Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Movie Review

The Dark Knight - Oh, Hell yes. I'm not even going to try to write anything coherent, here, I'm just going to list off a few of the things that make this worth seeing, and I'm mostly going to try and highlight things that haven't been mentioned in very many published reviews. Incidentally: Yes, we went to an IMAX screen.
  • The elaborate bank heist that opens the film.
  • That car chase. The one that includes both a helicopter crash and a semi flipping end-over-end.
  • The cross-dressing Joker.
  • The Joker coming out of a hospital and getting annoyed when all of his bombs don't go off.
  • "You complete me" is now no longer a cliched, cheesy punchline.
  • "I'll do what you shoulda done ten minutes ago."
  • The Two-Face makeup.
  • The way they used what I see (in the comics) sometimes as the Joker's masochism: He keeps getting into fistfights with Batman, someone he has no chance of beating in a straight-up fight. One of the most chilling things in the film is Batman beating up the Joker, trying to extract information from him, and the Joker just laughing the whole time and saying, "You have nothing to threaten me with." He doesn't care if Batman beats the crap out of him, because he knows it doesn't change anything: After he gets tired of punching, Batsy is still going to have to play his game.
  • The Joker as ultimate nihilist: What he most wants to do seems to be to demonstrate that deep down, there's no such thing as morality, or fairness, or justice. That all the things that motivate Batman are illusions. I will leave it to the reader to decide whether he is successful in this.

    I wonder where they're going to go for a villain in the third film. There had been some talk of using the Joker in some way, and speculation about whether they would cast another actor, or just revise the Joker out of the planned story. Personally, I would be perfectly happy to see another actor in the role. The character is by definition mercurial, so it wouldn't bother me at all to see even a radically different interpretation by another actor.

    Whether that happens or not, though, what villains are left in Batman's rogue's gallery that could work in the "realistic" vein these two Nolan films have portrayed? Possibly the Penguin, though not in the mutant-raised-by-zoo-penguins version from Batman Returns, obviously. The Riddler might work as a serial killer, of the type who writes taunting letters to the police; the riddles would be his way of expressing his superiority.

    Beyond that, I'm afraid you start veering into Clayface and Killer Croc territory, which would be difficult to pull off in any "realistic" way. Unless, of course, they just decided to go all-out weird and have him face Bat-Mite.
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