Action in Comic Book Movies vs Comic Book Action Movies: The Dark Knight, Student Hubris, and you
A little learning is a dangerous thing, as the saying goes, and one of the delights of the blogosphere is the proliferation of amateurs who pick up a little jargon, a few concepts, and set themselves up as experts. The Jim Emerson video essay on the car chase sequence from The Dark Knight offers a great example of the entertainment value to be had in amateur hubris:
Perhaps, because I spend so much time myself trying to figure out how one shot cuts into another, I see mistakes in pretty much every film.
says one of his blogger buddies pimping the video.
I would even acknowledge when great directors stumble during moments, as I mentioned with both Spielberg or Mann or, say, Scorsese in the opening and closing battles of “Gangs of New York” which demonstrate he is pretty incapable of staging of large-scale action sequences. via Cutting snark: Malick, Nolan, and Bay
While the pretension is entertaining as hell, it does illustrate a common problem with comic book movies: the inability of many people to see them as their own unique genre and not a sub-category of action movies. It took the complete inanity above, measuring a film like Gangs of New York by a Gone in 60 Seconds yardstick, to make the issue clear. Jim Emerson’s problem with The Dark Knight is obviously that he doesn’t understand what it is. It’s as if he approached the Burning of Atlanta in Gone with the Wind as if it were a car chase in a James Bond flick, and then concluded it was a jumbled, incoherent mess because it didn’t fit the formula he thinks all movies with must if they include a vehicle moving quickly through fire: