July 19, 2008

The Dark Knight

I'm copying and pasting this review from the one I posted on the message boards because I am lazy. If you haven't seen TDK yet, best stay away!

Rod and I saw The Dark Knight film this morning and I'm in two minds about it. I think a big part of that is because I felt cheated out of seeing it properly. The speakers in the theatre weren't working properly-- the score and sound effects were very loud, but the dialogue was not. So for the majority of the first part of the film I was straining to hear what everyone was saying and I was so concentrated on that that it took me a long while to really lose myself in the film.

So... having said that, I thought the movie was good. It wasn't great for me, though.

My main gripe is that I thought it was too long. For me, the movie should have ended after the Joker blew up Gotham General Hospital. That way Dent was set up as Two-Face for the next film and had time between movies to really decide to go out there and take revenge for Rachel's death. I was really disappointed that he went full-blown Two-Face and started killing people (and going after Gordon's family, even) because it felt very shoehorned in to me.

But, onto the good stuff. I take back my doubts and all of my uneasiness about Heath Ledger's Joker. He was brilliant. This is my Joker-- the one from the Killing Joke comics-- the gritty, sadistic, crazy psychopath who will kill people for no reason at all. I can see this Joker beating Jason Todd to death with a crowbar. Can't say the same for Jack Nicholson's version of the character. I really thought Ledger was phenomenal. Rod, on the other hand, liked Heath's Joker, but thought he was too dark. He prefers the campier, more family friendly version a la Batman: TAS, which I can understand. But this Joker-- Ledger's Joker-- is the one I was hoping for.

I also thought Harvey Dent was a brilliant character. Having stayed away from reviews and spoilers, I had no idea he was going to be as good as he was. It came out of left field for me. I loved that they killed off Rachel Dawes, and that this was Harvey's motivation for becoming Two-Face. That all worked so well. When Harvey wakes up in the hospital and you can see the rush of memories coming back to him that Rachel is gone, and he just rips the bandages off his face and screams-- that was so awesome. And it ticks me off all the more that he won't be back for the next film. The next film should have been about him.

I really love Gary Oldman's Gordon. I was incredibly annoyed when I thought he'd been killed, and when he showed back up suddenly to save Batman everyone in the theatre cheered. Awesome stuff.

So anyway... I'm going to see the film again in another (better) theatre and I'll make my proper judgment on it, I guess. But I don't think a second viewing is going to change my mind about the end portion of the film. If it had ended sooner and set up Two-Face to be the main villain in the next Batman film, I would have been absolutely raving about this movie.

I'd see TDK again this weekend but I'm just not going to have the time. I have two more pages to finish before San Diego next week, so I'm going to be busy, busy, busy. In fact, I've been so busy lately and such a bundle of nerves this week that I think it's actually been making me sick. My stomach has been in knots for over a week now, and though initially I thought I'd just caught some sort of bug, I'm finally starting to think it's all a result of stress and having little to no sleep this past week. It's a weird experience for me because I don't normally push myself so hard.

Once I finish these last two pages I hope things settle down. At least until the con starts... Fingers crossed. Regardless, though, I shall press on.

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