The Fast Forward Revue


The Dark Knight by kswitz
July 25, 2008, 1:49 am
Filed under: Author: kswitz, Cinema | Tags: ,

Fast Forward Rating: FFFFf (4.5 out of 5)

The Dark Knight (2008)

The Dark Knight (2008)

SPOILER ALERT (Kind-of).

Alright, well I guess it is time for someone to review the box-office behemoth that is Batman’s The Dark Knight. I saw it a few days ago, so I guess I will do the honours.

I don’t have too much to say about the film, so I’ll try to keep it short.

The essentials: a) It’s good. It’s very good. Go see it, even if just to say you were part of the highest grossing film in history (to tell your children and grandchildren, etc).

b) It’s dark. It’s very dark. This film is by far the darkest of all Batman films to date, featuring a completely dystopic Gotham, where evil trumps good at every turn. The city was bad before, of course, but now it’s worse, and anarchic to the point where even a whole army of Good Guys (Batman and his friends on City Council and the police force) can’t face up to the evil of just one super-villain, The Joker. It’s horribly depressing. Which makes you crave Batman even more, praying that he will rise from the flames of the burning city and make everything right like it’s supposed to be, and save the world. Which leads to my next fact:

c) Batman seems powerless. To play on the Rick James quote, “The Joker’s a hell of a villain”, and Batman’s bat-skills get an endless string of tests, most of them showing how powerless one man really is against the evils of the world. It’s a depressing lesson, and he even begins to lose faith in himself. Except the world needs Batman… So it totally makes you root for him even more. [‘Ere’s a good quote from the movie: “You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain”].

d) Heath Ledger’s performance is good. But not Oscar-worthy good, I must say. While I really have no problems with the character he created in The Joker, to me his performance seemed more like the stepping-stone start to a really solid future acting career, and the kind of role that leads to other, greater roles for actors like him. I think it’s a shame he died (obviously), as this film does show the start of something promising. I just wouldn’t necessarily say it’s already all there, especially since the character he evokes doesn’t really touch the audience on an emotional level, like, say, . But I’ll let y’all judge for yourselves.

(Something small that I might as well mention here is that pity-Oscars have been a sad and awful trend in the past (often to directors), where awards have either been given to recognize a lifetime achievement (as in “let’s honour this guy before he kicks the bucket”), recognizing standard-quality films by long-standing patrons, to the detriment of younger directors whose work is more deserving. These people are then in turn sometimes given pity Oscars, and the result is just a bloody mess… 

Suffice it to say that I hope Heath Ledger gets what he deserves in terms of Oscars… Whatever that may be.)

e) Breathtaking Visuals. Watch the first five seconds of the trailer and you’ll know what I mean. 

So I would write more but I am le tired.

This film is awesome, and y’all should go see it if you haven’t already done so. I would even recommend waiting for it on Imax… I plan to go again.

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2 Comments so far
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I managed to see a preview on Wednesday (it opens here tonight) and was blown away. Believe the hype. Good review (isn’t it difficult to say anything without giving away plot points.

I’d say Ledgeer’s erpformance was Oscar nomination worthy (just look at some of the recent winners and also name a performance that tops that this year). I’d also say that there should be nominations for best film, director and screenplay. But will the Academy honour a “superhero” “comicbook” movie?

Comment by DeeDubya

Nice review. You seem to be more level-headed than me, because all I can seem to think is that it was the best movie I’ve ever seen. I think Heath Ledger’s performance was one of the best I have seen though, and that it’s completely worthy of an Academy Award. I think that to describe it as “the start of something promising” is a gross understatement of this tremendously moving performance. I will concede that his character was brilliantly written, but Ledger transitions with ease from being the truly demonic “Are You The Real Batman” Joker to the understandable and comic “Nurse” joker.

With respects to the photography, I couldn’t agree more. The film is absolutely beautiful, and Christopher Nolan really knows how to do things on a big scale. It was much more of a cold world than the one created in Batman Begins.

Comment by gaoalexander




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