Batman: The Dark Knight Review

22 Jul

Alright, I’m sure everyone in the whole world has seen this movie by now and because of that there will be some items which may be considered spoilers. They will all be past the break, so if you don’t want to see them, don’t read on.

Sunday night I went to see “Batman: The Dark Knight” with some family and friends. The theater was, of course, packed because everyone is dying to see this movie. Or if you are like my roomy, see this movie twice. He saw it at a midnight show late Thursday night and then again in the afternoon Friday. Insanity at its finest.

Partially because of that, and because of the gushing reviews all over the net I wanted to hate it. I wanted to be able to blast this movie sky high. But I didn’t hate it. I didn’t love it either. And I’ll explain why…

First off, I’m not going to bore you with a synopsis of the movie. It is pretty easy to figure out. Batman is trying to rid the fictional city of Gotham City of the bad guys (mainly mobsters) while trying to keep his secret identity a secret. This new Batman, or modern Batman, has some very awesome and high tech gadgets to keep him going. His Batmobile is basically a tank. He has a communicator built into his mask so that he is hands-free (legal in California now!).

So Batman is helping the police and they are quickly closing in on the mob. Batman thinks that if he can eliminate the mob he can he can finally rest, but this is where the crux of the movie is. Batman has pushed so hard against the mobsters that they have to push back harder then ever and it gets ugly. The mob helps “unleash” the Joker (Heath Ledger).

Ledger does an AMAZING job as the Joker. There is not a single point in the entire movie that I even thought of Heath Ledger. He really got it to the point where you buy that its really the joker come to life. In many movies you see a major actor and some line or part reminds you of another of their movies. Like Adam Sandler playing the same character in all of his movies. Christian Bale on the other hand is not a good batman. I just can’t buy that he is Batman, Bruce Wayne he really has right. He probably portrays Bruce Wayne better than anyone else in any of the movies, TV shows and cartoons I’ve seen.

Bale’s need to stick his chin out and growl to “disguise” his voice as Batman is grating. I understand the “need” for him to not be found out, but learn an accent or something.

Bale’s voice is just a small detail on why I didn’t love the movie. I believe that other than Ledger, Micheal Cain (plays Alfred) and Morgan Freeman (plays Lucious Fox) the rest of the acting is a let down. Maggie Gyllenhaal (Rachel Dawes) never shows any emotion. She is supposedly torn between two men (both of whom she passionately kisses) but never seems to act even smitten with either of them.

Another small, but annoying, mistake was when Batman figures out that the Joker had fooled them and then fights off 4 teams of SWAT team members, to keep them from walking into a trap and shooting the wrong people, instead of calling the chief. I mean, during this time he is getting calls from Lucious in his headset and you would think a simple call could take care of it, right? No, he single handily (and without a gun mind you) takes out SWAT team after SWAT team until finally they figure it out on their own.

The movie is just over two and a half hours long and really, I believe they could have told the same story, and had a better lead into a 3rd installment, by cutting about 30 minutes off of it. The movie could have still had the same major story and even the same ending. (NOTE: Major Spoiler coming)

I would not have had the scene with Two-Face plunging to his “death.” While I’m almost certain that Two-Face will appear again down the line, I believe that leaving his story line off with him escaping the hospital before it blew up would have allowed them to fully explore his character, something I don’t believe a Batman movie has done. I am highly intrigued by his double sided-ness and his deciding on the flip of a coin. They could make his character so deep with the correct writing, but they turned him into a throw away at the end.

The movie was entertaining and had the appropriate action for a Batman movie and Ledger’s performance as Joker was Oscar worthy and brought the dark comedic relief that the movie needed. His laugh was piercing to the end, but to me, it didn’t live up to the hype. I believe that Iron Man was just a tad better than Batman: The Dark Knight. It was more entertaining and had more well-rounded characters. Of the summer movies I believe that still WALL•E blew them both away, but it is difficult to compare the movies.

Maybe I missed something in the new Batman. Maybe I’m not enough of a comic book fanboy to understand its greatness. Maybe?

I give it 3.25 out of 5 (with a full 5 out of 5 for Ledgers performance!).

Favorite NON Joker quote of the movie: Prisoner speaking to Jail warden.”You want to save your own life, but you don’t know how to take one. Give it to someone who knows how to take one. Give me the damn thing so I can do what you shoulda did ten minutes ago.” (Prisoner takes device and throws it out the window).


7 Responses to “Batman: The Dark Knight Review”

  1. InfiJess July 22, 2008 at 10:19 am #

    Bravo, good review. I point to the another Joe’s persepective as a fan boy undercover:

    Anyway, I have to say I judge movies based on whether or not I was entertained. And I thoroughly was with Batman. I mean I’m a HUGE Batman fan, but not a fan boy(girl) who knows it all. I just love Batman. I did laugh out loud EVERY time Batman “spoke” it was ridiculous. I still make fun of his “I’m Batman” growl from the first movie. This was just ridiculous! I wasn’t too thrilled with Gyllenhaal’s performance, it left much to be desired. She had big shoes to fill as Katie Holmes (now appearing only in movies with aliens) played Rachel in the first movie. She was also the luckiest ugly girl alive to make out with Bruce Wayne and Harvey Dent in the same night! I like her because she looks like an average girl next door, not some fake Hollywood pin up, but for the first time her acting fell short for me. I also think they could have led up tot he next movie a little better. I’m not sure if they were trying to avoid Spiderman’s terrible job or cutting the movie or had limited reel.

    I was MAJORLY disappointed that after they splashed The Dark Night on the screen they didn’t follow it immediately with a In Memory of. That was CRAP. Heath Ledger did such a FANTASTIC job! Carried the movie almost and no recognition of his passing! BOOO!

  2. Joe O. July 22, 2008 at 10:25 am #

    I agree that they should have had better recognition…but according to this article:
    it was to be after the credits…It’s tough to sit through 10 minutes of credits after a 2.5 hour movie which of course followed 15 minutes of previews…That is just a long time…

  3. patrick July 22, 2008 at 10:29 am #

    at times the Joker seemed almost too smart, borderline clairvoyant, but i guess that makes him a good foe…

  4. Joe O. July 22, 2008 at 10:39 am #

    I wouldn’t say he was clairvoyant because I think that it was to show his genius. The Joker was able to plan everything knowing what his foes would do using his superior knowledge of the human psyche.

    They even included the one scene where he got it wrong, remember. The people on the ships didn’t do what he planned they would…

    At least that is how I saw it

  5. Kori July 28, 2008 at 3:41 pm #

    it was a wonderful movie and i agree they should have just left it off with two face at the hospital. As for batman him self. I disliked bale the moment i saw him on the screen. And Ledger is an outstanding job. Better then even jack nicolason.


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  2. Batman: The Dark Knight Spoofed « Eternal Rambling of a Boy With Two Brains - July 28, 2008

    […] 28, 2008 by Joe O. So remember in my review, Batman: The Dark Knight Review, that I didn’t like Batman’s voice? Apparently I’m not the only one…check […]

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