Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Dark Knight Review

Like everyone else in America, I saw The Dark Knight (but not until I had shelled out my $$$ to see The Golden Army the previous weekend). As expected, it was a great movie, but after such blockbuster weekend, my expectations were pretty high. I did not think it lived up the hype - for that kind of jack ($154 million opening weekend), I'm expecting a timeless classic. In reality, I don't believe it is as good as Batman Begins. However, Heath Ledger's performance as The Joker IS timeless. An amazing performance - one that will be forever remembered. It makes Nicholson's Joker in Burton's Batman look like a goofball. This Joker is psychotic, and when he makes you laugh, it is a nervous laughter. You just don't know when he is going to fly off the handle and do something really sinister.

So here are some thoughts on the film:

  • When Batman Begins came out, I remember Michael Caine talking about how Nolan convinced him to be a part of the franchise. Caine said that Nolan explained Batman this way: "Superman is the way the United States views itself. Batman is how the U.S. is viewed by the rest of the world." Armed with that information, I couldn't help but notice that The Dark Knight is a true post-9/11 film. It is very politically charged and ties in metaphorically with the U.S.'s current war on terror. I believe the Dark Knight's message is that when you fight terrorism, there are things that you have to do that are going to be hated by the rest of the world - you have to be "something other than a hero." I believe this correlates to the U.S.'s unpopularity throughout the world due to its involvement in Middle East conflict. Heavy stuff for a comic book film, but I truly believe this is part of what Nolan is trying to say with this movie.
  • Again, let me just say that Ledger was AMAZING. And his "pencil trick" was the greatest magic trick I have ever seen. Wow.
  • I loved the movie, but my one problem was that the plot was hard to follow at times. It is a dense story line, especially for a 2 1/2 hour movie. I had to really concentrate to follow along.
  • I thought the way Harvey Dent was "turned" made a lot of sense, and his character worked into the plot perfectly. I'm always worried that too many villains will muddle up a movie (see Spiderman 3). Bruce Wayne's character was essentially diminished in The Dark Knight, but really, after Batman Begins, what more was there to tell? My one complaint with Dent was that his "accident" was a little anti-climactic. I was expecting a big explosion and a horrifying transformation, but I just got a small fire and a cut to a hospital room. Bo-ring!

That's all folks! Go see HB2! It is 5th at the box office after being passed up by DK, Mama Mia!, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and Hancock (which came in at #2??). Come on, people - Hellboy deserves better!

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