I have a confession to make. I don’t know if this disqualifies me from my membership of geekdom or something, but … The Dark Knight wasn’t my favourite superhero movie experience of 2008. Shocking, I know. Just shocking. I liked it well enough, and obviously thought bits of it (mostly Joker-related bits, I suppose) were brilliant. But I’m pretty sure I derived more simple enjoyment from … Iron Man. It was a straightforward, slick, pretty confection that didn’t really try to be anything more than what it was, and as far as I was concerned it succeeded pretty triumphantly. Which is not in any sense damning with faint praise: I seriously think it’s an impressively well put together package, with the directing, acting, scripting and effects all working in near-perfect harmony towards a clear and shared goal. Sure, it’s some way from being perfect, but I left the cinema wearing the dumb smile of the satiated seeker of eye candy.
Dark Knight, by contrast, was an altogether more complicated and ambitious beast. And perhaps because I’d fallen for the pre-release hype, it seemed to me to come up just short of the lofty targets it set for itself – aside, as I said, for some passages of seriously accomplished film-making. It’s clearly the more interesting film of the two, but it just didn’t deliver quite the entertainment kick to me that Iron Man did.
All of which is a convoluted (and believe me, I could go on and on, making it more and more convoluted, because I’ve thought about this particular compare and contrast exercise far more than is healthy) … anyway, all of this is a convoluted way of saying that of all the big budget, sfx-heavy films promising to grace our cinema screens in 2010, this is probably the one that tickles my fancy most of all: