Movie Review: The Dark Knight

Movies and Television

Finally getting around to typing this. But as all but maybe five people have seen it, I am guessing it can keep this short and sweet and do not have to worry about spoilers.

Dark Knight. © 2008 Warner Bros. Legendary

So in the midst of my Olympics hangover (I should link to an overload blog, but there are too many) here are my thoughts:

The Dark Knight is a damn good movie, dark and deep, which is what they wanted. The Cast:

  • Christian Bale, good again.
  • Heath Ledger, deserving of the Oscar nod for sure regardless of the extenuating circumstances.
  • Aaron Eckhart, also worthy of consideration.
  • Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman all deliver solid supporting performance.
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal was better than Katie Holmes. Low praise I know, but she did not really have all that much to do.
  • Only other actor I even noticed was the eyeliner-loving Richard from LOST.
  • Your not-so-basic good guys going to the dark side to fight the bad guys saga, with Batman ultimately taking on a heavier burden, to give the people that paper champion they allegedly deserve.

The action is good, the cinematography fine and dark and moody. I think the plot is more about character motivations and maneuvers though perhaps not fully explained. (What? I do not like to really think that much in a superhero, comic book flick. And this one requires a good bit of thinking and over-thinking.)

Ledger as Joker, Dark Knight. © 2008 Warner Bros.

As with Batman Begins, my favorite part of The Dark Knight is that Nolan and Bale recognize Batman for what he is and even make fun of it: normal guy, powerless without the toys, susceptible to harm and human frailties and weaknesses.

My least favorite part: the clich of the good guys who are smart enough to know better, falling for the bad guy’s traps. Bad guys lie and have a plan; good guys know it and fall to weaknesses (which the bad guys count on).

So the whole dramatic twist that kicks off the climactic ending hinges upon a “woulda, coulda, shoulda” known better. And I for one wondered how this “great hero” did not know better. (Do not give me canon. Don’t care if it “had to happen” because comic #213 says so.) Anyway guilt and blame all around, lots of regrets and recrimination, blah blah.

Overall it was an excellent movie, and I will be lining up for what is set to be an even darker-cum-redemptive sequel.

Final Snark: Heavy duty box office whoop ass by an actually good movie.

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