Genetically Superior

The [K]night is Always Darkest Just Before Dawn by Tony
July 19, 2008, 1:10 am
Filed under: Movie Reviews, Written by Tony

Yeah, I did it; I went and saw the Dark Knight again. After catching the midnight premiere last night, a friend of mine asked me to go this afternoon and I, of course, obliged.

I’m pleased to announce the movie is just as good the second time around. I’ll try to avoid repeating what Kevin has already said about the Dark Knight.

But really, this movie is an instant classic. I was skeptical of the hype (my roommate has been telling me for weeks that this was going to be the best film of the summer) but I fully agree. I expected the action scenes to be too explosive—artificial in their excess like so many others in the genre.

Maybe it’s the Chicago setting, or maybe it’s just the fact that every fight scene is a plausible scenario. Batman is no Jason Bourne when it comes to hand-to-hand combat, but he gets the job done—and never once lifts a gun. Sure, he has gadgets, but they’re cooler (yet somehow more realistic) than James Bond’s. But I think what’s best about his character, unlike other superheroes, is the notion that he has his limits; it’s an idea that’s wound into the plot throughout the film. He’s only as invincible as a teenager with a few 40s under his belt.

And then there’s the Joker. Call me insensitive, but I never understood what all of the hoopla about Heath Ledger was. Perhaps I’m just too distant from Hollywood for it to really hit home for me. What I do know is his performance rivals Daniel Day Lewis (There Will Be Blood) and Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) in my category of favorite role as a heartless villain. What gives the Joker depth however is his rage: it’s not entirely senseless. You know he’s hiding a brutal past of abuse and psychological disorder behind his caked and cracking face paint. At times you truly feel sorry for him, before tension turns on a dime and you’re cringing in fear of his next move.

I could go on and on and on. But the most I can say is to see it for yourself. It will frighten you, delight you, and make you laugh. It’s everything a comic book movie ought to be: explosive, dark, scary, introspective, inspiring, and buoyant. It does tension better than the Saw series, gadgets and action better than 007, and totally beats Spiderman in superheroics. Just don’t forget to close your jaw the first time it drops, or it’ll stay open for the whole movie.


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Just fyi, technically the setting is Gotham City. Only four of ~20 filming locations were in Chi-town.

This doesn’t come out here for another week or so. I guess I’ll go skiing until then…

Comment by miK3_

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