July 20, 2008

Nano Film Review #14 -- The Dark Knight

I'm behind on my "reviews". Wall*E, Hellboy II, and a couple others just have to wait. Last night I saw The Dark Knight in Imax.

It. Was. Amazing.

I have to go again and see it. This is a movie that bears repeat viewings. This is a movie that Says Something. And I want to see it again.

First, the Imax stuff: it was beautiful. The last Imax movie I saw was something about the Wright Brothers at Disney or something. Just gorgeous. I'd like to see it again in Imax, but it was just happy circumstance that I found myself 20 minutes away from an Imax theater on this particular weekend. I'll not be seeing it in Imax again. But I think I want to see it on the big screen again.

This movie is a dark movie. Very dark. I'm surprised it did not get an "R" rating. I found myself squirming whenever Joker came on screen, because you never knew what he was going to do.

This movie mines the ideas of good and evil, heroes and antiheroes. And it does it well. It was a very dense movie, with a lot packed into the 2 hour 30 minute running time. And there were some cuts where you could just see they had to trim another second here or there to get it under the studio's desired running time. That's my only complaint: the movie needed some breathing space. Time not for US to breath, but for the story to breath.

Heath Ledger will not, and should not, be nominated for an Oscar. He was awesome, but it wasn't that kind of awesome.

They didn't really dig into my idea of the Two Face character: that Two Face is essentially half Batman and half Joker. I expected to see more of a tug of war between Batman and Joker over Harvey Dent. But the story that DID develop made sense for the theme they were running with.

It was a powerful film, exploring ideas in a mature way, but because of the capes and costumes, it was able to explore it in a more powerful way than had it been a "real world" action drama.

If you can see it in Imax . . . do it.

~ Ben


Anonymous said...

I'm curious, what were your thoughts about the Joker's laughter or apparent lack thereof? Any other version of the Joker - Jack Nicholson especially - laughs maniacally throughout. For me Ledger's Joker was particularly disturbing because he laughed less. Scenes that come to mind are when he is escaping the GCPD and hangs his head out the window without saying anything, or when he taunts the officer in the holding cell into a fight. Ledger's Joker seemed like a more determined psycho than other versions of the character before.

Ben said...

About the laughter: yeah, this Joker was more about creating chaos than about making jokes.

I think sometime soon I want to go back and watch Burton's Batman. All of Burton's movies have left impressions on me, and it all started with Batman.

I wonder if Nicholson's Joker, which seemed so evil at them time will just feel . . . silly.

~ Ben