First of all, I can’t say this enough. It was truly an excellent movie-one that I was very glad to watch. I’ve heard all the press and have read the online reviews. I had previously watched the first two Tim Burton movies, the one with Val Kilmer and Batman Begins. I have refused and still refuse to watch the one with the Bat Nipples-not my type of thing. After the disaster that was Joel Schumacher directing the movies, I’m glad that Christopher Nolan is at the helm. He truly understands what Batman and his world are and is able to represent it on the screen.
The two standout performances were by Christian Bale and Heath Ledger. There was a tangible tension between Batman and The Joker. During the movie, I kept asking myself, “What is The Joker going to do now?” It almost seemed impossible to take down The Joker. The question that I asked and I’m sure that the audience did as well was, “What will Batman do to take down The Joker? What depths will he sink to in order to do so?” The Joker was pure anarchy and tested all of the characters. Some succeeded and some fell.
It’s funny that I’m even saying this but Dark Knight raised some really deep questions. I find it strange that people who have seen this haven’t remarked on it. It made me contemplate the nature of heroes: what separates them from villains? It made me contemplate the nature of what’s important: what is important is that which you can often not afford to lose. It made me contemplate people’s natures. With the exception of The Joker, just about all of the major characters had dual natures (i.e Batman/Bruce Wayne and Two-Face/Harvey Dent). Which personality is the true one? I could go on and one but I think that you get the idea.
About one of the weakest links was Maggie Gyllenhaal. I thought that her character was dispensable. I didn’t sense much chemistry between her and Aaron Eckhart. Weren’t Rachel Dawes and Harvey Dent supposed to be in love? Also, I didn’t really see how Bruce Wayne would be jealous of Dawes and Dent being together, if for no other reason than they were together? I didn’t really see Dent as much of competition for Wayne. When I watched the kissing scene w/Wayne and Dawes, I didn’t really think that it was very passionate. I’m sure that Dawes was kept to create some tension between Bruce Wayne and Harvey Dent. If this is the case, then I think that the writers were unsuccessful. In my opinion, most of the Batman love interests tend to be pretty disposable anyway.
Last but not least, I need to talk about Heath Ledger’s performance. Without a doubt, he was the best Joker. Forget about Cesar Romero (the TV show) or Jack Nicholson. There was no camp-almost pure grit. With pure anarchy and chaos, Ledger’s Joker scares the shit out the audience. The only problem with The Joker is how Batman deals with him. I look at how Batman handled Ra’s Al Ghul compared to The Joker and see a disparity. That’s all that I can say without giving the movie away.
All in all, I have to congratulate Nolan and the cast for their excellent job. Nolan was able to successfully raise things up a notch. Considering that normally sequels tend to be worse than the preceding movies, this movie was better than Batman Begins. It’s almost as if Nolan and Co. felt even more comfortable in their roles. As long as Nolan remains as director, Bale as Batman and Oldman as Gordon (should there be another movie), then I’ll be there to watch it. I can’t see a significant weakness in this movie. Excellent from top to bottom!