Friday, July 25, 2008

The Dark Knight

The Dark KnightLast night, we went to see a fantastic movie. The latest in Chris Nolan's take on Batman, The Dark Knight. First... WOW! It was an all around good movie.

Christian Bale returns as Batman, Michael Caine is back as Alfred and Gary Oldman reprises his role as Jim Gordon. New to the cast are Maggie Gyllenhaal replaces Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes, Aaron Eckhart joins as Harvey Dent and Heath Ledger is The Joker.

Now, I don't plan to give anything away in this article. But it's going to be difficult.

Bale, Caine, Oldman and Eckhart are great. Bale does a great job showing the distinction between Bruce Wayne and Batman (again). This Batman is a little darker and more brutal than he was in Batman Begins. Caine delivers on an excellent Alfred again. I do have to say that it took me a bit to warm up to his Alfred. He didn't look or sound like the other Alfreds I remember, but he's so good, it didn't take long.

I really like how Nolan's Batman suit is not cartoon-ish like the other Batman suits. This one looks like it's comprised of real, functional components. I've never been a fan of the new Batmobile. Especially when he goes vertical and lays down in it. I just don't see the point of that.

But, you cannot talk about this movie without raving about Heath Ledger. I really can't say how I'd feel about the performance if he hadn't died. I don't think it makes a difference. He was truly amazing. After the movie was released (and actually for months before), people were saying that Ledger should get an Oscar for his work. I thought that was silly. Just because he died? Well, no. Ledger became The Joker. Jack Nicholson's Joker was Jack Nicholson with some paint and a smile. Heath Ledger's Joker was The Joker. He was insane, murderous and funny. But very scary.

Apparently IMDB has The Dark Knight as #1 in its Top 250 Movies. These are ratings by IMDB users. And, I think right now it's hype because The Dark Knight is out in theaters now. But I think it will be pretty high up in that 250 top movies list even when the dust settles.

All in all, The Dark Knight is a great movie. It's a little long at two and a half hours, but it's action packed and you are on the edge of your seat the whole time. The acting was great and Heath Ledger gives the performance of a lifetime (unfortunately). It's sad about his death and I'm disappointed that we won't be able to enjoy more of his Joker. I am looking forward to the next installment from Nolan, et al.

I give this movie 9.5+ out of 10. It's that good. Maybe better.