Tuesday, August 5

the dark knight review

it may have taken me almost a week to see what was THE most anticipated movie of my entire life - i was getting psyched for this thing the minute Batman Begins ended and every single bit of publicity and rumor i heard and saw about it over the course of the next few years did nothing but psyche me up even further - but i saw it. The Dark Knight.

and it was good.

the thing about hyped movies for me is that the more hyped they are, the more excited i get. the more excited i get, the more chance there is that i'm going to be let down. that's why i try to not let myself get too psyched up for a flick - i know that i'll most likely be let down. so i was SO psyched going in to The Dark Knight that i was SCARED. thankfully, it was good.

every bit as good as 2+ years of hype had led me to believe. and that's unbelievable.

this year has sure had some pure crap movies, and i maintain that 90% of what hollywood is shoveling out these days is crap, but The Dark Knight... wow. pure genius. the fact that it's making bank and breaking records - that America sees it for what it is: a GREAT FREAKING MOVIE - almost makes up for the fact that Meet the Spartans was the #1 movie the week it came out. ALMOST.

in this "review" i won't be spoiling too much (i'll be talking about wider strokes, not really too many specifics), but still, if you want to go in not knowing specifics, skip the next few paragraphs.

most of the following are excerpts from an email i sent to a friend a week after seeing the film:


first minor complaint: there were so many characters to focus on, i think Bruce Wayne didn't get enough face time. i mean his story was that he might finally get to give up being Batman if Harvey Dent could become the white knight everyone wanted... but it just seemed a little thin. there could have been another scene or two just focusing on him.

second minor complaint: after the opening bank robbery scene (one of the best i've ever seen), the movie took a little bit for me to get into it. the "recap" (where they let us know what's been going on since we last saw these characters) was just a little too quick and neat for me. it was almost too tightly written, too sparse on details. however, it didn't last long and then soon i was dragged right into the world. i understand that the recap couldn't drag on too long because there was just so much more movie to come AFTER it, but it could have lingered a little longer.

...and that's pretty much it.

from the excellent portrayal of the Joker (maybe even the best, with Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns portrayal coming in second) to the story of Batman (the dark knight) and Harvey Dent/Two Face (the white knight) and the ending setting up the next movie - it just solidified what a good Batman story can be. and if they're out there, i want to read them now.


honestly, this was one of the most well written, acted, and directed movies i've ever seen. each scene topped the next one! i read in an interview that Nolan had SUCH a vision for the film that they only edited out like 10 minutes of footage. they didn't waste a drop! he knew what he wanted and he went for it. and it was near-perfect. maybe even perfect.

it's definitely my favorite superhero movie now (passing up Spider-Man 2 and Batman Begins) and yeah, i'm a little scared at how freaking good it was. i mean how can you pass it up - be it with Batman 3 or even any OTHER superhero movie to come? i guess you just try and realize that nothing will be as good as it and just go with it. some might think Spider-Man's morality stories are "silly" in comparison now, but Spider-Man 2 is still my second-favorite superhero movie - they're just different movies, by different crews. i guess that's how i have to approach superhero movies from now on. "to each their own."

speaking to this point, i watched the trailer from comic con for the new X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie and of COURSE it's going to be silly compared to The Dark Knight - however, it looked REALLY good (and i'm not a fan of Wolverine when he's on his own). so i guess i'm not too worried about comic book movies to come. i can take them on their own merits.

Batman 3 however has something to live up to. :)

i knew just how good DK was when i was sitting there watching the thing and said to myself "now i want to read the comics." seriously, this was the perfect Batman story.

the acting was SO good all around - Oldman, Caine, Ledger, Eckhart - that i think Bale got outshined, which was fine. and Heath Ledger. wow, what an actor. he truly embodied what the Joker really should be all about - chaos. and his X-rated portrayal in a PG-13 movie was unbelievable. he WAS the Joker. and it's just so sad we'll never get to see him again, in this or any other movie.

there's so much more i could say about the movie, but i think that's enough for now.

side note: why do you think the movie is making so much? i mean Batman Begins barely broke $150 mil at the box office. was it word of mouth after seeing Batman Begins? after seeing The Dark Knight? was it the advertising? did most people only see Begins on DVD? i think that could account for some of the popularity, but honestly it's got to be the fact that this is Heath Ledger's last performance. i swear, if it wasn't, the movie would probably be sitting at $50-100 mil less right now. i want to believe it's a testament to his great skills as an actor and not some morbid curiosity the public has to see his last performance. oh well. rant over.

The Dark Knight
4 stars out of 4

- best movie of 2008
- my favorite superhero movie so far
- one of my favorite movies of all time, period

it truly is a work of art.