Monday, September 28, 2009

The Dark Knight

This is an old review:
3 years, 1 month, and 3 days. That is how long I have been waiting for this movie expecting it be the best movie in the world...and it was. If you haven't seen it yet, go see it now and come back and finish this review. I have to speak about the movie as if you have seen it so SPOILER ALERT. This is not only the best superhero movie ever made, but the best villain movie ever made also. Let me start by saying that Heath Ledger as the Joker is the best performance in movie history. I know it had to do a lot with the writing and story, but he was dead on and encompassed all of the psychology that he is about. The video camera scenes of his victims chill me and thrill me all at the same time. Everything he had to say was the exact opposite of fluff. It was golden. I don't care if he wins an Oscar, he's the winner in my book. With a performance like that, the other actors have to portray their characters perfectly also (especially the psychological side) which they did. They really took advantage of the all star cast and hit it out of the park. Everyone but Maggie Gyllenhaal. She was the one imperfection in this movie. Her smiling performance had nothing to do with Rachel, but ended up just being a ditzy girl that doesn’t really act seriously. It distracts from the film the second time you watch it, but it doesn’t ruin the movie….just makes it imperfect. I want Katie Holmes back. While people have been saying that the film is a masterpiece, it’s the story that is the real masterpiece. Sure we get to see Batman beat up the bad guys and jump off of buildings, but the story is what keeps you on the edge of your seat. I felt emotionally drained after this movie and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to cry or laugh or scream. From the time Dent says he is Batman, it is one long roller coaster of emotion and action. If the story is king in movies, then The Dark Knight is a God. Christopher Nolan’s movies all have to do with audience participation. In Memento we watch it backwards like Lenny sees life. In Batman Begins, fear drove the audience to understand what Batman was trying to do. In the Prestige, the whole movie was a magic trick with the climax actually being the prestige. The Dark Knight is no different. First of all, the movie is about CHOICE and how our decisions define us. Every single character had to make a difficult choice (Batman - whether to kill or not, Harvey Dent - whether to trust people or seek revenge, Lucius Fox – to spy on everyone to help Batman or not, Alfred – whether to give Bruce Rachel’s letter or not) and the Joker cut through the film and lead everyone to have to make impossible choices. Where do you put your limits? This is an ideal that I could talk forever on, but what choice did we have to make. Our participation in the film is with choice also. We have to choice whether we like the Joker or not. He’s evil, he’s mean, he’s menacing, he’s killing people, but do we like him? Where is our limit? This is where the movie becomes genius to me. The impossible choice of the characters becomes a choice of our own. I, sadly, loved the Joker. Did I make the right choice? This is a movie that could be analyzed for years after and everyone will have a different answer but it really come down to your personal limits and how you choose to define yourself. It’s a genius story, with a genius character, and a genius film. I saw it twice on the first day and loved it even more the second time. It’s better than Batman Begins (which was my second favorite movie ever) and it cements Christopher Nolan as the best director on the earth today. He has 3 movies in my top five, and this movie, a movie that I’m sure I will be talking about for years after, is now my 2nd favorite movie ever. Thank you Chris and Jonah Nolan. My vote: 10/10

PS>I’m going to have to get a new signed poster of this movie…dang it, that’ll be expensive.

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