Sunday, July 20, 2008

Review: The Dark Knight

Where to begin, where to begin. Well, I'm sure we've all been excited for this movie since Batman Begins ended. Obviously the hype for this film was kicked into overdrive with the untimely death of actor Heath Ledger back in January. Early reviews for the film seemed to praise it as the Citizen Kane of superhero movies. Finally, on Saturday a group of friends and I drove to an IMAX theater to experience it and judge for ourselves. If I had to put words to this movie there would only be one. "WOW." I know this may seem like more fuel for the overhype machine, but this is one movie that goes above and beyond expectations and creates a film that provides one of the most exciting theatrical experiences of one's life. So much is to be said about this film. First off, Christopher Nolan proves once again that he is one of the most brilliant people working in Hollywood today. With his incredible script and eye for what looks amazing on camera, Nolan solidifies his position as a living filmmaking legend. Secondly, the plot is intricate, complex, and twists and turns in virtually every scene. The audience is expected to be intelligent enough to "get it" and nothing is ever dumbed down. The acting in the film is absolutely superb by everyone except Maggie Gyllenhall who looks a little worse for the wear in this film. Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman all step up their performances from the first film. Of course, I can't review The Dark Knight without mentioning Heath Ledger's incredible portrayal of The Joker. I was in the "give him an Oscar if he deserves it, not because he's dead" camp for a while. Now, having seen his last full performance, I must agree that a posthumous Oscar is well earned and every bit deserved. The amount of character development that takes place over the course of the 2.5 hour film is epic and so layered and complex that multiple viewings are a must. This is one film that will be an instant classic and will forever go down in history as the "superhero movie is art" movie. Christopher Nolan stated that Michael Mann's brilliant Heat inspired a lot of what The Dark Knight touches on. The film's scope is certainly as epic and there are some scenes reminiscent of Heat but this is a film that stands alone in its own category. This is why people go to the movies. This is why people start making, acting in, and writing films. The Dark Knight is going to be the best film of the year by far and will make one stop and think "that was a comic book movie?"

my rating: 10/10