Wow. Just wow. Pip had been on my ass for quite a while to see The Dark Knight and I have to say that for the first time in a long time a movie finally lived up to the expectations that I had for it. I went to see this late one Monday evening. I stuck around the house long enough to put G down for the night so Amanda would be stuck with both of them. Then I headed to the cinema (which incidentally has $5 movies and free popcorn all day Mondays). I called Pip on my way to the show to get the Cliff Notes version of Batman Begins cause I STILL haven’t seen it. I’ve had it sitting in my basement on DVD for about 6 months now but just haven’t gotten around to watching it.
In any case, this movie was unbelievable. It’s not often that a movie lives up to all the hype that it’s received so I simply could not believe that it was as good as everyone was saying it was. Boy was I wrong!
Heath Ledger gave a performance of a lifetime as the Joker (no pun intended – for those of you that don’t know Heath died shortly after the filming of The Dark Knight). The comparison’s to Jack Nicholson’s Joker are easy to make. Ledger’s version was much darker and you really got the sense that he was a disturbed individual. Nicholson’s Joker was more modeled after the comic book mastermind and wasn’t so based in “reality” if that makes any sense. Ledger’s Joker was quite simply a psychopath with a bone to pick. He wasn’t after money and he wasn’t after fame. He quite simply had an agenda that he was going to get taken care of.
Aaron Eckhart played a great Harvey Dent / Two-Face. The comparisons here to Tommy Lee-Jones’ version are more difficult simply because Eckhart didn’t “become” Two-Face until much later in the film. That being said I think this film does a much better job showing the metamorphosis of Dent into Two-Face. As for pure “acting” I’ll give the nod to Eckhart over Jones (with the realization that Jones really wasn’t called upon to do much “acting” in his role).
The action in this film is where it REALLY takes the cake over all other previous Batman films. Quite literally hours of action sequences fill this flick. One thing that I’ve heard people complain about with this film is the length. Personally I didn’t have a problem with it. I went to a late showing (9:45 PM) and even though it was a flick over 2 and a half hours I never found myself saying “when will this be over”. The pacing of the action sequences with the way the (outstanding!) dialog was put in quite simply left you wanting more and not wanting the flick to be over. I do have to say that the film’s ending seemed a bit rushed but it was either that or set up a sequel with absolutely no resolution (think Two Towers).
Christian Bale does an admirable job portraying the man behind the mask. He’s MUCH better as Kilmer & Clooney playing Bruce Wayne. I’m still a huge fan of Keaton as Bruce Wayne but the two characters are SO different that it’s tough to make a comparison. Bale is a bad-ass when it comes to kicking ass. He’s got a ton of cool weapons and he plays it off well. He’s obviously in great condition, but at the same time he’s not a “super hero” as much as he is “a regular guy with a bunch of cool weaponry & training”. Some Batman fans don’t like this portrayal but that’s why I’ve always LOVED Batman – he’s just a guy. My one big bitch with the movie is about Batman himself… I simply CANNOT STAND the voice that Bale does when he’s under the mask. It’s not bad the first couple of times, but halfway through the movie you’ll be wishing he would just shut the hell up.
You have got to see The Dark Knight. It’s a great action flick even if you’re not into Batman. Definitely a must see. The only reason that I’m not giving it a full 5/5 is due to the voice that Bale does as the masked man.