Jul 22, 2008

The Dark Knight ...Let's put a smile upon that face!

I took my oldest sons Sunday afternoon to see the new movie sensation, The Dark Knight. I tried to go see it Friday night and it was all sold out until the 10:15 showing. The movie had a record $158 million opening weekend. This has been the most hyped movie of the summer, mostly due to Heath Ledger's untimely death earlier this year. However, even with all the hype, this movie did not disappoint!

Let me say first of all that I wasn't overly impressed with the first movie in the series, Batman Begins. I thought it was long and drawn out and took too long to develop the story. Also, I thought the Scarecrow was a shallow villain and the whole Legion of whatever destroying Gotham was too much. I did think that both movies however did a much better job of bringing to life the real comic book Batman, a dark, haunted character that sometimes pushes the line. I was a fan of comics as a teen and Batman was one of my favorites.

I also am not a huge fan of Christian Bale as Batman/Bruce Wayne. He does a good job of showing the playboy side of Wayne, but his guttural Batman voice leaves much to be desired. Michael Caine is a great Alfred and Morgan Freeman's character is a great addition.

The Dark Knight however is all about the Joker. This character takes your attention from the opening and is perhaps the greatest portrayal of any villain in any superhero movie. It's hard to imagine this guy is actually Heath Ledger, the guy from Brokeback Mountain and The Patriot. Ledger portrays a Joker who is absolutely void of any compassion or feeling. He's totally anarchic, hellbent on destroying any and everything just for the fun of it. By his own words, "It's not about the money, it's about making a statement." Early on the Joker hits the audience with the "disappearing pencil" trick that you have to see. I also lost it when he dressed up in a nurse's uniform to enter the hospital. I've heard it from more than one person that Heath Ledger gives an Oscar-caliber performance. I agree. It's a shame that someone with that talent left so early.

So here's to The Dark Knight! You have got to go see this movie.