Friday, July 20, 2012

The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008) Review

What can I say? Really! Practically everyone knows this film and if they haven't then they've at least heard of it. It's the first comic book film to ever win an actor an Academy Award and, since the Academy clear hate comic book films, that must mean this must be good. Yes. Yes it is. After the excellent Batman Begins, it was hard to believe the sequel could beat it considering the history of worse sequels in the Batman series. I was wrong. It did not only beat it but it blew it right out of the water. It is significantly better. Let's take a look.

After the defeat of Ra's Al Ghul, A new villain calling himself The Joker (Heath Ledger) is taking it upon himself to upset the status quo and spread chaos and destruction. Meanwhile, Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), Gotham's district attorney, has becomes Gotham's 'white knight' as he is getting rid of criminals WITHOUT dressing up like a giant bat. Now Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) wants to throw in the towel and leave Gotham in the hands of Dent...except The Joker is still spreading chaos and has become the most feared man in Gotham. Now Bruce has to not only stop The Joker but also protect Dent's reputation from being soiled by The Joker.

Casting...Heath Ledger...what more can I say? Heath Ledger is incredible as The Joker. Everyone knows it and this was the Oscar winning role I mentioned earlier. Not only did he surprise everyone but he freaked the hell out of me and, for The Joker, this wins bonus points. Christian Bale is a much improved Bruce Wayne...not so much Batman. The voice. Everyone has mentioned it and, yes, it is a bit over the top. It was fine in Batman Begins but here it's Aaron Eckhart is perfect as Harvey Dent. He looks the part, sounds the part and definitely acts the part. Maggie Gyllenhaal has replaced Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes (don't know why...) but she does well to fill in Holmes' shoes. It makes her seem more mature which she is anyway so I guess it works out. The rest of the regulars are still great (maybe even better) but I still feel Scarecrow's (Cillian Murphy) cameo was a bit of a tease. He didn't get enough action last time and now I wish he had more...

EVERYTHING IS IMPROVED! The camera in the fight scene is no longer shaking uncontrollable. You can actually see what's happening and you REALLY want to this time. The action is top notch, especially the truck chase in the middle and the climax (both have references to Tim Burton's Batman). Speaking of Batman, it would be unfair to compare the Jokers as they are both completely different styles. Nicholson is the classic, comic book style Joker while Ledger is a more realistic one (which is scary as hell now that I think about it) but the better Batman is still Keaton. Bale is good but the voice takes away points. It is also good to see my favourite villain done RIGHT this time. I have no idea was happened in Batman Forever but it wasn't he's a tragic villain who actually uses the damn coin and leaves everything to chance instead of keep flipping it until it's the side he wants. It's a shame he isn't in it for long but I guess the narrative works well enough. Actaully, that's another improved thing...every second is relevant and it comes full circle. Last time, there were a few pointless moments but now everything ties together.

The Dark Knight is easily the best Batman film that improves on all the problems of Batman Begins. The new villains are fantastic and the best duo the series has seen. If you haven't seen this, you are missing out. You don't even have to like comic books because it doesn't have a single moment where you think "well that was silly" or "that's just like in a comic!". Well then, join me tomorrow for a world exclusive (maybe) review of the long anticipated movie event of the year: The Dark Knight Rises. I'm so hyped!!!

A much improved sequel and a contender for the greatest film of all time. A must see for ANYONE.

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