We are talking a lot about hype-building today. Hyping something up makes it seem like the most important thing in the world. I remember when Star Wars: The Phantom Menace came out. That movie was horrible. But the hype of it was so amazing, so vivid, that you couldn’t get away. I saw that horrible movie twice because of the hype. Maybe three times.
The Dark Knight’s hype isn’t hype.
Here are some reasons why. How many trailers have you seen? Not many. There are two that stick in my mind. The second one was brilliant, showing just enough of the movie to get you excited, without giving anything away. The Matrix: Reloaded had a billion trailers, and almost all of them gave away core parts of the movie. Reloaded would have been much better without the trailers. Warner Brothers released that too, and it appears they’ve learned some lessons. Less trailers mean more people excited and interested.
The hype of the Dark Knight began at the end of Batman Begins. When you saw that Joker card, you started guessing. Who would be a good Joker? Heath Ledger was a wonderful choice. I can’t think of anyone else who could do it. It isn’t hype that makes us want to see one of his last performances. Its his acting skill and respect for his career.
The Dark Knight doesn’t feel like a comic book movie. It feels like a crime thriller. It feels like a well directed drama that will engage us emotionally as well as visually. It will stun us by its revelations, by its raw truth. The Dark Knight doesn’t need hype. It is standing perfecting on it’s own.