Monday, July 28, 2008

Movie Review: The Dark Knight

Release date: July 18, 2008
Rating: 8/10

From beginning to end, The Dark Knight is nonstop edge-of-your-seat suspense and action. And as the film’s title indicates, it’s about the darker side of human nature. I wouldn’t want to ruin the film for any potential readers who have yet to see the film (however, with a 10-day take of more than $300 million, it’s highly unlikely that anyone reading this hasn’t already seen the second installment of Christian Bale’s Batman), so I won’t give anything away, but I’ll be honest.

First, is The Dark Knight worth seeing? The simple answer is, “yes.” But why you should see it is a different matter. If you didn’t, you’d be a social outcast since everyone in the free world will eventually see it – in this respect The Dark Knight is akin to Woodstock because if you didn’t see it, you wanted to. The Dark Knight is also worth seeing for the lurking story that drives the action, both of which keep the viewer in suspended anticipation. Whether you like Batman or not, you’ll find that the movie is badass. This is due to the fact that there are no real “good guys”; Batman is dark and vengeful and The Joker, well, he’s just everything you want a villain to be, which is to say sadistic, complex, humorous, ballsy, disturbed, and never, ever, sympathetic. The Dark Knights’ film rating is PG-13, but that’s only for a lack of bloodshed and coarse language, not for a lack of violence or disconnected humanity. And if there should be any Oscar buzz, it should be for two things: the musical score and the directing, not to honor someone posthumously for what is, in all truthfulness, an acting job that any hungry actor with more than above-average talent could pull off. Still, Heath Ledger did bring a comic book character off the page and into a believable existence.

Second, what’s wrong with The Dark Knight? It’s too long with too many endings brought about by the same plot technique. Now, it’s this very technique that brings me to the next element that is wrong with The Dark Knight; it’s moralistically preachy. That’s one of many indications that The Dark Knight is a comic book adaptation, which is sad because while Tim Burton reveled in it, Christopher Nolan tries to hide it. Batman’s forced growl is yet another nerve-shredding annoyance and an uncommitted romance serves no purpose other than to explain Batman’s future plunge into greater darkness.

Third, would I go see it again? I plan to.

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