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.