My Thoughts On THE DARK KNIGHT [spoiler free]

July 20, 2008

DieTrich Thrall

I actually stopped watching the previews and new trailers and ‘making ofs’ and behind the scenes about a month ago (with the exception of the www.gothamcablenews.com stuff). I was a little worried that there would be very few suprises left.

I was way wrong there. THE DARK KNIGHT marketing team is the best in the business. Nothing given away. And the last 40 minutes follow a storyline I didn’t expect.

The movie is an A+++++++++ It’s long and you will thank CHRISTOPHER NOLAN for every second you get to see. The twists and turns keep you guessing wtf!? And at least five times during the course of the movie I found myself dropping KEANU REEVES most endeared movie line (‘woah’). I’m going to see it again tomorrow (which I never do with a new release) just to see all shit I missed due to that annoying habit of blinking I was unable to overcome.

CHRISTIAN BALE, HEATH LEDGER, AARON ECKHART, and GARY OLDMAN are a dream team. Even at two two and a half hours I still thought I could’ve used more Bale and Eckhart but that’s just me being selfish. The story front to back jumps from the four main characters the way it should. Not too much of any one thing. Not too little of any one twist.

A lot of focus is on Ledger and his Joker portrayal. Because it’s just that good. I thought his casting as The Joker was spot on when it was announced and was heartbroken when I heard about his accidental passing. A posthumous Academy Award for a supporting role has been earned.

I have to confess to being a bit uncomfortable with audience laughter in regards to Joker moments in the movie. Ledger is nothing but intense, freaky, and ‘off’ in a way that I suppose could make people respond in bits of nervous laughter, perhaps in the same way I thought Javier Bardem came across in last years Academy Award winning Best Picture winner ‘NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN‘.

But make no mistake. The JOKER really is a creepy bastard. I wouldn’t want to meet him, nor (like his lesser unfortunate advesaries) would I double cross him or stand up to him. You know that shiver you get up your spine. The JOKER would draw that out of even the bravest of souls in the real world. Only the BATMAN and tragic Gotham District Attorney HARVEY DENT dare to stand in the way of the mass-murdering clown and they pay a heavy price for disrupting the self described ‘agent of chaos’ and his ‘non-planned’ plans. Nolan’s masterful direction and Ledger’s portrayal really make for a strong philisophical conundrum for the hero who has to decide to let evil die or put evil away (knowing the risks should he escape).

THE DARK KNIGHT should get a nomination for Best Picture. It deserves the comparisons it has gotten to Michael Mann’s HEAT and The Departed. Someone even said The Godfather. Whether it wins depends on what else is released this year. I’m not even sure what else is in the running at this point. The point is: Go see it! NOW!

A final note. Keep an eye out for THE WATCHMEN movie trailer. It’s going to be a big one. It is considered THEE single greatest comic book story ever conceived and for good reason. ZACH SNIDER of Frank Miller’s ‘300’ fame is directing and the preview looks very very promising.


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