To call The Dark Knight a "dark movie" would be a gross understatement. It's morbid and creepy...and friggin' spectacular. I loved it!
I loved it so much that I've had trouble writing this review. (I saw it nearly two weeks ago!) It always seems that I have trouble with reviews when I absolutely adore the movie. I find myself wanting to be more critical instead of just gushing.
So here are my critical points:
1, Christian Bale's Batman voice is a little obnoxious. I think he amped up the gravelyness from the first film, and it grated on my nerves just a smidgen. He makes up for it by looking absolutely stunning in a suit (and by giving a great performance), so I'll forgive him.
2, It is utterly violent. I have no problem with violence, especially when it's done in such a simple, scary way. But I must say the woman with the seven-year old sitting next to us was probably wondering exactly what I was--how in the hell is this movie PG-13? Granted, there isn't a lot of blood and gore going on, but there are plenty of shootings, burnings, beatings, and one dramatic off-screen knifing that rates pretty much in the R category for me.
Other than those two things, this movie is about as great as a summer blockbuster could be. Great villains, greats explosions, great story. Am I saying great too much?
First, let me commend whomever decided not to cast Katie Holmes again. I don't care if it was her decision, Tom's decision, or some suit at Warner Bros, but bravo to you for rethinking that part. Katie Holmes made Rachel Dawes too needy--a woman who was just the girl Batman wanted to have. Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Rachel with intelligence and poise that makes me believe that everyone who loves her loves her for more than how she looks in a slinky dress.
Aaron Eckhart turns in a praise-worthy performance as Harvey Dent. For a chunk of the movie, I wasn't sure how I felt about him (the actor and the character), but by the second half, I was rooting for Harvey and Aaron, as well as anticipating the imminent downfall.
Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine are both such incredible actors that having small parts is no small part to either of them. Lucius Fox and Alfred are a large part of Bruce Wayne's life, and having lesser actors play these parts would have been a travesty. Both of them are quiet, elegant, yet firm and trustworthy characters that can stand up and deal with both Bruce and Batman.
And then there's the Joker.
Heath Ledger's performance is, hands-down, the most hyped thing to hit the big screen all year. Before his death, people were talking about his amazing turn as the Joker. After his death, the hype only intensified. I must say, the hype is true. With every lick of the lips, flip of the greasy hair, and caress of his precious knife, I was completely fixated on this terrifying man in the creepy clown make-up.
The Joker does some pretty silly things on screen, including dressing up as a nurse, but I never really wanted to laugh because, I have to admit, I was a little scared. Ledger had me truly believing in the pure evilness of his perfect villain--a man who just enjoys wreaking havoc on and bringing corruption to the world.
Leave the kiddies at home, but see this movie. I don't care if you think it was over-hyped. I don't care if you don't like comic book or action movies. This movie is not simply another superhero popcorn flick. It's definitely no Shakespeare, but it is a deep, dark movie that will have you conversing around the watercooler for weeks.