Monday, July 21, 2008

'Batman: The Dark Knight' Review

I rarely take the time to write movie reviews especially on this blog mainly because I feel it’s redundant. Most people have already read or heard reviews about a movie, and adding my opinion isn’t going to help you decide if you want to see it or not. But I’m breaking form this one time because some movies crosses onto our geek side and shines like no other movie of its kind. Batman: The Dark Knight is such a movie.

As much as I loved Batman Begins, The Dark Knight takes Batman to another level. Most comic book movies are poo pooed by most critics and The Academy of Motion Picture, but this film simply cannot be ignored by them. The movie has a brilliant cast of power houses such as Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman , Michael Caine, and Aaron Eckhart. But as I’m sure you’ve all heard, the film is owned by Heath Ledger’s rendition of the Joker, and he is masterful. Ledger somehow manages to convey the creepiness, lunacy, and bizarre humor of the Joker like no other actor before him. He is not over the top in his portrayal of the evil clown prince, he is very brilliant in how he deliveries his insanity so subtlety. The only other character that I can compare him to is Hannibal Lecter, with Ledger delivering a performance that is worthy of an Oscar (and not because of a sympathy vote).

Of course when you think of Batman, you think of cool gadgets. But the one thing that I loved about this version of Batman is that the gadgets are not just for show. They’re actually practical and necessary for the movie to move forward. As strange as this may sound, this is the most realistic comic book movie that I’ve ever seen. And what I mean by this is that the film doesn’t ask you to suspend your disbelief very much. The CGI in this movie is not over done, or unneeded to tell the story. And it asks the question in a very realistic way: could a brilliantly twisted sociopath inflict this type of death and chaos upon a city?

Each one of the characters in the movie is used to move the film forward. So many times we see romances forced into a film simply to give the main character depth, but this isn’t the case here. Maggie Gyllenhaal who plays Assistant District Attorney Rachel Dawes is a necessary cog in the wheel of this movie, as is Aaron Eckhart’s portrayal of Harvey Dent. The love triangle that exists between these characters and Bruce Wayne is formidable because of the decisions (and choices) that are made by them.

The Dark Knight asks us to examine the moral choices that we would make in similar positions, and some of the answers that you might come up with might scare you. The Dark Knight stands not as a comic book film, but just as a fantastically written and acted movie that should be considered for best movie of the year. It has set the bar so high for any other film of its kind that I’m not sure that it can be reached. It is the film that all other comic book movies will forever (and unfairly) be compared to. It is the film that fans of Batman and of movies in general were truly hoping for, but up until now had never seen.

This is not your Daddy’s Batman!

1 comment: said...

I thought it was a fantastic movie with great acting, amazing special effects, and lots of Chicago. But I won't buy it on DVD and won't be seeing it again anytime soon. It was just too depressing.