Monday, July 28, 2008
My Take on The Dark Knight
I don't use this blog for movie reviews, but I'll make an exception.
We saw The Dark Knight yesterday. Wow. It rendered me speechless, I have to say. When we came out, we both remained fairly quiet because we both had to process it a bit, which always marks a quality film for me. Without giving anything away, I'll write that Christian Bale did it up right as the Caped Crusader, complete with gravelly voice (I think it's a bit much, but I understand the need for it, I guess) and tortured dual life. I really liked Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes; her feistiness worked a lot better than sanctimonious Katie Holmes' version. Morgan Freeman, well, do I really have to say anything? He's Morgan Freeman.
Aaron Eckhart worked surprisingly well as Harvey Dent, the alternate White Knight of Gotham. Won't say much more than that, but he played his part admirably, as did Michael Caine and Gary Oldman, who I think can do just about any accent or role he chooses and do it well, even his ridiculous Dracula. [Sidebar: F.F. Coppola chose Keanu Reeves for that part solely for box office draw; he didn't seem him as right for the part of Jonathan Harker at all. Neither did anyone who wasn't a teenage girl. But it worked.]
But I have to give the greatest credit to Heath Ledger. His version of the Joker blew me away. It was brilliant: psychotic, diabolical, evil to the core. I don't take anything away from Jack Nicholson's, but Jack's was bright-colors-comic-book, over-the-top in an obvious way. I think what made Ledger's Joker so frightening, at least to me, was that this type of person could almost exist in real life. He played it darker than I'd ever imagined, and it made the entire movie. His family should take pride in the fact that his last role, though not a happy one, was unquestionably triumphant in his portrayal of this demented character.
All in all, good script, solid acting, and a lot of thought about the dual nature we all have, and which side we'll go to in a given situation. Oh, some reviewers complain about the 9/11 vibe in the beginning with mention of terrorism, but I barely noticed it. And there's this whole mob side plot that does fit in, although it's a little garbled. Just focus on the Joker. If you have any interest in the new Batman series (and thank goodness we got away from the stupid Clooney-Schwarzenegger-one-liner version, ECH), you should see it. It's the full 2.5 hours, but you won't care. I say best film of the summer, hands down.