Dark Knight Rises is here… and stirring up controversy!

Well, it’s official! The Dark Knight Rises has hit the theaters, and audiences seem unanimously stoked! In less than 12 hours, the Twitter-sphere, blogosphere, and Rotten Tomatoes have been cluttered with people pouring in to sing the movie’s praises. And yet, more interesting is the controversy which seems to be taking root once again. Much like last time, those who have deigned to give the movie a critical review have caused an uproar, in many cases from fans who haven’t even seen the movie yet.

That is apparently what happened shortly before the release of The Dark Knight. At that time, a critic for New York Magazine expressed some negative opinions for the movie, especially with regards to its plot twists. This unleashed a flood of hate mail and online anger towards the critic, on behalf of franchise fans who, as already noted, hadn’t even seen the movie. This time around, the controversy is much the same. Having viewed the midnight premier, critic Marshall Fine posted a review on Rotten Tomatoes that attracted so much hate mail, his website crashed.

Since that time, the review has moved from Rotten Tomatoes, mainly so Fine can get his server running again, but tempers continue to boil. This prompted Matt Atchity, the editor-in-chief of Rotten Tomatoes, to order that the site’s comments feature be disabled for The Dark Knight Rises. He also published an open letter pleading for people to be civil on the issue. But of course, it’s not all the fault of the fanboys. It seems that, again, like last time, trolls have been doing what they do best (i.e. trolling) and inserting links to bogus reviews which are even more harsh just to stir up the shark tank.

And even Christopher Nolan chose to weigh in on the kerfuffle, saying that the fanboys are within their rights to criticize the critic. Sure they are, so long as they understand that freedom of speech cuts both ways. At least he didn’t go to Jacksonian lengths to silence the critic, calling on fanboys to get the person fired. Yes, shortly after a New York Times critic slammed the Avengers, Samuel L. Jackson responded by denouncing him on Twitter. Not good… not good.

I for one look forward to seeing this movie, and not letting one bad review throw off my opinion of it or get me all worked up. Hell, even the last movie had its faults, but that didn’t take away from it being an awesome and memorable movie, especially where Heath’s portrayal was concerned. And if behind-the-scenes photos of Batman and Bane have taught us anything, it’s that even mortal enemies can kiss and make up! Seriously, check out these photos. Tell me that aint the perfect example of a heartwarming bromance!

Update: In the course of writing this, I read about a terrible tragedy in Aurora, Colorado, where a gunman broke into a theater and shot up the premier of The Dark Knight Rises, killing 15 people and wounding at least 50. The man is in custody and police indicated he tried to booby trap his apartment too. What kind of psycho lunatic is this weirdo?!

Luckily, he’s out of circulation for good and will have nothing but bad food, cold showers, whoopings and cavity searches to look forward to for the rest of his unnatural life. You know, events like this make me think we need REAL crime-fighting superheroes out there!