Well, I've finally seen The Dark Knight
. I thought it would have to be when it was released on DVD, but Spencer's friends took him in Utah and when he came back, he said he was dying to talk about it with me, so he treated me. :-) I have the best brother. *hugs him* He missed the first ten minutes the first time around, apparently, and since he was not at all opposed to seeing it a second time, just the two of us went to a local theater for an eight o'clock showing yesterday evening. It was great fun!
Now, consider yourself warned that I'm going to go on (and on...and on...) in a long, boring, and detailed review, but I'm putting anything spoilery behind a cut so others can read my general (and non-spoilery) opinions if they haven't seen the movie yet and/or don't want to read about what parts I liked best, lol. ;-) Click the cut only if you don't mind spoilers, gushing, and over analyzing of characters and their development! ;-P
Okay, first, a little bit of history. ( ''Maybe you should read the instruction manual first.'' )
Second, the obvious -- Wow. Wow wow wow wow WOW!
I thought the movie was great. Absolutely fantastic. Fabulous,
first-rate acting, even more fabulous plotting and scriptwriting, combined to make a movie that was very well-made and in a word, awesome. I don't go to the theater often, (haven't been since 2001, believe it or not) but I think it's safe to say that I haven't seen a movie in theaters that I liked this much since being a little kid and loving Beauty and the Beast,
lol. TDK certainly lived up to expectations and is probably one of the best sequels that I've seen. Usually a francise seems to drift away from its roots, and get cheesy by the second installment, but there wasn't really anything lame in this.
It was indeed very dark; it is, after all, The Dark Knight
. It was not, however, nearly as dark and depressing as I expected. Yes, the Joker (played to near Oscar-worthy perfection by the late Heath Ledger) is the epitomy of evil. Think of the baddest baddie you can imagine, and he's twice as bad as that. He is cold, cruel, calculated, heartless and unthinkably evil, and not only is he bad himself, but he tries his hardest to get other people to become like him. In that way he is like Satan, tempting and pushing others beyond their limits in an attempt to get them to "get off the curb and join him in the gutter." He delights in turning ordinary and even good
people into crazed criminals who will do anything and stop at nothing. ( ''The night is darkest just before the dawn...'' )
Even though I do agree with the general consensus that Heath Ledger probably deserves an Oscar for his last role (at the very least
a nomination) I do not think this was the Joker's movie, as so many have said. He was the principle villain, yes, but the movie belonged to Batman, "utterly and completely." (bonus points to whoever knows what that's from!) Christian Bale doesn't disappoint as the alternately human Bruce Wayne and equally tortured Batman, and his acting was so subtle that if you blink you'll miss a major hint of character development. This is definitely a film you have to see more than once to fully appreciate. ( '' I know why you choose to have your little [cough] group therapy sessions in broad daylight. I know why you're afraid to go out at night. [pause] The Batman.'' )
This movie tackles several age-old questions about the nature of right and wrong, which I found rather refreshing. Too many Hollywood productions and movie heroes fail the test of morality, but I am happy to say that TDK did not. Tempted, pushed, and even thrown past his limits, Batman does not "cross the line" and break his moral code. ( ''Accomplice? I'm telling them it was all YOUR idea.'' )
This movie, with its violence and dark storyline which are offensive to some and horrifying to others, is not a symptom of a derilect and rotten society, it is a warning
of what just a society will become. When you take away the value of human life, the moral values that are the crutches and very life-support of civilization, when decent people look the other way in fear and apathy, Gotham is what you get. "Evil triumphs when good men do nothing."
I may be over analyzing this movie, I may be a dork and total loser for writing such a ridiculously long review, and I may be reading too much into the nuances and themes incorportated into the plot, but in my humble opinion, they are
there, if you look. One reason I've allowed myself to enjoy these movies so much is because
of their strong moral compass, their (excuse the word) "passion" and intensity, and heretofore decent worldview. Quite refreshing, IMVHO. ( ''Either you die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.'' )