What can I say about The Dark Knight….I loved it. Of the few movies I’ve seen this summer it was the best and I’m feeling like I’m not alone seeing how well the film has been doing. A lot of repeat business. Usually with these movies they take a huge amount of money the first week and once bad word of mouth gets out it drops drastically, but this one did well all last week and did even better in its second weekend. There were only two movies that I was anticipating this summer (Indiana Jones 4 and The Dark Knight–and Indiana Jones was rather like the Cesear Salad that I’m currently eating as I write this from work, unimaginative, disappointing and leaving a bad taste in my mouth) and this one blew away anything else that would have challenged it.
From the end of Batman Begins when Gordon gives Batman the Joker card and says that was the killer’s calling card I was hoping that they would make a huge sequel and not to disappoint. I was horrified when they casted Heath Ledger as the Joker. I didn’t think he could ever top Jack Nicolson’s portrayal as The Joker. But as I continued reading and looking closer at the disicion to make Ledger the Joker I realized that they were going in a completely different direction that had been taken other than perhaps in the comic book. This guy was going to be lethal. He was going to be a pychotic lunatic murderer, who just didn’t care. And I’ll tell you one thing, Heath Ledger not only created his own Joker but he completely blew away any of version of the character by bringing to film the most realistic deptiction of the Joker that has ever been seen.
On the way home from seeing The Dark Knight Melissa asked me what the criteria for an Oscar Nomination would be and I told her I didn’t know, but if it was up to me (and we know its not) it would be the point when you as the audience stopped seeing the person on the screen as the actor and start seeing the person on the screen the character. Which, again in my opinion, Tom Cruise will probably never win an Oscar because regarless of how much he tries to get into character he will always be Tom Cruise playing a part in a movie. When you watch The Joker not once do you think its Heath Ledger, you watch it wondering what his next move is going to be. When will he next show you his disapearing pencil trick?
I, however, did not want to see The Dark Knight because Heath Ledger’s tragic death. I am a Batman fan first and foremost and I would pretty much go see any Batman movie that would come out. Especially one that followed Batman Begins, with Christian Bale as Batman and Christopher Nolan as the director. But I will say that dispite my reluctance to say so, with so much hype about this being Ledger’s final completed film (not counting the one that was shooting when he died, but that’s a different story)I walked in hoping to be awed and I was. I was mesmerized by an amazing performance. One that brought my favorite Batman villian to life and one that pleased me very well.
Moving on to some other aspects of the movie, I think Aaron Eckhart was the perfect choice to bring Harvey Dent/Two Face to life especially after Tommy Lee Jones’ performance that made Two Face a laughing idiot in Batman Forever. As much as I enjoyed Batman Forever when it came out (I think I went to see it twice in the theater and I read up all I could on it) I always felt that they could have done more with Two-Face and I’m glad that they gave Harvey more of a in-depth character. Ever since I saw Two-Face in the cartoon (Batman: The Animated Series) I always felt bad for Harvey Dent. He’s someone that will forever be simpathetic character simply because you can understand when he would snap if everything that he had in life was suddenly taken away, including the fact that he is grotesquely scared. I know that most people probably wouldn’t turn into a true monster, but it is quite understandabe.
As for Rachel Dawes, who was played by Maggie Gyllenhaal in The Dark Knight but was played by Katie Holmes in Batman Begins, I think that Maggie Gyllenhaal brought to the character a little more maturity and made Rachel more believable as a character. Not that there is anything wrong with Katie Holms. I mean she’s pretty and all but like Britney Spears there is a “used” thought that comes to mind when you hear her name (along with a slightly “crazy” potential mindset that comes to mind because of her husband-gasp! Tom Cruise). When I heard that Maggie Gyllenhaal was taking over the character I felt that it was a great move and that she was going to be amazing in it. And I don’t think that she disappointed at all.
I also think that the story in this film made sense. Not knocking Tim Burton’s Batman, because I love that movie but when you watch it you realize that there really isn’t a story. Its about The Joker wrecking havok without any real reason or motive or plot. He just does. Even Batman Returns had more motive for its villian, The Penguin, who wanted to become Mayor of Gotham City. I think that the way they portrayed The Joker in this movie was the crowning achievement by giving someone that people recognized as a Batman villian (not that Ra’ Al Gul in Batman Begins wasn’t a formiddable foe, but come on, outside of people who paid attention while watching the cartoon, or read the comics–I did both–but no one knew who he was–> same reason why Spiderman 2 was way better than the first Spiderman, they had a great villian) that we wanted to see and that gave the hero a run for his money.
When, and I am confident that there will be a third movie (which in a conversation with Adam he told me that he hopes that they call it Shadow of a Bat–the name of one of the Batman comics–because he’ll be hiding from the police and all of that)
that they don’t pull a Spiderman 3 (the worst of the Spiderman movies, one that I wouldn’t even buy. I won’t even watch again. Utterly worthly piece of film that should not have earned it such a great amount of money if it were not for the great marketing department that lead us all to believe that Venom was the main villian and it completely shyed away from showing us the kiddie/family friendly moments in the movie that took us away from the meat of the film) and let all the fans down. I don’t want to post any spoilers on here so I won’t give too much away. But my choices for villians in the third one would be: Two-Face, Catwoman, The Penguin, Mad Hatter, The Riddler, Mr. Freeze and maybe even Scarface. Anyone or two of those would suffice.
I completely give this movie an insane of amount of thumbs up. And even if you aren’t a Batman fan you should go see it.
PS What do you think about my new User Pic?