Monday, July 21, 2008

The Dark Knight

I watched The Dark Knight Friday afternoon. The latest Batman film is an excellent response to the previous movie, Batman Begins.

I’ve only recently seen Batman Begins, and I felt like kicking myself for not viewing it sooner. The dialog and pacing were outstanding. When I discovered that both Batman movies had the same writers, I really wanted to see the sequel.

The Dark Knight is indeed a dark movie, but I think this is a result of casting a truthful spotlight on evil. Some films glamorize villains to the point that I find myself identifying with these antagonists and sometimes secretly cheering for them. The Joker, however, isn’t the typical villain. His only purpose is causing people pain and degrading the morality of Gotham’s citizens by putting them in situations that test their convictions. Those character traits remind me of Satan, so I’m not surprised at how creepy The Joker comes across on screen.

When I first left the theater, I thought Heath Ledger (The Joker) had outperformed Christian Bale (Bruce Wayne/Batman). Clearly Ledger’s portrayal of an insidious and deranged Joker left me with chills, but Bale’s acting was subtler. I think I’ve simply gotten so used to the smooth scenes between Michael Caine (Alfred) and Bale between both Batman movies that I expect (and take for granted) the excellence of their performances. That said, if I could only nominate one of the two men for an award, I would recommend Ledger because The Joker seemed much more complicated.

For those who haven’t seen this film yet, I don’t want to oversell it (or spoil it). I really enjoyed the movie, but in the past, I’ve sometimes been disappointed when good movies become too hyped. Of course, Batman Begins had a lot of hype, and I wasn’t disappointed at all. One measure of approval that I think most everyone could agree with: if you liked Batman Begins, you should really like The Dark Knight.

Batman has seen its share of bad sequels in the past, but if the current writers and actors stay on for yet another Batman project, I wouldn’t hesitate to see it. There is something special about the group of people that is working together to make these movies. I hope their collaboration continues in the future.

1 comment:

von Darkmoor said...

Cool to hear, Matthew!