The Dark Knight

It’s been some time since my jaw dropped at the theater – last night, watching “The Dark Knight.”  I don’t think my jaw un-dropped the other time.  It’s one thing to have a ton of hype for a big movie, it’s another thing for it to exceed the hype – this film absolutely did.

For starters – the obvious question, how did Heath Ledger do?  Best performance of his career.  Where Nicholson was predictably crazy, Ledger was absolutely unpredictably INSANE.  Not discounting the roles of the two actors – but since it has been such a topic of contention I believe they both have their place in the franchise – and that they both were a perfect fit for the Batman they faced.  In just about each scene, it was more difficult to accept that it was Ledger on the screen.  He’d get the Oscar whether or not he died, it was groundbreaking.

Bale?  I’m not quite sure there’s any nice way to say it – but I’ve seen his Batman.  There wasn’t much more added to his character’s depth IMHO.  His reactions were predictable, and the foreshadowing throughout the film really didn’t leave much to the imagination.  I can appreciate the sacrifices the character made in the propagation of the plot – but that raspy voice made me cough more than once and became more of a distraction with each scene.  Still a solid performance, and perhaps there really doesn’t need to be any improvement on what he has accomplished – but in a film where the new characters/actors provided such stellar performances, Bale’s Batman kind of hung out in the background.

Maggie Gyllenhall – an actress I genuinely can’t stand, provided gobs of depth to the character of Rachael Daws.  I didn’t like Katie Holmes either, but one thing became abundantly clear between the two films – Gyllenhall made the role her own and really fit into it convincingly.  Holmes?  She’s just a Scientologist pumping mid-life crisis machine…  I’m glad she didn’t come back.

The descent of Harvey Dent into Two Face was slow, dramatic, and tragic.  Aaron Eckhart, like the other roles cast – was completely convincing as both the ruthless DA and the walking nervous breakdown that was Two Face.

Caine, Oldman, Freeman, all provided stellar support to the storyline and did their roles absolute justice.  I’d have to say that all things considered – on acting alone this was the perfect Batman film, sorry Mr.Burton.

CG was well hidden, special effects had the feeling of old-school Hollywood (thankfully no rolling logs were visible during the many car flips), over-all the feel of the film has a grit to it that it supports the masterpiece that is The Dark Knight without being tacky.

The “Bat Pod” was an interesting twist which makes the Dodge Tomahawk look reasonable.  I wish they could have done something to keep the machine guns on the front from shaking so violently during the high-speed scenes – but if you can overlook that – it does justice to the Tumbler.

Probably going to see this again once the crowds die down sometime next year.

Previews of note – Death Race, Terminator 4.

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