Monday, July 21, 2008

The Dark Knight

Aaaaah. Finally.

I didn't get to see it for the first time on Imax like I'd hoped, but digital projection will do. Either way it's a glorious movie.

Let's start with the flaws. This is really minor stuff, but I don't want this to be nothing but gushing praise.

Christian Bale's voice as Batman was borderline silly for most of the movie. It was way more effective in the first film, using the growl sparingly (when he's dangling the guy off the building for example. "Swear to me!!!"). In this movie he growls every line. Even when he's alone with someone who already knows his true identity, like Lucius.
But no big deal. We all know this wasn't really Batman's movie anyway...

The car chase was handled a bit sloppily, but it wasn't nearly as incomprehensible as the review on Fresh Air made it out to be. The action in general was much grander in this movie, but could have been handled better (although the bat-cycle scene ended up being way cooler than I anticipated).

Enough nit picking. So what worked? Everything else, big time.

Everyone seems to be having the conversation right now about whether Heath Ledger's performance is really that great, or if people just want it to be because of his death. What a stupid conversation. This is the Joker performance. And I enjoy all the others. This movie captured the character perfectly. This Joker stepped straight out of The Killing Joke, except he looks even creepier than the comics ever made him. He scared me, and I felt guilty every time he made me laugh. And his evil on. Way better than Ra's al Ghul's plot to evaporate Gotham's water supply (and about 10 million times better than Lex Luthor's plan to create a new continent out of barren, impenetrable rock).

Gary Oldman as Gordon was perfect. He was good in the first movie, but now he finally gets to the meaty stuff. Thank god Nolan understands how important Gordan is to the Batman saga. Gordon is the character that makes us care about Gotham. He's the only reason we give a damn whether or not the whole city goes to hell. This is one of Gary Oldman's best performances ever. Marvelous.

Those are the two standouts from a flawless cast. Everyone was great, but the two guys above just blew me away. And Maggie Gyllenhaal - always a better choice than Katie Holmes, thank you. It's going to get tedious if I just start listing everything I liked about the movie, because they just got so much right.


Paige said...

Andy and I saw it last night...and I said the exact same things about the Batman got a little out of hand.

I woke up this morning feeling incredibly sad that Heath is gone...seeing his performance really hit it home and I was more than amazed by his Joker. We plan on seeing it again. The nurse scene and pencil trick made me don't feel bad!

BG said...


I'm just glad they killed off Rachel, now he can have an illicit affair with Cat Woman. Also, I saw where Oldman mentioned Riddler, but it seemed more like he was just throwing a villain out there than actually admitting to anything.

Scott said...

I think Nolan has confirmed the Riddler too, but I'm not sure.

Zhubin said...

Wait, when did Oldman mention the Riddler?

My favorite scene in the movie was the pencil trick. Ta-da!

Scott said...

Yes, yes. The pencil trick was great.

Oldman mentioned that the Riddler would be the next villain in an interview he did somewhere, not in the movie.

Bobak said...

Wait, are they really planning on making another movie?

Why? Why would they do that? How can you possibly top The Joker? You can't top this film.

This is how films like The Godfather Part III are made.

Valerie said...

Hey I agree, why the growl on every line? It is weird and if I heard anyone make that voice, I'd laugh in their face. HA.

I love the batcycle. Hell yeah.