movies: the dark knight

the dark knight- welcome to a world without rulesMy third ever post and my first ever official movie review was for Batman Begins... and now, exactly three years and ten days later, we have the much anticipated and much hyped sequel, The Dark Knight...

I don't know if this is one of those times when all the hype worked slightly against what I was expecting from the movie or what... but while I enjoyed it, it didn't necessarily rock my world the way it's seemed to rock a lot of other people's worlds (okay, mostly movie critics, but still)...

It very much suffers from all the same problems as the first one... waaaaay too much plot/detail crammed into a somewhat overly long movie (152 minutes), a large number of recognisable actors in slightly minor roles (which I kind of understand now... I mean who wouldn't want to be in a Batman movie, but it still throws me out of the moment every now and then), and a slight case of "Bourne Syndrome" in the camera work on the action scenes (the sooner cinematographers and directors get over that particular "trick", the happier I'll be).

On top of that, once again Morgan Freeman steals the scene every time he's on screen... and Maggie Gyllenhaal's version of Katie Holmes' character from the first movie is essentially pointless, she's mostly there to get into trouble and be the "shining prize", which was slightly more annoying with Maggie in the role since I like her and think she's a decent actress.

And there are so many characters and plot lines and stories to pay off and things that we need to know and whatever that you never really feel like you're spending any time with anybody...

Which pretty much brings me to Heath Ledger and his portrayal of The Joker. Now don't get me wrong, he was very good... but there's no way it was an Oscar-worthy performance. Partially because I don't think we spent enough time with the character... okay, maybe that's not completely true, but it is a fairly long movie and he's not around for very much of about the first half, so it feels like it's true. And with everything everybody has been saying about how the role was so "dark" and troubling and that he "had trouble shaking it off"... honestly I don't see that. I will admit that Heath's Joker is a card carrying nutjob, and Heath embodies him from top to toe... but I would have thought it would have been a role he delighted in and would have been having the time of his life with. Granted I don't think anybody is ever going to know the real answer to that one, but personally I didn't find the Joker that disturbing.

And once again, that probably says a whole lot more about me than it does about the character.

Going back to the "too many plot lines" complaint, I was slightly disappointed that they chose to do the whole character arc for Aaron Eckhart's Harvey Dent... granted, leaving the story half finished would have spelled "another sequel" in big neon letters (and it might actually have been annoying), but it was almost like they just decided to squash the character into the end section... to be honest I don't know when it happened, but it felt like it was the last half hour or so. It was something of a shame because I thought Eckhart did a pretty good job in that latter section... and the "makeup design" was incredible.

In some ways I think it's probably worse than the original (I enjoyed the whole "creating the bat-toys" section in the first one), but at the same time there are parts in this one that are better (essentially all of Health's scenes)... but in the end, it pretty much comes out as being about the same as the first one.

yani's rating: 2 Jokers out of 5

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