Saturday, July 19, 2008

Lullaby Reviews the Dark Knight

The Dark Knight - Directed by Christopher Nolan (Released 16/7/08)


Like many people, this film has been my most anticipated film in quite some time. Christopher Nolan is at the helm again and off the back of the outstanding first installment Batman Begins, the film sets itself not to only break box office records but to become the most superior superhero/comic book film to date. As I take A deep breath as I firmly planted myself in the cinema chair I couldn't really begin to fathom that in just less than 3 hours the 3 years of anticipation would be over, and the beginning of the next 3 would arrive with new questions of the next installment. The greatest thing Nolan has got going on with this franchise is it's free of superhero cliche boundaries, we've had a taste with BB but that was more so an origin story. I immediately think back to Sam Raimi's Spiderman franchise and how exciting the 2nd installment was to the first as Peter Parker had already obtained his responsibilities which takes the film to completely new level.

I had huge expectations with how The Dark Knight would begin, and after witnessing it I can safely say I was quite impressed as it was completely unconventional and not what I would of expected. Without the superfluous ins and outs of the slightly complex script developed by the Nolan brothers and David S Goyer. The Joker, Batman's most notable villain has arrived on the Gotham City scene and has set his sights on terrorizing the city as the Dark Knight, White Knight district attorney Harvey Dent and Lt James Gordon put a firm hold on the justice of Gotham City.

From here on in, we have a fast paced action film, cutting from scene to scene in less than a blink of the eye. Beginning with performances, the cast is dazzling. Christian Bale upholds his duty as both Batman and Bruce Wayne, Gary Oldman is satisfying as the newly appointed Commissioner. Aaron Eckhart glistens in his role as Two Face/Harvey Dent. From the start I was extremely interested to see how Nolan would transform his White Knight into the villainous Two Face, within the realms of a realistic world and script it works, even if half the internet disagree on that one.

This paragraph is dedicated to the late Heath Ledger, for starters I kind of feel sorry for anyone just wanting to see this film because of it being his last, without really having any kind of clue about what was involved in the development of this character. In my redundant opinion, Ledgers role as the Joker has to be one of the most impressive on screen character portrayals I've ever, ever witnessed. It's nothing short of (and I hate using this word) amazing. The scene in which he sits in the holding cell as Gordon is promoted, he totally taps into that Alex De Large mentality, body language wise he owned it. From a voice you can't even imagine Ledger being able to acquire, his mannerisms, the executions of his actions and lines it's simply magic. For fan boys like myself it's a good feeling that it can be realised that it doesn't matter that he is no longer among us, 3 years ago when he was cast (and when we learnt he was cast) for this role we could only dream of what he would bring to the character and he fucking delivered.

So, the Dark Knight a comic book film masterpiece? Probably not, but damn impressive. It met every expectation I had, without exceeding it. At the centre of the film something was absent. The film in my opinion could have been probably titled "The Joker". Maybe Nolan thought he had developed Bruce Wayne/Batman enough in BB, but I really thought there was an aspect of the character dynamic missing, Bruce Wayne pops up here and there but I didn't really ever care for him or his love for character Rachel Dawes (Maggie really wasnt that bad guys, what do you expect from such a character), as far as villains go, Ledger's Joker and Eckhart's Two Face have been the best any Batman franchise has yet seen. With trying to accomplish a well rounded complex script (engrossed in reality), with probably too many characters I think the task is a bit overwhelming for anyone at the end of the day while Nolan has saved Batman from both Schumacher failures I still have my issues with the current franchise, mainly the vehicles, costume, voice etc but at the end of the day all we really want is Batman defending Gotham City.

Film - 4/5
The Joker - 5/5

Sean

1 comment:

scrutiny said...

Nice review.
I fell asleep on the 2nd time round...

What are you expecting/wanting/hoping from the next film?