The Dark Knight: Christopher Nolan

03Aug08

The Dark Knight

“You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?”


This line and many others made Jack Nicholson’s Joker (Batman, 1989) one of the best movie villains of all time. He had the smile, the charisma, and the insanity. So when it was announced that Heath Ledger (fresh off Brokeback Mountain) was to fill Jack’s shoes in The Dark Knight, I was skeptical. Shame on me.


From his first moment on screen, it is understandable why Ledger’s immersion into this character apparently led to his overdose. The actor ceased to exist; there was only Joker. Dark, demented, violent, and slightly amusing. Brilliant.


Even if the rest of the movie had sucked (it didn’t), Joker would’ve saved the day. Sure, it has its problems. The plotline and action don’t really build consistently. They rise and fall too much, allowing unnecessary side stories to under-develop and prolong the film. The editing is slightly off and casting could have been better. I’m not a big Maggie Gyllenhaal fan, and the actress switch didn’t help. Bale’s Batman is still in his infancy, so I’m hoping the small but numerous hitches and shortcomings are all part of the development. 


It also started to have the same issue Spiderman 3 (Dark Knight kicked it’s ass by $8 million opening weekend, just FYI). Too many villains and plots are jammed into the same 2 and a half hours. But my biggest problem with D.K. was that, even though Christopher Nolan is trying to stick with the original Batman mythology, he deviates from it in several ways I feel are counterproductive to the franchise. However, that would be spoiler-city, so you’ll just have to see for yourself.


This all sounds very negative, but the movie is engaging and freaking awesome the whole way through. Batman’s gadgets have gotten cooler. Bruce Wayne has matured. And The Joker’s insane antics are bloody marvelous. Nolan’s direction just keeps getting better, bringing Batman out of Tim Burton’s dark fantasy, bypassing Schumacher’s retarded campiness, and into the real world, where he kicks a lot of ass. I also like that, unlike the first four films, not many people are finding out Bruce Wayne’s secret. Apparently Michael Keaton left the cave door open every damn night.


But does it really matter what I say about The Dark Knight though? You’re going to see it, and you’re going to love it, just like I did. My only regret is that it’s been out for two weeks and I’ve only seen it once. Unacceptable.


Final Grade: B+

 


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