Sunday, July 20, 2008

My Spoiler-Free Mini-Review of The Dark Knight

I saw a sneak preview of The Dark Knight in Imax on Wednesday. It has taken this long for me to come down from that high.

I am not going to drop any spoilers (although, seriously...if you haven't seen it by now then we don't have as much in common as I'd hoped), but I will say this:

I liked Batman Begins a lot. This made Batman Begins look like a giant sack of crap. I went into this concerned about the look of the new Joker. I never liked the way the Joker looked in any of the posters, promo images or trailers. I am a fan of Heath Ledger, so I felt that it would be a good performance, but maybe not what I am looking for in a Joker.

Long story short, I was wrong to doubt anything. The Joker was amazing. The movie was amazing. Two and a half hours long and not a dull second. Plus, Batman kicks, like, SO MUCH ass!

I actually can't believe how much happened in this movie. It's pretty astonishing. It was so intense and so crazy that I can't believe I was ever entertained by a Batman movie where the main point of suspense was a microwave emitter that was going to evaporate Gotham's water supply. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

So yeah. Amazing. No complaints from me. If I was a parent of a young child who wanted to see this movie, you might hear some complaints. Fruit Roll-ups ads aside, this is not a movie for kids. At all.

Mmmmm...inappropriate.

If you would care to discuss this movie in more detail in the comment thread, bring it on. I still have to get caught up on some of the other blockbusters (Wall-E, Hellboy 2). And I am very excited for X-Files next weekend.

21 comments:

Waffles said...

Rachelle, I love the blog. I was wondering if you'd gotten a chance to check out Dr. Horrible? If you haven't yet, you might have to buy it on iTunes, but it is worth it in my opinion.

rachelle said...

Thanks!

I actually watched Dr Horrible tonight! It's amazing.

Dave said...

Hey Rachelle. I have to agree with you on this one. Being a fan of Batman Begins, this film was far superior. The story, the pacing, the performances were all superb. Heath's Joker peformance was mesmerizing, and I like what they did with the Harvey Dent character (in that it wasn't "Coming Soon....Two-Face in installment #3".). At the end of the day, it was just a really great Batman story.

There were only two things I didn't really get. 1) What was the deal with Captain Scarey and the Bat-Squad? and 2) Why does Bats sound constipated when he puts the cowl on?

Anthony said...

I also didn't like the batman voice, but the joker managed to be terrifying and hilarious at the same time, which I really loved.

First said...

They just need to have Kevin Conroy dub all of Christian Bale's lines when he puts the mask on.

rachelle said...

Yeah, the Batman voice was definitely way over the top. But I figure that Bruce is still new at this, so his Batman voice isn't perfect yet. He's overcompensating.

Adam said...

Overcompensating is how I explained the voice to myself in the first one, but in this one his raspy grunt is even more pronounced. The only negative. Like Bale's Bruce - not a big fan of his Batman. Oh well. Still happy happy happy.

Dr Horrible was awesomeness.

Anonymous said...

Do you think knowing about what happens in canon continuum helps or hurts watching the film? For me it made it more intense because things would happen and I wasn't sure if they were screwing with me, or if the film-makers just decided to throw that piece of story out.

It was exhilarating, either way, and mid-night viewing also make the movie a bit more trippy

Scott said...

It was head and shoulders above Batman Begins, and I was surprised how much I liked this one. Joker and Harvey were great(and Two-Face isn't worth much more than an origin story, is he? Are there good Two-Face stories that aren't about him getting his face scraped off?).

Two things kind of bothered me. The first is Batman tackling Harvey off of a building then telling Gordon "I totally didn't kill him." Eh... yeah... the Batman killed that guy, in not in a "I don't have to save you" kind of a way.

The second thing that bothered me is the way Bruce spent the entire movie talking about how Gotham needed Harvey and that Harvey Dent would be the one man who could clean up Gotham, but when he had to choose between Rachel and Harvey, he went for Rachel instead. There's a lot of talk about how the Batman can make hard choices that no one else can, but he automatically decided to save his not-girlfriend instead of saving Gotham's one chance at salvation. Weak, the Batman, weak.

rachelle said...

I was blown away by how great-looking Two-Face was. It looked fantastic.

Scott: Although Two-Face's origin is pretty much the most exciting thing about the character (he's one of the most tragic character's in fiction, really), I think there are some really good Two-Face stories out there. I would highly recommend Matt Wagner's Faces (just released as a trade, finally!) and the Half A Life Gotham Central story with Two-Face and Montoya in volume 2 of the trades.

And I will have to correct something: Batman did go for Harvey and not Rachel. Gordon went for Rachel. We were led to believe that Batman was going after Rachel, but we saw at the last second that he actually went for Harvey...and that's why Rachel died.

As for Batman killing Harvey...well, yeah. It's definitely questionable. I don't know if Batman could have saved him. I think he tried, but Batman had to save his own life too. I don't think that Harvey is really dead, though.

dave howlett said...

I think Batman THOUGHT he was going after Rachel, only the Joker sent him after Harvey by lying about the addresses he stashed them at to screw with everybody. Remember, Gordon asked who he was going after, and he said "Rachel!", to which Gordon replied "I'll get Dent!" or something. That's how I interpreted it, anyway.

Another reason to see it again, I guess!

rachelle said...

Ah yes. I see. If that's the case then I guess Batman did choose Rachel. I do remember him saying he was going after Rachel, but I thought maybe he was yelling at Gordon to get Rachel.

Either way...Harvey was a stronger love interest in this movie than Rachel anyway.

Scott said...

And I will have to correct something: Batman did go for Harvey and not Rachel. Gordon went for Rachel. We were led to believe that Batman was going after Rachel, but we saw at the last second that he actually went for Harvey...and that's why Rachel died.

I'm pretty sure Joker switched the addresses, so that whoever died would be the person Batman wanted to save the most. That would have been my evil plan.


I would highly recommend Matt Wagner's Faces (just released as a trade, finally!) and the Half A Life Gotham Central story with Two-Face and Montoya in volume 2 of the trades.

Ahk! As much as I've been loving the Joker story from Gotham Central lately, I can't believe I forgot the Half a Life story. But I don't think it would work in the movie continuity without a Montoya and with Harvey being so in love with Rachel.

And when he tackled Harvey off the roof, he was busy saving Jim Gordon's son(who he also tackled off of the roof...). I'm kind of wondering why he didn't grab Harvey's gun when he first showed up and grabbed his coin, but I guess he wanted to try and save Harvey.

Still, tackling the hostage-taker and hostage off of a ledge was a weird play. It's kind of strange watching a non-"Because he's Batman" Batman

Dave said...

My impression was also that the Joker switched the addresses, although they never came out and said it. I thought when they were running out, Gordon said to Bats "Who are you going for?", and he yelled back "Rachel" (like he was constipated).

Robby Reed said...

So basically, you love every movie you see.

Scott said...

So basically, you love every movie you see.

I do, yeah. Why would anyone pay to go see a movie they might not like? If I'm on the fence about a movie, I don't go spend money on it and maybe pick it up on Netflix when I know more about it.

Scott said...

So basically, you love every movie you see.

I do, yeah. Why would anyone pay to go see a movie they might not like? If I'm on the fence about a movie, I don't go spend money on it and maybe pick it up on Netflix when I know more about it.

Rob said...

I just wanted to add that I thought Aaron Eckhart did an excellent job as Harvey Dent and Two-Face. I think he was able to convey a lot about Harvey Dent during his scenes, allowing you to feel for the character without spending too much time on backstory.

Heath Ledger did steal the show though, and his take on the Joker was simply amazing.

Sharp said...

Totally on board about the "not for kids" thing. And the marketing toward them.

My understanding when I saw it was that Bats was trying to save Rachel but Joker lied about which was which. Typical.

Anyone agree that Gary Oldman has finally shed his exclusively psycho villain image? The man can play anything.

mattreid said...

Anyone agree that Gary Oldman has finally shed his exclusively psycho villain image? The man can play anything.

I've known Gary Oldman can play anything for a while - I first fell in love with him (and Tim Roth) in Rosencrantz And Guildenstern are Dead. He's adorable in that.

Viagra said...

This movie is so good in so many different ways! The Joker is amazing! He's so twisted, the best Joker ever in TV and Film. Two-Face, gosh there's nothing bad at all in this movies, can't wait for a 3rd one