Day: July 19, 2008

“Dark” Victory: Review for “The Dark Knight”

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Personally, I don’t care for comic book films. I didn’t rush to the theater to see Spider-Man, Iron Man, Superman, or any other Man. I did see them, but I didn’t hype them anymore then they already had. I think films in that genre tend to be too formulaic. But I think this film kind of breaks a barrier between the genres of comic book and action/drama.  But I have other thoughts for the newest Batman film, The Dark Knight. (As much of a hubbub that Heath Ledger’s performance is getting, I refuse to sing praises just about him. He wasn’t exactly the best actor in the world. Or even in the last ten years.) The Dark Knight picks up at a bank, where robbers wearing clown masks rob a bank that holds money that has been laundered by the mob. As they get the job done, they start to whisper rumors about the man who hired them, some “clown” named the Joker. As time goes by, each of the robbers kill one another on their orders. One of these masked fiends is the Joker. With a maniacal laugh, Heath Ledger, who was nominated for a “ground breaking” role in Brokeback Mountain, brings shivers down to my spine. When he utters “Why so serious?”, I believe that that scene may become a classic scene of suspense and of horror. His Joker doesn’t really have a back story, per se, but he does, however, tell different tales to different people about how he got his grin like scars. Ledger’s Joker makes Jack Nicholson look like merely a sweet father. Christian Bale returns as Batman, a job that, judging by this film, bodes well for him. Although his Bruce Wayne is smart and intelligent looking and reasonably realistic, his voice for Batman is amazingly annoying. He sounds like he was being throttled and kept talking anyways. The hand-to-hand fighting is very exciting. But the film has too many plots (Joker will blow up hospital if he doesn’t get what he wants. Joker will blow up ships if the ships don’t blow each other up. Two Face will kill people because he’s mad at them fr not saving his fiancee. Joker blows up police station. Joker blows up several other things.) The film has enough plots to fill a seven episode mini-series. Aaron Eckhart and Maggie Gyllenhaal join the cast as Harvey Dent/Two Face and Rachel Dawes, respectively. Harvey is the new D.A. for Gotham City, a very driven character who is very much in love with attorney Rachel, Batman’s ex-flame. Both are pretty well suited for the job. When Rachel dies in one of the Joker’s terrible tricks, Harvey goes on a rampage, to put it frankly. The film does have its merits: it deals with whether vigilante justice morals. The make up for the Joker and Two Face is excellent. Really creepy images of the Joker have been on the Internetand in magazines and to see it on a huge screen can bring out some of your greatest fears. Two Face, a character we haven’t really heard of because of the speculation concerning the Joker, has a face that is charred and fleshy, as if the right side of his face was the main course at a Fourth of July BBQ.  Another part that I like is the character of Harvey Dent/Two Face. It deals with choices. You see that Dent has to flip a coin to decide if he is going to do harm, which I think is very meaningful (though it was in the original comics). The movie does have a few funny one liners, primarily made by the Joker. The inventor of all of Batman’s cool gadgets is played by Morgan Freeman. The relationship between the two is very reminiscent of the relationship between Sean Connery’s James Bond and Desmond Llewelynd’s Q. The movie is overlong, about two and a half hours. The film is pretty good, but long.

Grade: B+