Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Dark Knight

I shit the bed halfway through 2008's movie reviews so this whole thing has been an elaborate ploy to get my ass to write a review of The Dark Knight. No matter the build-up nor the high level of expectations, The Dark Knight went well beyond just being a great comic book movie. Obviously it almost goes without saying that it all came down to Heath Ledger and how he dominated every single second he was on the screen. It literally lifted the movie to a higher level.

So the Joker... There are few words left to write about Heath Ledger’s performance. Prior to his death, there was already buzz about the work that he did on The Dark Knight. But even that didn’t prepare you for what he actually did with one of the most famous comic book villains of them all. It was magnetic. Instead of being Jack Nicholson under white face paint, Ledger brought the psychopath from the page to the screen. Every scene was noteworthy, but everyone will always point out the pencil magic trick, the assault on Harvey Dent’s transport, the interrogation, and his conversation with a Harvey Dent in the hospital. His suit was also pitch perfect and just enhanced the look of the Chelsea Smile they used to explain his permanent grin. Thankfully his choice of voice was not as irritating as the growl squared that is used when Batman speaks. And he found all these odd physical tics to highlight just how every single second was a dangerous moment with the Joker.

All of the good guys from Batman Begins return for The Dark Knight. Christian Bale is still solid in and out of the costume. Gary Oldman proves that he was born to play, now Commissioner, Jim Gordon. It is such a great character and he takes full advantage. Michael Caine continues turning Alfred Pennyworth into Michael Caine. And there is never a reason to complain about more Morgan Freeman. Even better than that, Katie Holmes was replaced by Maggie Gyllenhaal then blown up. Good times. On the other side of the law, Heath Ledger is joined by Aaron Eckhart and Eric Roberts. Eckhart is Harvey Dent for most of the movie so calling him a bad guy is probably unfair but he is Two Face by the end so I stand by my placing. That’s not the point though; the make-up/effects used to portray his burnt face were amazing. Its almost disappointing that there wasn't more Two Face in action or that they left him getting burnt as the cliff hanger for the next movie. Haha Eric Roberts...

Nolan’s comfort level with the material allowed him to experiment elsewhere. The visuals were spectacular throughout The Dark Knight. He used IMAX cameras for a handful of the action scenes, including the opening bank robbery, and the results were stunning. He almost single-handedly made I Am Legend a financial success since the bank robbery scene was attached to it as an extended IMAX teaser. Whatever, it was worth the $125 ticket. He put Batman on top of a skyscraper in Hong Kong for a crazy visual. He flipped a tractor trailer end over end just because it was something new to do in a chase scene. This was just a joy to watch from beginning to end.

There really isn't much more to say about The Dark Knight than did you see what Heath Ledger did? Because if you haven't, that's on you and you're wrong. Bring on Catwoman...

10 out of 10

No comments:

Post a Comment