Friday, July 18, 2008

The Darkest Knight

I went to see The Dark Knight earlier today for a variety of reasons: I like Batman, I'm a Christian Bale fan,I was curious to see Heath Ledger's last performance, the movie's been getting fantastic reviews, and most importantly, it beats working. And at the risk of being run out of town by angry torch-bearing pitchfork-wielding mobs, let me say that I thought it was, well, just okay. Sorry, but I just couldn't cream myself over it the way so many reviewers have been doing.

Maybe it was just me, but at almost 2 1/2 hours, the movie is just too long. The average American butt, given the weight of the average American torso, can only sit for just so long in the average movie theater seat before it begins to ache. And if you made the foolish mistake of preceding the 9:00 A.M. showing of a 150 minute movie with a cup of coffee, your bladder's gonna have serious issues, too. Yes, I know I'm whining, especially since my chief complaint about Hancock was that it was too short.

What can I say? I'm tough to satisfy. Maybe I should have been born a woman.

And it's just damn depressing. There were times I wanted to slash my wrists but the popcorn bucket just wasn't sharp enough. Good characters get killed off and evil is never truly defeated. And at the risk of giving away a spoiler, let's just say Maggie Gyllanhaal's character won't be in the next Batman movie.

Anyway, The Dark Knight does have plenty of action. At one point Batman goes all the way to Hong Kong, or North Korea, or Singapore, or one of those other oriental type places, and kidnaps a crime lord so he can face justice in Gotham. The bad guy's extraction from one of the top floors of a skyscraper was pretty damn impressive.

Then there's a chase scene involving police cars, garbage trucks, a SWAT team, a tractor trailer, the Joker, and the Batmobile. Oh, and there's a bazooka thrown in as well. Batman shouldn't be surprised if Geico raises his insurance rates after that one. In fact, remember how the people of Los Angeles were always getting pissed off by Hancock's indiscriminate collateral damage? Let's just say that the good citizens of Gotham City are going to be in a homicidal rage.

The problem is that between the action sequences, Dark Knight gets bogged down in mundane details. There's some kind of sub-plot involving the mob, banks, and the Joker which seemed overly confusing. Then again, I may just have been distracted by my bladder, which was full through most of the movie.

My other complaint: Heath Ledger. His performance was absolutely stunning. Nothing like Jack Nicholson's version of the character. Ledger's Joker was much more subdued and sinister. He's a psychotic sociopath who positively oozes evil out of every pore.... Kind of like Dick Cheney. And he kept doing this really perverted thing with his tongue(I'm referring to the Joker now, not Cheney) that reminded me of Hannibal Lechter. Yet despite all his inherent evil, he also has a romantic streak, like when he tells Batman, "You complete me." And he's something of a magician, as when he makes a pencil disappear in a rather, er, "unique" fashion.

Plus, Ledger looks pretty damn cute in a nurse's uniform (see the movie & you'll understand).

So then why am I bitching? Well, quite frankly, he just didn't get enough screen time. Screw Batman; they should have just done a movie about the Joker and made Batman a secondary character. In fact, it seems that anytime Ledger was NOT on the screen, the plot began to bog down.

Among the various trailers preceding Dark Knight was one for Christian Bale's NEXT film: Terminator IV: Rise of the Endless Mind Numbing Sequels.... Okay, so I may be just a bit fuzzy on the exact title, but here's the trailer:

0 thoughtful ramblings: