Friday, August 01, 2008

Review: Batman: The Dark Knight

This is yet another summer movie I went to the midnight opening of, and unlike various other movies, (*cough*walle*cough*caspian*cough*) I left with a sense of satisfaction and contentment.
Where Ironman left me with wonder and anticipation for what is yet to come, the Dark Knight is likely the pinnacle of the DC comic movies, and will remain that way for years to come.

The easiest way to sum up TDK is that it is as good as a movie can be without being great. The story is riveting, entertaining to the nines, and dark as the night itself. Little develops in the life of Bruce Wayne, and even less in the life of Batman. This is partly due to the superb work of Batman Begins, and the story has already been told. (Batman's voice? The Batcave? Hong Kong? ... but thats a topic for another time)

The real work of the film is done by Heath Ledger as the joker. I went into this film ready to mock him and his character, but it's an entirely convincing performance and nails the inane anarchy of the Joker like a 40 year roofer.

Even when other parts of the movie fail, ie Rachel Daws, Batman's characterizations, and stupid tech, the Joker is always there to pull it out. The climax of the third act is particularly potent because of the way the movie has played to this point. But I'll let you see that for yourself.

I say see this while its in theaters, and I'm getting the DVD when it's released to watch again. and again.


Kingdom Advancer said...

"KA, I would rather pay to see Ironman again over Dark Knight. Thats how I'm judging it. :D"

So are you saying that you're putting your gavel where your wallet is? If so, you're gonna need a bigger back pocket. Unless you carry a manbag. :P

My brother and I want to go see this again in the theater, but I want to see the new Kevin Costner movie "Swing Vote," as I don't know how that's going to work out.

Celestial Fundie said...

Have you read many Batman comic books?

I thought it was quite faithful to the ethos of Batman.

I am glad they chose to go with the Harvey Dent' Two-Face storyline. That is probably one of my favorite parts of the Batman cycle.

God Bless


FAICA Soldier said...

It still seems like you enjoyed this movie more than I did. I don't want to make light of Ledger or of Wally Pfister's breathtaking cinematography but there is too much for me to not like. And it breaks the cardinal sin of making me wish it was over before it ended. For that reason I know that I dread watching this film again. I suppose I could skip the parts without the Joker like; Batman talking, cell phone sonar, Dawes, Dent, criminals on the ferry, the weakest organized crime imaginable (how exactly were they still operating if they were so inept?)... But all that said I would not call it a bad movie, I would give it a B-

All-American Girl said...

"ie Rachel Daws,"

heh its Dawes...

but anyway, yes i must agree with you about it being better than Iron Man, more in-depth, not so much of a build on Batman's storyline, you're right, but it was defiantly amazing...

can you tell i am a fan??

some of my friends, i regret to say, wanted to see it merely because of Heath Ledger's part, but as you can guess,
got a rude awakening, with the darkness of his character, and the fact that he certainly looks nothing like his usually handsome self, so yes, i got a laugh out of their looks of horror when they first saw him..
but yes an amazing film :D

Palm boy said...

Kingdom, I do carry a manbag/murse. But more on that later. :D

Yikes. I'd see Ironman, Batman, or Hellboy II over swing vote. Costner in a comedy? :D

Matt, I have never read a Batman Comic or watched the TV series. I'm pretty inept when it comes to the DC universe.
I assume you have and judged the movie worthy? :D
I thought the way they transformed Harvey from the White Knight of Gotham into one of it's vengeful killers was handled pretty skillfully, even if some of the effects on his face annoyed me.

Aaron, I did enjoy it way more thn you did. The mob was a bunch of pansey weak-kneed hobos, but come on, it's batman. When have they ever wielded the power of Capone?

American, Loi. I shall remember that in the future.
I liked Ironman better then TDK. I was saying Ironman left we with excitement and energy, and ready for what is to come. Batman left me sated and not looking for another Batman movie.

There was a significant Heath Ledger faction among my friends as well. Fortunately for me, the midnight showing was not rife with them.

All-American Girl said...


could you explain?
i know most shorthand, but this confusing....

a lot like "mk", whatever that is...


Solameanie said...

I wish I could get jazzed over Heath Ledger and his role in Batman, but the whole Hollywood Hoo-Hah over Brokeback Mountain kind of soured me. His death was tragic enough, but because he played a breakout homosexual role, Hollywood and the media will be ready to canonize him as a saint no matter what his performance level.

Palm boy said...

AAG, haha.
Loi = Laughing on the Inside.
I prefer it to LOL, because I usually don't actually laugh out loud unless I'm in a conversation, or if its really funny. So I laugh on the inside. :D
Mk = mmmm ok. But mk is easier and faster and more phonetically correct.

Joel, I wasn't ready to lionize Ledger, if anything, I've been mocking him for his death. But he did turn in quite a handy performance.

Kingdom Advancer said...

Well, as happens occasionally with my family, after thinking about which movie to go see, we didn't see any.

I was a little bit scared off from "Swing Vote" when one review said that it leans clearly to the left, even though it supposedly holds to equal opportunity mocking of Republicans and Democrats.

I still think it might be a fun movie to see, making fun of politicians and American media.

I agree about not wanting to lionize Heath Ledger, but I do think he did a great job.

I have to agree with Soldier that I wasn't too fond of the cell-phone sonar part. But, in contrast, I actually wished the movie wouldn't end because the Joker vs. Batman was captivating. Now, seeing it again probably wouldn't be so exciting.

Palm Boy, you're right about the effects of Dent's face. It reminded me too much of Pirates of the Caribbean or something. Perhaps they thought it was a great new grizzly way to portray Two-Face, but I just didn't like it all that much.