Friday, July 18, 2008

Review - The Dark Knight

Gotham city still under the protection of Batman and Lt. James Gordon, has a new villain to deal with, the Joker! Batman and Gordon have formed an alliance with Harvey Dent, Gotham's newest and brighest District Attorney, to continue trying to take down organized crime and police corruption in Gotham and a new and far more deadly threat of, the Joker.

Dark Knight is the second batman film directed by Christopher Nolan and is the pinnacle of comic book films to date! Dark Knight is the best movie I have seen in at least five years, if not more! It is the single greatest achievement of Nolan's early and prestigious career. It is hard to wrap your mind around how flawless and bold this film really is, it has everything! The story development and character development, the performances and conflict, the cinematography and score, the action sequences and suspense, the humor and real compassion. Dark Knight was what every batman fan has ever dreamed of and more. It really was a flawless and captivating movie experience!

Christian Bale is back as Bruce Wayne/Batman and delivers a perfect performance. Bale is the only batman that has nailed every aspect of the character. Michael Keaton came very close, and was my favorite until I saw 'Batman Begins,' which blew me away. Bale isn't just unsurpassed as the Bats, but he also nails Bruce Wayne perfectly. He gives a whole new level to the heart of batman/bruce, which hasn't been represented well on screen before. Needles to say, Batman is my all-time favorite comic hero, and what Nolan and Bale together have done with just the batman character alone, is absolute! (For that matter, Nolan has nailed everything perfectly in the batman universe.) Trying to ever put someone else in the batsuit and it working, just seems completely unrealistic.

In 'Batman Begins' when they setup the Joker, I got chills, just thinking how cool it will be to see Nolan's version of the Joker. Of course like everyone I scoured the internet looking for who would be playing the Joker, hoping that we would see a maniacal Joker similar to in the comic book version "Killing Joke," compared to the clown-like version we got from Jack Nicholson in the original Tim Burton 'Batman'. Then came the announcement that Heath Ledger would be dawning the purple and green suit, and I was utterly flabbergasted! Honestly, I was disgusted! I thought the guy from 'A Knight's Tale' and 'The Brother's Grimm' is gonna play joker, no way! (Deep down I said to myself, trust Nolan, dude must know something I don't.) Then the first image came out of Heath with the Joker makeup on, and I knew that Mr. Ledger was going to bring something so immaculate to the screen, all my worries were gone! After watching the Dark Knight I take back anything negative I have ever said about him, it is a real tragedy to have lost such an amazing actor! His performance is so flawless and dimensional it is unbelievable! Every minute he has on screen is completely riveting, hysterical, and disturbing (all in a good way). Heath demands so much attention as the Joker, it almost takes away from the other equally as great performances by Bale, Gary Oldman, and Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent. Each performance however, is so dynamic that they standup as worthy efforts next to Ledger historical portrayal of Batman's best villain. Furthermore, they nailed the batman and joker relationship so perfectly, to quote the movie, "You complete me." Just absolutely perfect, all the way around! Like Bale is Bats, Ledger is the Joker! With Heath's untimely death, no one should ever play the joker again, period! It was so flat-out perfect, were talking oscar-worthy!

The third perfect performance goes to Aaron Eckhart for his portrayal of Harvey Dent/Two-Face! It was already a given that Eckhart could act, if you have seen 'Thank You for Smoking,' but he went above and beyond as Dent in Dark Knight! He played the part of a quick-tongued and wide-eyed district attorney so exact and was brilliantly menacing as his alter ego, Two-Face. The trifecta of unmarred acting in this film really makes for some of the best acting you have seen on screen! It gets better, because you still have yet another perfected performance from Gary Oldman as Lt. Gordon. Oldman once again does an immaculate job as Bats longtime associate and friend. His final monologue about batman nearly had me in tears of joy, realizing my fanboy dreams had finally come true on-screen! A perfect and flawless Batman film! I feel inclined to also mention Maggie Gyllenhaal, who was all but dwarfed by the four other amazing performances, but was still miles better than Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes (Holmes, although was much easier on the eyes to her benefit, in the first film).

Batman isn't batman without gadgets and action, and Dark Knight has tons of both. In fact, loads of gadgets and action that pleases both batman purists, like myself, and general moviegoers alike! Within the new film viewers get a new suit (with explanation), new gadgets (explanation included), and a new vehicle with an awesome introduction. The action comes in spurts, but when it hits, it hits hard and fast and without a flaw! In particular the "prisoner transport" sequence was so good, but I hate to point out just one scene in particular, because all were equally titillating!

Nolan has made a complete batman film. In fact, he has brilliantly told the first two acts in batman's development throughout the comic. The first act being 'Batman Begins' and the second 'Dark Knight.' Nolan definately followed the storyline from the longly popular, "Long Halloween," by Tim Sale and Jeph Loeb and did a great job of staying true to the aspects of the plot while, still making it his own batman story. I think Dark Knight is so good, that it would be wise of Nolan to at least wait two to three years before filming another batman. Allow this film to soak in and really let people realize how much of a comic and cinematic achievment it was! Nolan has been extremely coy in saying, the, "Dark Knight is a complete film". I totally agree with him, however there are certain aspects that are left wide open for a third and final act to Nolan's batman. I for one, hope that he does, finish his perfect series!

Finally, the Dark Knight is the best film of the year, the best film of the last five years, and the best comic book movie ever made! It is, again, the pinnacle of comic movies! If you haven't already, see this movie! It deserves all the hype, it deserves all the acclaim, and deserves you spending 152 minutes of your time appreciating all the work Christopher Nolan, Christian Bale, and most all Heath Ledger put into this fantatstic piece of cinema! I will be seeing this movie at least two more times on IMAX and about a thousand at home on my screener! Enjoy and most of all, "Let's put a smile on that face!"


YES! I saw it twice yesterday seriously the movie of the decade! Great review my favorite performance was Eckhart as Harvey Dent the man brought so much heart to his tragic role. We gotta go see it again bro...and again...and again!