My wife Sherry and I just got out of the theater from seeing The Dark Knight Rises and I loved the way Christopher Nolan concluded his trilogy. This was not a film intended to incite violence. Hundreds of people worked extremely hard to realize this vision. The storytelling is sure-handed and the performances are uniformly strong – from series regulars Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, and Michael Caine to newcomers Anne Hathaway and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Nolan has wrapped up his series in an emotionally satisfying way.
Of course, a damper has been put on the celebration of this incredibly entertaining movie. What happened in Aurora, Colorado at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises is unspeakably tragic. Our hearts goes out to those who lost their lives, those who were injured, and all the family members and friends of the victims.
I worked in movie theaters for many years. I can remember lots of unusual encounters – including one patron who accidentally left his gun in the auditorium after his movie was over. Turned out the man had a permit and returned for his firearm without incident. But I remember the ushers being pretty freaked out while cleaning the theater. Usually you find half empty buckets of popcorn or maybe a wallet or something. It made me think. I mean, who brings a gun to a movie theater? Movie theaters are a place where thousands of people gather every single day to have a good time. How many people have a gun under their coat that we don’t know about? After all, most of them don’t leave it on the floor.
It goes without saying how terribly sad this all is. I’ll leave it to the professional news media and social commentators to deliver the details and attempt to sort out the reasons why it happened. I had planned to write a full review of The Dark Knight Rises right after seeing it, but I decided to wait. As much as I enjoyed the movie, I couldn’t help but think about what had happened and how it could have happened anywhere, to any group of enthusiastic moviegoers out for a night of fun. So for now I’ll simply say, our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the victims of the shootings and their families.