Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What's Up Wednesday - Special The Dark Knight Edition

So I got back from seeing an advance screening of The Dark Knight about forty minutes ago, and I thought I'd give you guys my thoughts. First of all, yes, I liked it. Which is strange, because I wasn't really expecting it to. I thought it wouldn't live up to the expectations, probably be good but not as good as Batman Begins. And I was wrong. I think that Dark Knight was much, much better than the first movie, for a number of reasons. First of all: the first movie had about fifty minutes of unneccessary origin story, while Dark Knight had zero. You started in with Batman as the status quo right away, which was good for the momentum of the storyline. Second: the science in this movie, while still kind of bad, wasn't nearly as bad as the science in Batman Begins. (Seriously. Microwave generators creating steam in water pipes but not cooking ANYONE? That's bad, BAD science.) Third: excellent, EXCELLENT foils. While The Scarecrow and Ra's Al Ghul were passable in the first movie, Heath Ledger's Joker is really very good. He's been getting a lot of praise in the media, which I had chalked up the hype machine going into overdrive due to his death. His performance in this movie, however, is in fact very good. Chilling, hilarious, and dare I say even honest? His Joker may not be the one fans are familiar with, but it fits the Nolanverse (a term I just coined, thank you very much) very well. The buzz that he might get an Oscar nomination seems a bit much, but "not getting an Oscar nomination" does not equal "poor performance". Ledger did a teriffic job, showing you just how good an actor he really was.

In fact, as good reason number three-point-five, the acting of nearly everyone in the movie is rather good. Gary Oldman gets a lot more to do in this movie, and he does it very well, playing the one good cop in a city gone crazy and giving the audience a solid anchor. Aaron Eckhart, an actor I've never been particularly fond of, is really quite engaging as Harvey Dent. Of course, Maggie Gyllenhaal is a vast improvement over Katie Holmes, and Michael Caine & Morgan Freeman round out the cast with their trademark gravitas and a couple of light comedic touches. The actor I had the most problems with is sadly Christian Bale, who does a very good Bruce Wayne but grates on me whenever he's Batman, thanks to the ridiculous voice he affects whenever he puts on the cowl. You don't need to sound like you're gargling chunks of hot asphalt* to disguise your voice or sound intimidating. Less is more, man.

Bale's vocal antics as Batman are one of only a few minor quibbles, though. The story starts off as fairly straightforward but then gets as twisted and turned as it becomes more affected by The Joker's influence. There are many good moments in this movie that I could harp on, but it's getting late. The point is, even if you're not a comics fan but liked Batman Begins, I think you'll like this even better. Not that you need me to sell you on it. I just think it's worth your time.


* - Who am I ripping off homaging with this line?

5 comments:

Dan said...

I have no idea who you're homaging, but you're currently the number one listing on Google for "gargling chunks of hot asphalt."

The Red-headed Dynamo said...

The voice makes me want to punch as well.

I'm seeing it on Sunday! Squee!

NinjaStolz said...

Argh!! That voice. I hate it. As far as the homage I can only think of Deadpool. Which I'm Sure your surprised by.

NinjaStolz said...

Or perhaps dickey from last man standing, I think bruce willis' character might say that.

media kingdom said...

i still wish Katie Holmes had stayed on board as Rachel Dawes for the Dark Knight; it was like the time spent getting familiar with her character in Batman Begins was wasted...