairly conservative...so much so that even my most conservative friends disagree with me most of the time on whether a movie was good to watch or not. And yet, I have a few oddball favorites like...um...well I can't think of them right now but I know they exist. The oddball tendency in me is probably best characterized by my affinity for gangsta rap. Oh, I thought of one...American History X...that is on the top of my all-time favorites despite the horrendous violence, which, of course, leads me to plug my ears and sing "lalala" as loud as I can so that I don't hear or see the violence and put that picture into my head. I know...totally defeats the purpose of making the reality of certain situations known...but, I don't need to see it to experience it...trust me. Even the slight suggestion of some sort of violence or meanness sends me to tears.
And, of course, I haven't actually seen this Batman movie.
So, take my feedback for whatever its worth to you.
My dear J had the unique opportunity to go do the whole comic book enthusiast (read: geek) thing and see a movie when it opens...12:01am. This one had such rave reviews, which, coupled with his eagerness to see the movie anyway left him waiting in line with his friend from work, for...90 minutes before the movie began. He got home around three this morning and I woke up long enough for him to tell me his review of the movie.
He loved it. And was glad he got to see it the way he did. He said the line wrapped around to the back side of the theatre and there were 1800 people who came to see the movie at that time...I don't think there are 1800 people who see a movie there on any other typical day.
But, that was about all of the positive review from J. He went on to say how incredibly dark and gruesome it is. There wasn't much blood and guts, but the evil portrayed in the movie was just overwhelming. I guess this is why Heath Ledger has received so many accolades for his performance. He said I shouldn't watch it (he knows me and my sensitivity). He also said that he definitely wouldn't recommend kids to it and almost wouldn't recommend for teenagers to watch it.
J is not sensitive at all to the violence and evil in media, and he has seen much of that stuff in real life. He'll play the most graphic video game and watch any shoot em up movie and rave about it. So, the fact that he called out how seriously disturbing this movie is should be taken as a stern warning about the content. With the exception of Never Die Alone, a movie (from our perspective) with NO redeeming value, he has never said anything like this about any form of media in the 10 years I've known him.
So here is my warning...I'm not one to tell you what to watch and what not to watch, but if you are at all sensitive about violence or evil portrayed on film, I wouldn't recommend watching this one. I'm not going to watch it. And, I would certainly think twice, no, 300 times before allowing a kid to watch it...who, of course, might be begging you to watch it because they are familiar with the comic book or the saturday morning cartoons. There is only so much you can do to get certain thoughts and images out of your head after they've been planted there along with a form of "entertainment".