A Slice of Fried Gold

The Dark Knight Returns

Friday, July 18, 2008
And the winner is...

So I just got out of the 12:01 AM showing of the Dark Knight and I wanted to do a quick review of the movie. I might get into it more later, but I figured I'd jot some things down while they were fresh. In short, it was incredible, however it was still not without its flaws. My initial instinct is I still prefer the life affirming glory of Wall-E to it so far this year, but dear god, this little guy pretty much takes the cake for all things comic book related to date.

Pros
  • Heath Ledger gives one of the best performances I've ever seen - he was the Joker (tragedy we can never see him do it again)
  • Cast was nearly uniformly excellent, especially Gary Oldman and Michael Caine
  • Christopher Nolan transcended from genius to filmmaking god - his juggling of the storylines, brilliant handle on the characters, and near flawless shot angle/type choice were moviemaking at its best
  • Hans Zimmer brought it
  • Christian Bale continues to provide both the best Batman and the best Bruce Wayne ever, his grip on the character is unparalleled
  • The Nolan boys writing of Dent, Gordon, and Batman's relationship is the best representation of it this side of Batman: the Long Halloween (the parallels to that story were very interesting - a clear influence to the layout)
  • Did I mention Heath Ledger was good?

Cons

  • Aaron Eckhart felt somewhat stale as Harvey Dent - perhaps because of those around him moreso than his performance
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal replacing Katie Holmes didn't upgrade the Rachel Dawes role enough to justify the distraction caused by the actual replacement
  • Cell phone sonar? Seriously?
  • Nitpick from a comic guy here, but Ramirez was pretty obviously Renee Montoya and Wuertz was pretty clearly Harvey Bullock
  • It ran really long and its three fake endings before the real ending were mildly distracting (this may be actually because of my conditioning as a movie goer though)

So like I said, there are flaws to it. Sure, not huge flaws and one that are fairly easy to explain. Definitely not deal breakers either in any way. But flaws no less. I loved it to pieces, it's every bit of a worthy successor to Batman Begins and even is superior in many ways. I just love the universe Nolan is creating and the sense of real power he is providing to this rendition of Batman. As much as I love the comics and the animated series, Nolan's vision is rapidly surpassing them as the definitive vision of the character.


There is definitely something to be said about that.


Grade: A (if Wall-E was a 97%, I'll give this guy a 95%)

8 comments:

Kimberly said...

thanks for the review! I can't wait to see it... btw I miss movies with you....

Katie said...

I disagree with all of your cons. I thought the cell phone sonar was pretty clever albeit a easy technological fix, but why not question any of his gadgets then. The Bullok/Montoya thing is a non issue to me. Maggie Gyllenhaal replacing Katie Holmes wasn't distracting at all to me. In fact I was glad I didn't have to watch Holmes' glazed over scientologists brainwashed eyes. I didn't even notice any "fake endings(why are they ok in rotk?)." The length was glorious. Aaron Eckhart I could begin to see, but I thought he played the part well. As you said though, how can you begin to compare that performance with others in that film.

Heath Ledger blew my batman loving mind. That movie embodied everything I love about batman and movies in general. I don't think I've been that engrossed in a film for quite sometime.

Anyways, as per usual you make a great person to argue with.

BTW, did you see Hellboy 2? I thought that movie was abysmal!

Katie said...

Again, that was Erik.

David Harper said...

Hellboy 2 was hokey as hell and pretty much ridiculous.

Also, I hate to make this statement, but I saw it at 12:01 after getting up at 6 am the same day. I reserve the right to change my opinion after seeing it again.

Plus, the fake endings aren't fake. I just mean it climaxes, then goes on 30 minutes...then climaxes and goes on 30 minutes. It wasn't bad, I loved that it did. I'm just saying that the structure could have been different because the way I've been conditioned led me to go into different scenes with incorrect emotions/expectations. I know that may not make sense, but it makes perfect sense to me.

Really, we can both agree that Rachel Dawes was more or less a non-factor in the movie anyways, so the Gyllenhaal thing is pointless. As is Bullock/Montoya.

But don't you dare thing I didn't love it. You KNOW I loved it. I just think it wasn't flawless, but what movie really is? I'm just not ready to anoint it as greatest movie in all the land quite yet.

It did rock very hard though.

David Harper said...

And I still think the cell phone sonar when applied at the end (as opposed to when he was in Hong Kong or whatever) was kind of ridiculous. Not in the actual science or anything, but in the fact that someone could look at that damn thing and interpret ANYTHING. Come on now. Fox is good, but that's damn good.

David Harper said...

Also, last thing - the pros HEAVILY outweigh the cons. The pros are massive raves, while the cons are minor nitpicks. I also could have about 850 billion other pros. Did I mentioned I loved it?

And hey Kim!

Katie said...

Ok you make your case about the cell phone thing. I wasn't thinking about it in terms like that. I know you loved it. That movie rocked.

Patty said...

Heath Ledger's performance was stellar and worthy of an Oscar.

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