This is titled “The Dark Knight-2” Because Stratt did a great review of this movie earlier which you can find here. I will say, this is probably the only time you will see 2 separate reviews for the same flick. So, on to my review.
When this movie first came out I really wanted to see it in theaters but then the more I thought about it, the more I didn’t want to. I mentioned in my last post that when I watch comic book movies I like watching them on dvd so i can re watch parts and try and compare the flick to the book and try and really appreciate where the writers and directors take characters that already have so much history behind them.
That being said I tried to avoid reading or watching anything about this movie so I could go in fresh.
So I started this movie with no hopes either way.
The first thing I want to get out of the way is my opinion of the Joker. I will be the first to openly admit that I was not the biggest Heath Ledger fan, however in this role he made me forget that it was actually him playing the character. That takes a lot for an actor to do in my opinion so I applaud him for that. With that in mind, I was let down by The Joker. You can fault me for it all you want, but just hear me out. I thought the portrayal was great. I loved the look of the character, I loved that he was played as a harbinger of change and I love that his goal was chaos. I think at times it was misconstrued as an anarchist when I feel it is closer to the truth to say that he was the personification of chaos and that he understood that he was part of a bigger picture.
My problem lays in the fact that Nolan chose to bring the Joker in as a fully developed character and nt let him grow at all through out the movie. I can kind of understand this approach in not building a back story for him. He left him a live at the end of the movie and probably wished to expand upon him more in the next film he used him in. My problem was that you didn’t see any character development with him. There was no true reason why he started gunning for bats in the first place. If it was supposed to be that he only wanted to cause chaos than why did he need to wait for the mob bosses to hire him. Why didn’t he just go after everyone right from the beginning?
I suppose a lot of my issue could be solved with a second movie featuring the Joker that unfortunately now will probably never happen.
Next, lets take a look at Harvey Dent/Two Face. Because of the fact that I avoided everything about this movie like the plague, I really had no idea that Dent was going to be in this movie let alone become Two Face. I thought Arron Eckhart did a fantastic job in this role, and I LOVED the fact that Dent was “the best of Gotham”. I also loved how he played Two Face. Face has always been one of my favorite Batman villains and I thought he brought a lot to the character. Again, my only problem was that he wasn’t around long enough. I really hope that they use him in the future. I know they “killed” him at the end of the movie but lets be honest, dying in any medium based on comic books is just a minor inconvenience.
Rachel Dawes was played beautifully by Maggie Gyllenhaal, my deep personal crush on her aside. I think as an actress she was put in a strange place by having to step into a role previously played by a different actress, but she did a great job for what the role was. I really don’t understand the point of killing her off the way they did though. I understand that her death was the catalyst for Harvey to become Two Face and also that her dying allowed Batman to become “The Dark Knight” as he did in the end of the film, but she could have survived. I honestly feel the ONLY reason the writers and director chose to off her completely was because she really isn’t needed in any future films and she’s already been played by 2 actresses.
Alfred, Lucius and Gordon. You could take the tree actors in these roles and put them in a different movie playing different characters and still have one of the best movies of all time. I have a deep respect for all three of these men and the fact that they were cast into the roles they were and that they all seem to love playing those roles tells me that the team behind these movies really has their shit together. Gordon had the biggest twist of the movie and even though i Had a feeling he really wasn’t dead and I knew he would probably come back I was totally surprised in how they did it. Lucius and Alfred were basically just expanded from their characters in the last film and I thought it was done very well.
On too…The Batman. Bale once again did a fantastic job. There is no question that he is going to be to Batman what Connery was to Bond. I really love how the character of Batman continued to develop n this movie. Becoming less of the standard comic book hero and more of an entity that exists solely to make the city better. I don’t know how to describe it other than, most comic book heroes try and defend the city or a set of ideals, while Bale’s Batman exists to force the city to be better and to defend itself. I love that. My complaint was that Bruce Wayne was left almost completely out of this movie. The entire thing could have been done with out one shot of Wayne and the movie would have been pretty much the same.
Part of the thing that I thought was always so great about the Batman mythos is that Bruce Wayne was trying to build his own life outside of Batman in the first movie. In this one though it seemed more like he only existed to further Batman’s goals. I really hope they choose to use Wayne more in the next one.
Over all I thought it was a great movie. I give it 9 out of 10 with no problems and is probably one of the best comic book based movies of all time. I hope this franchise continues in this direction for a long time. While I was left wanting more I am realistic and I do agree that the only way to put more into the story would be to make it a 5 hour epic. While I would love that I don’t know how well it would have done.
I am sad that Ledger won’t be back to continue the role of The Joker and though I know they probably won’t I hope they continue using Joker as a character.