America created the superhero and the motion picture. When I was younger I thought superheroes were for boys, but watching Spider-Man quickly proved me wrong. I am now in love with the idea of a mysterious hero saving the world from danger and harm. The core of any good superhero movie is the concept of good versus evil. It’s a concept we often take for granted as another antagonistic relationship panning out onscreen in a faraway world. Ten days ago, it was a horrific reality for moviegoers in Aurora, Colorado, where a gunman walked into a late-night screening of The Dark Knight Rises and opened fire, killing 12 and injuring 58 innocent people. This time there was no Batman to save our fellow Americans. This time there was no superhero.
In this blog, I like to focus on the positive. I strive to inspire, to evoke a smile, to at least leave the reader with a pleasant thought. However, this tragedy is not pleasant. The harrowing stories struck me, perhaps for their irony, and because of how close it hit home. This was supposed to be another night, at another highly anticipated movie, at another movie theater, in another American town. These were families, couples, and friends. This could have been anyone: your mom, your dad, a neighbor, a sibling, a friend, me, or you. This was the terrible proof that the evil we watch on the big screen is not completely fabricated. These fictional accounts of evil and terror don’t always stop when the credits roll up; they exist in this world every day.
At the heart of Batman’s story is the element of good versus evil. It’s not just special effects, fantastical villains, or beautiful movie stars. It’s the good guy and the bad guy. It’s the man who “just wants to watch the world burn,” and the man who refuses to let such a thing happen.
Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy has been marred by tragedy. After Batman Begins anticipation quickly rose for The Dark Knight. Sadly, a technician died during production, and six months before the premiere, actor Heath Ledger (whose chilling and masterful portrayal of the Joker won him an Academy Award) was found dead in his apartment. Still, the movie became the highest-grossing movie of 2008 and the 12th highest of all time.
Now, in the wake of so much excitement for the last installment in the Batman trilogy, this chilling massacre has left the country hurt, stunned, and wondering why. Many no longer want to see the movie in the theater—some fear the theater itself. It’s normal in these situations to experience such an effect. It’s hard to understand why someone would commit such a cruel and evil act. However, we must remember that good still exists and evil never wins. I encourage everyone to go see The Dark Knight Rises. Even if you are afraid; even if your spirit feels down; even if you had no intentions to go—please. Support the movie, support the victims, support our great American pastime. Support the battle for good versus evil and show the world that America does not succumb to any form of evil. It’s imperative in the wake of this tragedy that Americans go see the movie. Batman is more than a cinematic story— it’s a constant reminder that the the bad guy never wins.