Monday, July 21, 2008

Boom.

That's really all I can say about this beast of a movie. Boom. I saw it in an IMAX theater, so the booms were extra bassilicious, and much of the visuals were stunning. Certainly one of the few movies you must see in the theater to get the full experience. For the high-flying city landscape shots, IMAX really brings it to life.

In terms of entertainment value, I couldn't ask for much more. It is a bit long at two and a half hours, so don't slurp down a 64-ounce Diet Coke in the first 15 minutes. But the story continues to develop throughout, so you never feel that the movie has become stagnant. Starting with the quite bad-ass opening bank robbery scene, the often back-to-back action scenes keep your attention thoroughly affixed to every moment of the movie. There are two action-climaxes, both of which made me feel like a giddy little boy after experiencing them.

The acting was good where it counted. Heath Ledger, who I've never enjoyed in a film before, nailed the role (completely psychotic) perfectly, and without question stole the acting spotlight. Christian Bale was big and cheek-bony as always, and makes the perfect Bruce Wayne. So much so in fact, I may actually someday forget about the sickening agony of George Clooney in that role. Bale's Batman voice at times sounded a bit more retarded than intimidating, something I had to get used to in Batman Begins. Maggie Gyllenhaal was far less annoying and far more convincing than Katie Holmes as Bruce Wayne's childhood friend and it-can-never-be lover, Rachael Dawes. Aaron Eckhart added some nice flavor to the acting mix, as Gotham City's exuberant and very likable District Attorney, Harvey Dent. The acting veterans, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine, have perfected their roles.

Similar to director Christopher Nolan's first Batman film, the movie had some social commentary about societal balance, social norms, and fear. Such commentary is usually oversimplified or nonexistent in superhero movies. In The Dark Knight, it is nicely interwoven into the dialogue and storyline. Clearly it's no Shawshank Redemption, but it certainly was more thought-provoking than your
average comic book turned movie.

As could be expected, there were a couple of minor unexplained jumps in the plot, usually the result of an abrupt end to a scene. The fight scenes were less choreographed and more edited than those in Batman Begins, leaving you with a lot of impact but unsure of what exactly is happening. But these scenes are quickly followed-up with amazing explosions, insane jumps, and extreme Bat-motorcycles, leaving your every Batman itch well-scratched.

Here's a bunch of images from the movie (click on image for hi-res pic):


1 comment:

Collin said...

I, too, enjoyed this movie quite a bit. While I think it's greatness was somewhat overstated by the breathless viewers that I heard from before seeing it myself, it's definitely worthy of admiration. The parts that I remember most fondly aren't the action scenes which, I agree were you, were less-than-ideally edited, but were instead the acting tics of Ledger: his off-balance stilt when he walked out of the hospital; the widening of his mouth when he says "Hiiiii" at the foot of Harvey Dent's bed; and the purposeful way he cracks his neck in preparation to getting a beat from the cop in his cell at the station.

Even before this movie, Ledger was an actor worth seeing movies for, a distinction that I give to very few actors. His performance in Brokeback Mountain is the stuff of legend.

Anyway... Very good movie. By the end it's definitely the feel bad good movie of the summer.