Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Dark Knight, in review

Last night, like so many other loyal Batman fans, we flocked to the movie theater to see the latest installment, "The Dark Knight." Brad and Tammy joined us and Erin was gracious enough to babysit Maggie. We bought our tickets ahead of time and were in line early, after a quick dinner at Potbelly. Brad and Tammy visited us last summer, while we were still living in Chicago, and Tammy and I went on a Christian Bale hunt one day, after learning from some crewmen that he was filming at a nearby hotel. We almost made it up to the ballroom, but alas, were not allowed in the end. Another friend in the city was a loyal fan as well and was on location during the scene where a car explodes and Joker cards come raining down...she kept some for mementos. I was a bit jealous, to be honest.

But, back to the reason for this post, to share my thoughts on the movie. Almost the entire original cast remained intact, while adding the faces of Aaron Eckhart, as DA Harvey Dent, and Maggie Gyllenhaal, as the lovely Rachel Dawes. I was eager to see Gyllenhaal's performance, as I thought Katie Holmes initial role was not terribly compelling. Alas, Gyllenhaal disappointed, not being passionate enough or tormented enough; she didn't stand out like I was expecting. The movie also had scenes that were a bit lengthy and possibly could have been cut, but overall, this movie was actually better than its predecessor. Eckhart was a wonderful addition to the cast; he is a stand-out performer and carved out a name for himself among such renowned actors. With spot on humorous moments and stellar acting roles by Bale, Ledger, Caine, Freeman, and Oldman, this movie cannot be missed.

And so it's in writing--Ledger's Joker completely diminishes Nicolson's original portrayal. More dark, complex, and twisted, Ledger created a character you believe in; if I met him on the street, this is exactly what I would encounter.

Grab your popcorn and soda, get in line early, and go see this movie tonight. Leave the spandex at home, though; Bale wears it best.


  1. Oh Christian, If only those pecs were for me!
    Loved movie night with you guys! As I savor the movie from Friday, I believe it begins to taste much better. I think it WAS better than the first Batman and even the FIRST Batman (Michael Keaton One which seemed more campy). Definitely. And as you know, I went into the movie with preconceived notions of the late Heath Ledger's performance as I was afraid that the hype was making it and him better than it was. But man oh man, he pulled off an excellent performance and the movie as a whole did not disappoint. And any movie where Christian Bale takes off his shirt not once but twice, has to be an excellent movie in my book.

  2. I can't wait to see it!!! :)

    I heart Christian Bale. he he!! He is so good looking. LOL.

  3. Loved the review - especially the part at the end talking about Bale wearing the spandex best. Hubba Hubba!


  4. We saw it yesterday and I agree wholeheartedly! Heath Ledger was awesome as was Christian Bale. Loved the scene where the Joker is leaving the hospital in a nurse's uniform.

  5. A thorough-going review by an unabashed CB fan. :)

    While R and I liked the movie and found it well done in many ways, we didn't think it was a fun movie. Plus, many of the themes covered in the film were dealt with superbly by Frank Miller's graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns, to which all of these movie franchises pay homage in some way. So in that respect, IMO the first movie was more interesting in what it did with CB and the development of Batman.

    Of course, Ledger was so very outstanding as the Joker that R later said the movie should have been called "The Joker, with additional appearances by Batman." It's the Iago effect.

    CB did a decent job with what little was given him to show emotional range and weariness, but this movie wasn't really about Batman; it was about his impact on those around him. In fact, the movie kept telling us -- and him -- that, rather than sticking to showing us. The strongest moments in the movie was when the actual narrative quit pontificating and let the actors do their jobs.

    Oh, and I adore Gary Oldman more and more.

  6. I will have to take your work on Batman.... not a big fan overall- maybe movie critic can be your new part time job??? I thought your writing was well done!