The Dark Knight

Where do I even begin? Let me first start by saying that the movie was absolutely incredible. Better than the first one, and probably up there as one of the best comic book movies ever. Remember awhile back when I had the poll up for movie you were most excited for? I chose Iron Man, and I guess I should really explain the reasoning behind that choice.

I knew that Christopher Nolan would make a good movie. I knew Dark Knight would be as good or close to the Batman Begins. Iron Man had me excited because it could either suck or be fantastic. I loved Iron Man, but then last night I saw what a comic book movie could really be. You can make changes the characters, but if you understand their core, it does not matter. Dark Knight outdid my expectations, which were already pretty high.

That being said, with all the marketing for the movie, I started to get nervous that it might be really bad. Or that my expectations were getting too high, like they did for Spider-Man 3. Again, Nolan and his team did not let me or anyone else down.

Anyways, let us get to the nitty-gritty of the film. Let me just say that I have nothing negative to say about the film. If you have not seen the film, you might want to stop reading then because I will probably have a few spoilers throughout.

As most people have already said, Heath Ledger was incredible as the Joker. He turned the character into something dark and scary. Everyone loved Jack Nicholson’s version, but if you read the comics, you can see that the Joker is much more than someone who laughs a lot.

The Joker needs to be scary, sick, and twisted. The only person who gets the joke, is himself. Ledger pulled that off remarkably. The little things he did made the character seem very real, such licking his lips or telling the stories of how he got his scars. Also, no silly origin setup about the Joker was great. He just comes out of nowhere. We never learn who he is, nor does Batman, goes with the way he is in the comics. I know someone will say that in The Killing Joke, Alan Moore created an origin, but at the end even the Joker admits that he could be lying about it.

Aaron Eckhart’s performance was also very good as Harvey Dent. They changed the back story a good bit about Two-Face, but for once, this fit the movie much better than the comic’s version.

Eckhart’s ability shows through during the dinner scene where Harvey defends the Batman to Bruce Wayne, Rachel, and the Russian Ballet dancer. The tone of his voice goes from uplifting and very light hearted, to quickly dark and edgy when he says about living long enough to see himself as the villain.

Question for everyone, did Two-Face die at the end? I thought he did, but then after discussing it with Adam, I agree with him that they probably hauled him off to a secret padded room in Arkham Asylum.

The sad thing about the film is that Christian Bale will receive almost no recognition for being such a great Batman. In the first one, most critics said he was the best actor to play Batman. He was just as fantastic in this movie, if not better, but Ledger and Eckhart stole the show.

Another thing I love about the movie franchise is the relationship between Bruce Wayne and Lucius Fox. In the comics or even the Animated Series, Fox was always the guy who led Wayne Enterprises, but had no clue who Batman actually was. Having Fox in there as someone who also knows and actually helps out, completely strengthens the plot. It does not hurt that Morgan Freeman is a great actor.

Did anyone purchase Gotham Knights? It is set in between the two films, broken into six separate stories and basically explains how Batman becomes even more badass. Anyways, I watched it the other night and one of the best parts of that little film, was of Bruce going to India to learn how to focus his pain.

They used that during the film, such as when Two-Face shoots him and he still manages to get up and escape. Or when guys just mercilessly beat him with clubs or bottles and he moves through it without notice.

Without going on forever, I just want to say that everyone should see the film, and most likely go see it again. Tell me what you thought.

Comic Book Movie Grade: A+

5 thoughts on “The Dark Knight

  1. I’ve had many discussions over the past few days about this movies placement in the overall pantheon of cinematic greatness.

    All in all, I’d have to say that though it was indeed phenomenal, I don’t think I’d put it in atop any list. Depending on the genre you place it in (superhero movie, crime drama, biography – the Joker was a real guy, right?) I can think of a movie that I’d place above it.

    I suppose part of my opinion stems from the impossibly high expectations I went in with. Back in the spring my feelings were quite tempered, mainly because I was never particularly enamored with Batman Begins. Then the hype machine pretty much plowed me over via endless message board ranting, and I was lost.

    Heading into the movie there is nothing that would have satisfied me; they could’ve been showing Pulp Fiction with strippers dancing on either side of the screen and given me a steak dinner and a recliner and I still would have been mildly disappointed.

    The Joker part was well written and dang near perfectly acted. Harvey Dent’s character was great as well, but I couldn’t help but feel a little Episode 3’ness when he devolved into Two Face. It just seemed too sudden, with not enough motive for the change.

    Also, Maggie Gyllenhaal didn’t really improve on the Rachel Dawes character. I guess I’m the outsider here, but I never had a problem with Katie Holmes’ performance. Maggie played the part almost exactly the same.

    The sonar bit was a little hokey to me as well, especially when put into that universe. It seemed like it would be more at home in Joel Schumacher’s world, or the Fantastic Four movies.

    Thanks for reminding me about Gotham Knights. I totally meant to get that but somehow forgot.

    Oh, how could I forget Bale’s Batman voice. It hurt my brain whenever he spoke more than 4 words in a row.

  2. Gideon…I think maybe that was the advantage I had over you going into the film. My expectations were not as ridiculously high as most people’s were.

    I have heard many arguments about the sonar. It seems some people hate that aspect about the comic’s Batman, his ability to build super high tech gadgets. Yes the movie could have done without it, but whatever, to me it did not detract from the overall movie.

    One complaint I can think of though is how the Joker could rig so many explosives in a hospital without anyone noticing…seemed a bit odd to me.

    I wonder if a third movie will delve more into Harvey Dent’s character. If he is indeed alive, do they use flashbacks to show the duality of his personality and how he came to be the villain?

    Rachel Dawes character was a bit unnecessary, but I loved the end where Alfred burns the card from her. I did not have a problem with either actress, since in my opinion she is not needed. Unfortunately, Hollywood feels there has to be a female presence or girls will not go to a movie? It is idiotic, but something we have to deal with.

  3. The Batman voice… ugh. It was really the only part of the film I didn’t enjoy. Why won’t someone tell Bale he sounds ridiculous?

    On a related note, every time I complain about the voice to someone who isn’t into comics, I’m invariably asked, “Does he sound like that in the comics?” Yeah, but it gets on my nerves so I just turn the volume down and read the word balloons.


  4. jason…haha. turning down the volume is a good idea. i guess i am in the minority on his voice. it does not bother me. granted the voice from the animated series was the best, but oh well.

    its weird though. when i read different batman comics i imagine his voice differently every time depending on the writer…

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