The Dark Knight
There’s not really much left to say about ‘The Dark Knight.’ It was a fantastic film. But everybody knows that. One visit to TDK Rottentomatoes page will reveal critic after critic falling all over themselves to praise this film almost to no end, calling it a classic, comparing it to Scorsese’s ‘The Departed, and De Palma’s ‘The Untouchables,’ and giving it Oscar buzz like the year was already over and we already knew what the holiday season will bring.
I enjoyed the film, a lot. I’ll probably go see it again. Heath Ledger was haunting and brilliant in his performance, the action was endlessly entertaining (the more elaborate scenes were filmed in IMAX). But I left the theater feeling slightly underwhelmed. This isn’t Christopher Nolan’s fault, who deserves such high praise for reminding us that high-budgeted, big studio movies can be more than just mindless drivel. It wasn’t the actors’ fault (the cast was stellar; let’s thanks the folks with Scientology who mind-controlled Tom Cruise into forbidding Katie Holmes from reprising her roll as Rachel, Maggie Gyllenhaal is a better actor than Holmes will ever be.). But I daresay it was the fault of the studio who previewed this film so much to critics, so far in advance, that I’ve been expecting a damn near perfect film since mid-June.
The studio really couldn’t care about this side effects of building such rapport. They already have their great reviews, they already have (according to early estimations) the highest grossing opening weekend of all time. So no one was really hurt I suppose.
I’ve had a few such experiences, when a movie is built up so much that I feel a little let down (I know someone who is definitely not me who was underwhelmed upon his first viewing of ‘The Godfather’ due to this very reason).
Of course, all this media fanfare about the movie doesn’t make the movie itself any less well made. The two and a half hours literally flies by as you’re mesmerized by Aaron Eckhart as Two Face, Michael Caine as Alfred, the twisted love triangle between Harvey Dent, Bruce and Rachel, and all the other goodies that Nolan used to weave this masterful web. My one other qualm with TDK is this: Where’s Christian Bale? It’s granted that this was Heath Ledger’s moment to shine (even more so with this being his last performance) but Bale is wicked talented, and definitely needed more screen time. He’s the reason ‘Batman Begins’ was so revitalizing for the franchise, he should have been given more opportunity to show his acting chops.