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maryann johanson | takeaway only

is ‘Dark Knight’ suitable for children?

That’s a joke, right?

A friend just emailed me this to ask on behalf of someone she works with, who wants to take his 11-year-old daughter to see The Dark Knight.

The short answer is No: The Dark Knight is probably not suitable for preadolescents, no matter how “mature” they are. Little kids should go see Kit Kittredge or Wall-E instead.

The long answer is this (contains minor spoiler, but hardly a surprising one, about the opening moments of the film):
The Joker fucking shoots people dead at point-blank range for fun in the opening minutes of the movie.

And then it gets worse from there.

Dark Knight really should be rated R.

But if people want their little kids to grow up to be psychopaths — because the tykes do not have the same mental ability to recognize the difference between fantasy and reality that (some) grownups have; their tender brains are not fully wired yet, and you don’t want to mess with that — well, I guess that’s none of my business.

If people want to stay kids forever and only think about themselves and drag their small children along to a movie just because they want to see it, they shouldn’t have had kids of their own, because that’s, at least, the point at which you kinda have to become a grownup and stop being such a selfish bastard. But I guess that’s none of my business either.

Christ, I am so pissed about this. She’s a little kid. Jesus: Why would you want her to see this bitter, bleak nightmare that probably looks like the world she’s going to be living in as an adult herself, if we don’t straighten ourselves up and give ourselves a boot in the ass? This is not, thank the movie gods, anything like that abomination Batman Forever, which was on TNT late last night, with its clownish Joker Riddler and candy-colored Two-Faced Dent. Dark Knight is a long dark night. I am so not kidding.

And I know — I just know it — that when I go see the film again tomorrow, the theater is going to be packed with little kids.

Yes, I am in a vile mood today.

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