Dark Knight

I’ve been doing reviews of movies all summer. This is the last of the big name movies I wanted to see this year. I warned that if it delivered, I’d be a 12-year-old fanboy.

Dark Knight is, in my opinion, the best Batman movie to date. It may be the best movie of the summer. My inner 12-year-old is not only bouncing like a caffeinated ferret, he’s also screaming about how good it was, and how it delivers probably the purest Batman since Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns comic books, or at least since Batman Begins.

We walked out of the theater close to 7 hours ago and we’re STILL talking about it.

Bale is still the PERFECT lead for Bruce Wayne/Batman. Eckhart plays Harvey Dent to the hilt.

Ledger stole the show.

Heath Ledger has not only captured the Joker, he did it without getting camp, and without compromising the inherent chaotic nature of the character. Heath Ledger OWNS the Joker – not in the way Nicholson did in Tim Burton’s Batman, but in the way Connery owns Bond. He set the bar high enough that I’m not sure anyone can ever reach it.

And I’m not saying that because he died earlier this year. I’m saying it because he was that damn good.

Go see it. Now. If you can see it in IMAX like we did (thanks for the ticket hookup), even better.

It’s worth the admittance. I plan on seeing it again. And buying the DVD. And possibly erecting a shrine to writer/director Christopher Nolan.

Yes, *THAT* good.

About Kevin Sonney

Kevin Sonney - who, contrary to popular opinion was NOT raised by wolves - grew up in central North Carolina. He fell into the technology field by accident in 1991, when he gave up the wild and crazy lifestyle of an on-air AM radio DJ to become a mundane technical support monkey. The technology industry has never really recovered from this. Kevin has worked for such names as IBM, Red Hat, webslingerZ, and Lulu Technologies (we won't mention the ones that didn't survive the experience). He currently works as a Linux Administrator for Apptio. In his spare time he rescues stray animals and plays video games with his two sons. His wife, we're sad to say, helps him get past the really hard bits. Kevin is still not very mundane, he just got better at hiding it.
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12 Responses to Dark Knight

  1. zianuray says:

    We’re hoping to catch it (in air-conditioned comfort) tomorrow :D

    If he’s not up to it, though, I’m going to the drive-in by myself!

  2. purpletabby says:

    eeEee! I’ll have to go then…as I’m a batman freak…I have all the older animated series…the one from the mid-90s? I was worried about whether they’d succumb to the demons of profit and cheat themselves on making it a truly good movie. I’m glad to hear it was good, loved Wall-E by the way. Was Dark Knight ok for taking a 6 year old to, or should I go with the hubby and find a babysitter?

  3. jenbooks says:

    I just now got home from Dark Knight and I have to say that you are 100% correct, on all counts.

    Wow.

    Just… wow.

    Conversation between my husband and I:

    (before movie)

    Me: “I’m gonna have to be rooting for the Joker in this.”
    Him: “You know he loses, right?”

    (3/4 through the movie)

    Me, whispering: “Are you sure he loses???”

  4. maggock says:

    To me, the best Joker has always been Mark Hamill (maybe that’s because I grew up on the cartoon.) He had the perfect mix of silly-crazy and murderous-crazy. I’m definitely looking forward to comparing performances between Ledger and Hamill.

  5. alchemist says:

    Find a babysitter. The Joker is the Scary Clown kids have nightmares about. When they say PS-13, they mean “R with no swearing or nudity” and even then, they dance on the line.

    The Joker is VIOLENT. He is a remorseless killer doing it for FUN. And while I don’t recall SEEING much blood or guts or any of that, I do know we flinched a LOT.

  6. alchemist says:

    Apples and Oranges, I think, since you never get to see Hamill *ACT* – facial expressions and body language. Ledger captures not just the voice, but the whole shebang.

    Heath pulled the good stuff from every other performance (Hamill’s included) and made it better.

    (And yes, I’m a big fan of the cartoon and the comics…)

  7. ursulav says:

    …other than the fact that he wound up in Arkham, I’m not entirely sure he DID lose…

  8. anonymous says:

    I realize that I am not logged in but feel free to look at my lj if you really want to….makeitlookgood.

    I have to agree. I saw it at the drive in. Absolutly great. Down side…it was pouring. Full on thunder and lightning. Kinda added to it though. The storm had perfect timeing. Everytime the Joker would laugh or something there was big boom and spectacular flash.

    Being as I am an old fashioned girl, I still think that Adam West was the best Batman. You cant beat the WHAM!s and SMACK!s. Bale is pretty perfect. He even moves like you would think Batman should move. But Ledger really was the best Joker by far.

    Christopher Nolan has done with Batman movies what I have been yearning for all along. Batman and all the villains have no special powers. They just have really cool suits and gadets and are crazy. Nolan sticks to that. The Joker wasnt a circus side-show freak with an imprinted face and Batman isnt so comic book super-heroish. They are just people.

    Though I have to admit with much shame that when Two Face gets created in the movie, I really did think that he was in Spider Man. My dad consoled me with the fact that every comic book has so many villains that one tends to get confused….thanks dad.

  9. purpletabby says:

    ah, thank you, that’s really good to know. I know I hadnt seen any of the previews yet…but I had seen the poster at the theater last time I went. I was really glad to find someone to ask, so thanks again! :)

  10. zarathud says:

    Sherri and I saw it a few hours ago. Fantastic, of course. We’re figuring Ledger will get a posthumous Oscar.

    It does make me sad though, because now this Batman franchise is Joker-less. I wonder what they’ll do for the next one (assuming they keep going). The remaining prominent villains are more difficult to fit into the gritty, mostly realistic world of these films.

  11. ailurophile says:

    My boy and I both viewed the film as a win for the Joker. He destroyed Dent, destroyed Batman’s reputation and scored massive points for his own belief system. He didn’t exactly destroy hope for Gotham, but that was a pretty messed city up to start with. In turning Batman into a villain in the eyes of the people he won a strong personal victory. The Joker also forced Batman and Gordon to cover up the truth. “We can’t let him win,” they said, but he already had, and the only thing they could do about it at that point was to lie to protect the rest of Gotham from that knowlege.

    The only way it could have been stronger victory for the Joker is if he’d forced Batman to act outside his own nature, to break his own moral code, and kill.

    So it was sort of a complex outcome… Everybody lost, and if that’s not a win for the Joker I don’t know what is.

    That was kind of what I liked about that film; it resonated in the same way that Silence of the Lambs did – you rarely get to see a satisfying ending in which the villain wins.

  12. aramisdagaz says:

    The way that Batman and Gordon covered up the truth in order to salvage as much of the losing situation as possible is rather Watchmen-esque. It truly does bring up questions about where the right thing to do really lies, either within the rules and laws that society sets for itself (pre-Two Face Harvey Dent) or outside it (Batman). An immediate, logical answer would be both, that it really depends on the situation, but Gordon does that and he really toes the line. If it ever came to light how much Gordon and Batman cooperate with each other, Gordon would likely end up in jail, or at least be forced to resign as commissioner by his political opponents. It’s possible to operate in both worlds, but it’s very dangerous to do so, which is why Batman requires a secret identity.

    I’d also say that the Joker scored a victory here because while Batman and Gordon pinned their hopes on Dent to be the crusader who not only cleans up Gotham, but does it legally, within the laws and social order society set up, the Joker showed that Dent could not have run the whole show. Gotham still needs a masked vigilante, an outlaw, to enforce order through violence and fear, quite clearly a step towards anarchy that undermines social order and democracy, something that the Joker stands for. He certainly had good reason to be laughing maniacally at the end. And of course, when faced with someone so depraved, psychotic, and amorally brilliant, what can you do? Even if someone killed him, be it Batman, Dent, a police officer, or even an ordinary citizen, he’d still win because he forced society to become that much more hypocritical and thus more chaotic. The Joker truly is a dangerous villain, and in more ways that one.

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