July 29, 2008

The Dark Knight (2008)

Based on the record-breaking gobs of money it’s made since it opened 11 days ago, chances are you’ve already seen The Dark Knight. If you haven’t, I’ll tell you why you should see it – and why your pre-teen children shouldn’t.

I won’t go into plot details, because The Dark Knight has so many of them happening one after the other. This isn’t a bad thing; it’s just that once you think something’s over, something else comes along to crank things up again.

The buzz you’ve heard about The Dark Knight is true – it’s a great film with amazing action sequences and compelling characters. What takes it to another level is that you feel like you’re watching a sprawling crime drama, not just a superhero movie. Christian Bale is once again effective as Bruce Wayne/Batman, and Heath Ledger’s Joker gets under your skin and stays there. But the biggest character arc has to be Aaron Eckhart’s crusading district attorney Harvey Dent. His transition from white knight to fallen angel makes him the true tragic hero of the film.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5).

Will your kids want to see it?
If you have small kids (okay, boys), I wouldn’t be surprised if they ask to see this movie because it’s Batman. But as much as I question the MPAA’s unscientific ratings process, they were right giving The Dark Knight a PG-13. In addition to the adult tone of the film, I can all but guarantee that the two villains will give your children nightmares.

The Joker’s antics are sadistically violent. Here’s a sample of his work:
• Impaling a pencil in a man’s head
• Sticking a knife in someone’s mouth
• Videotaping two of his victims’ final moments
• Implanting a bomb under a man’s skin
• Numerous shootings

And when the film finally revealed my favorite Batman villain of all time, Two-Face, I was both exhilarated and horrified. The “bad” side of his face will haunt little children, trust me. Also, his path of revenge at the end of the film is swift and brutal.

Will your FilmMother want to see it?
My FilmMother passed on The Dark Knight – she has a bad track record with darkly shot Batman films (she fell asleep during the original Batman and Batman Forever). Still, I would try and convince your FilmMother to see The Dark Knight. It’s a masterful piece of filmmaking, with solid pacing and a superior script. And if you need a romance angle, there is a love triangle (albeit a tragic one) between Bruce Wayne, childhood friend Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal), and Harvey Dent.

The Dark Knight
• Director: Christopher Nolan
• Screenwriter: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan
• Stars: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman
• MPAA Rating: PG-13 (intense sequences of violence and some menace)

Buy this movie for less at Half.com >>


Kristin said...

Yes, your FilmMother has a bad track record with Batman movies but also with Joker-related nightmares! And the pictures of Heath Ledger are enough to start another one for me! xoxo

Gemma said...

Gosh, I agree w. FilmMother. Between your descriptions and Heath Ledger's photo, I am already a little scared. But your expert evaluation has some part of me wanting to see it!

Raymond said...

Just saw this movie a few weeks ago. Agree that AE is just as good as Heath in the movie.

Also is it me or does Batman's voice sound like he has a sore throat?

FilmFather said...


I can understand why he disguises his voice so people don't say, "Bruce, that you?" But yeah, by this second film it's wearing pretty thin. Reel it in a notch, Bat-Bale!



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