As dark as they come. — 4 years ago
It’s been awhile since I’ve really been impressed with a movie, let alone a superhero film; last year’s Spider-Man 3 really let me down in a lot of ways. And given that I was never really into Batman as a kid, I feel like it’s even more impressive that I’ve actually started to delve more into the mythos behind the caped crusader.
Anyway, until I actually saw The Dark Knight I too was worried that it would turn out to be all hype with little delivery, but I was wrong. Heath Ledger really is that good as the Joker, albeit this is an entirely different take on the character from Jack Nicholson’s version in the 1989 Batman. Ledger’s is more like some maniacal psychopath with a taste for chaos than some petty criminal with clown make-up. Hell, the film itself is as dark as they come, blurring the lines between what’s good and evil.
The returning actors all play their parts well; I personally liked Gary Oldman more than I did in Batman Begins. The new additions to the cast are also good. Aaron Eckhart’s version of Harvey Dent is terrific, and I’m glad they made the decision to cast him. He’s just got that lawyer/businessman kind of vibe that fits with a character like Dent. And yes, Maggie Gyllenhaal is much better than Katie Holmes. It was far easier to take her seriously than Holmes.
The action and narrative come at a good pace, but there’s a lot of information to digest, which can get confusing if you’re not really paying attention. And judging by some reviews, people seem to think two and a half hours is too much time to devote their attention to – ah, the beauties of contemporary American audiences and the YouTube generation! I personally like longer, more engaging films, and personally the two and a half hours is time well-spent.
The Dark Knight is an impressive film to be sure, but I’m a bit worried about where Christopher Nolan is going to take the series from here, if he decides to continue it – and with an opening weekend record breaker, why wouldn’t the studios try to push a sequel? Still, it’s always a fun conversation to imagine what other Batman villian is next in line to be given the Nolan treatment.