Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Dark Knight: it rocks.

We finally made it to see The Dark Knight. It was the best movie we've seen all summer: dense, interesting, complex, thoughtful, and action-packed, all at once. The acting was excellent, too. Really uniformly excellent; even the guy who played Cop #2 was good at it. This is probably a sign of a good director.

Everybody who's seen the movie, and quite a few who probably haven't, have talked about how good Heath Ledger was as the Joker. They're all correct. He's a much better Joker than Jack Nicholson, and that's a high standard. The character's written well, too, but Heath Ledger really made him a spectacular villain. Plot is all about conflict, and nothing defines conflict in a movie as well as a really good villain. The most watchable action movies are defined as much by their villains as their heroes, and it's given some excellent actors a chance to really shine. Alan Rickman in Die Hard; Gary Oldman in The Professional (and The Fifth Element!); Ian McKellen in X-Men; even crappy Steven Segal movies like Under Siege and Marked for Death were made better than they should've been by high-quality bad guys (Tommy Lee Jones and Basil Wallace). All this is a long way of saying that Heath Ledger's Joker helped make this the excellent movie it was.

Laura wants to see it again; I can't remember the last time we saw a movie twice on the big screen. I wouldn't mind seeing it again, either.
I'm curious to see it in IMAX. I heard that six or eight scenes were shot in IMAX, and I bet I can guess which ones. I don't think I've ever seen an IMAX movie, and this might be a good one to start with.

The film wasn't perfect; I was a little annoyed with the final plot development. [spoiler text in white; select it with your mouse if you've already seen the movie] Batman says that all of Harvey Dent's work will be undone if his criminal actions come to light, so he says he'll take the blame for everything. This makes no sense; you've got a horde of bad guys in the movie to pin the blame on, not least the Joker. Sure, the Joker's still alive and can say he didn't do it -- but he also knows Batman didn't do it, so there's no reason he can't blame Harvey anyway. It was the only real instance of bad plotting in the entire movie, and it was unnecessary. Other than that moment of stupid movie logic, the story was great.

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