So, The Dark Knight. It’s kind of stupid to review a movie that everyone has already seen, but humor me for a moment.
I could try to avoid repeating everything that’s been said about Heath Ledger’s performance, but, seriously, they guy was amazing. Nicholson was great as the Joker, but comparing the two makes Jack’s version look a child’s toy. Ledger completely owned The Dark Knight, and in doing so posthumously gave us the best acting performance of the year. Heck, he probably gave us one of the best performances of the decade.
The script gave him a lot to work with. The Dark Knight’s Joker is deliciously evil, a masochist with a serious need to fuck with people. Ledger became his character in a way few actors can—Philip Seymour Hoffman’s performance in Capote is one of the few relatively recent examples that comes to mind—so his performance is really one to be appreciated.
But you know what? The rest of the cast was strong as well. Sure, things got laid on a bit quick now and then, especially Gary Oldman’s short monologue at the end, but on the whole The Dark Knight was an incredibly well-acted film. If there’s anything disappointing about any of the performances, it’s that many of them will never be repeats: The Dark’s Knight’s willingness to kill off central characters borderlined on shocking.
The story overall was quite strong, and managed to build on Batman Begin’s real-world envelopment of its superhero. While the concept of course remains fundamentally ridiculous, Christopher Nolan has come exceedingly close to making the story seem plausible. The supposed smarts shown by the characters actually damages the film a bit, though, as it makes gaps in the plot painfully evident. (If everyone was as smart as portrayed, someone would’ve thought to run a security check on the passenger ferries.) But, this is a film about a guy in a cape, so there’s probably something to be said about suspending disbelief.
If I have a complaint about the movie, it involves the hospital bombing, which came across as technically sloppy. While it was fun watching the Joker have a field day with explosives, it was exceedingly clear the building behind him a) wasn’t a hospital, and b) had nothing in it. Shortly before the big explosion, a couple of shots allowed you to see straight through the building, a goof so obvious that it was practically daring the viewer to ignore it.
So, that part kind of sucked. I could also complain that The Dark Knight’s Gotham looks quite a bit different from Batman Begins’ Gotham, which bugs me as the storyline only leaves a few years between the two movies. While it’s exceedingly obvious that Chicago was starring as Gotham in both cases, Batman Begins at least bothered to give us some long shots of a CGI metropolis as if to say,” we know you know it’s Chicago, but play along with us, OK?” The Dark Knight was more “yeah, fuck it, it’s Chicago.”
And since I’m on the topic: Where the hell was the monorail?
Since I’m nearing rant-mode, I should probably just get to the rating: 9/10. (I’d give it a full 10 if not for the technical issues, but they’re there and I can’t get myself to ignore them.) On the exceedingly slim chance you haven’t seen it already, go and see it while it’s still in theaters.