Saturday, July 19, 2008
The Dark Knight: Two of the Best Movies EVER MADE!
Where do I begin here? With the heaps of praise, or with my disgruntled grousing? I guess I'll get the negatives out of the way, since that's a much smaller pile to disperse.
First off, I know Batman's trying to mask his voice with that gruff, guttural half-whisper of his, but it's getting old. Can't we have Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) whip him up a voice modifier or something?
Second, a word to screenwriters Christopher and Jonathan Nolan: It's ok to kill bad guys in Movieland. And when the good guys are getting mown down like bunnies on a country higway, it's a little empty feeling when every bad guy mastermind lives to see another day. Or sequel.
Which feeds into my third- and last- complaint. This movie went on forever. And when you have THREE super-villains to contend with, it HAS to go on forever. I shudder to think of what Batman 4 or 5 will clock in at. They'll have to have an HBO mini-series and an old-school "cast of thousands" to cover all the still-breathing bad guys in those sequels.
Seriously- we can handle one bad guy per film, folks! (That goes for you Spiderman writers, too!)
Ok, gripefest over, let's get to the meat of it:
This movie is absolutely unbelievable. Believe the hype. And ignore the legions of Batfans who laugh too loud and too obviously at ever word out of the Joker's mouth, same as they did twenty years ago when Jack Nicholson had his go-round in the clown make-up.
Believe it when people tell you that Heath Ledger is Oscar-bound with this performance, because he is. It's probably unfair to compare the apples-and-oranges performances of him and Jack Nicholson, but come on, you HAVE to. Jack Nicholson was a great Joker, but he was basically Jack Nicholson in clownface. Heath Ledger, on the other hand, created something completely unique with this guy. If you didn't know it was him, you'd have never, ever figured it out, I guarantee you. And not to go all homophobe on you here, but it's nice to see him hitting on MAGGIE Gyllenhaal this time around, instead of Jake.
And thank you, Christopher Nolan, for replacing Kate Holmes with Maggie Gyllenhaal for this sequel. She's a MUCH better Rachel Dawes.
In fact, every performance here is noteworthy. From Batman himself (Christian Bale) right down to Alfred the butler (played by the other actor-who-has-kissed-other-men-on-film in this movie, Michael Caine, who made out with Superman Christopher Reeve in 1982's Deathtrap... what's with the superhoeroes-in-tights films loaded up with actors who play gay men? I see a trend... but I digress.)
The Dark Knight really is a completely different breed of Superhero/Comic Book movie. Not quite "true" to any of its predecessors- be it the comic books, TV show, or other movies- this series is panning out to be a gritty, this-is-how-it-would-really-be kind of superhero movie. No silly antics and fun gag-punches here. When you get hit, you get hurt. When you die, it's brutal and violent. When the world turns on you, they don't magically relearn how to love you before the closing credits roll. No, in these movies, when you're the Dark Knight of Gotham, you're alone and unloved and that's exactly the way you made it for yourself.
I give this movie a solid 9 out of 10. It's about as good as it possible could have been, all things considered.