Posted on 8/08/08 01:04 PM
Just some random thoughts I wrote out after I saw the movie a few weeks ago. Spoiler warning.
"Just wow. From the opening scene where the Joker unmasks until the moment where Gordon utters, "the Dark Knight." What an amazing film. It's been said everywhere, but Heath Ledger was absolutely amazing. He was creepily terrifying and then creepily amusing, all in a span of fifteen seconds. He did the Joker justice and then some. I love how he kept changing his scar story, and I like the touch from the Killing Joke - one bad day can make any man go mad, but in this case Dent (rather than Gordon) actually was corrupted.
That leads me to Dent. Aaron Eckhart was a perfect casting decision. I'm glad that Two-Face showed up in this film rather than the next one: it gave the film an emotional arc that the psycopathic Joker couldn't provide. I was rooting for Harvey, even though I knew he'd eventually be corrupted, and from the interrogation scene on Eckhart switched gears and became an absolute menace.
And how they handled Dawes! I didn't like her in the first film, but Gyllenhaal really surprised me. I can't believe they actually killed her off, but it was so brilliant, and I loved how she was going to choose Harvey, and Bruce thought she was going to wait for him. I loved the ending of Iron Man where Tony got rejected, but this made that look tame. Yeah, the death was kinda Women in Refrigerators-ish, but I think in this case it was the best thing they could have done with the story and they actually explored the impact of her death.
But when Gordon "died," I was just like, what!?! And then when he literally kicked the Joker's ass, I wanted to applaud him. This was the one film where "coming back from the dead" didn't seem cheesy. Gary Oldman was great, again. I like how this version of Gordon can actually take care of himself, thankyouverymuch, and I liked his line: "Actually, this time, I saved him!" The end was perfectly done: you could actually feel the tension, and I was really hoping that Batman would come along and stop Two-Face. The score did a great job of building the tension, especially Joker's theme.
Batman! Bale was great, again, and they did a good job making sure that Batman wasn't overshadowed by the great supporting cast. As I've already mentioned, the death of Dawes was a welcome twist, and Bale did a good job of conveying Bruce's pain. I liked the contrast: Dent went mad, but Batman held back his anger and tried to do his best. The "death" of Gordon was somewhat similar: he was enraged, but he couldn't bring himself to kill the Joker in the street, and I think that's an interesting aspect of the character, that he never can bring himself to break his one rule. Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine were also great. Three moments from them: Lucius talking to the rat, Lucius telling Batman he's going to resign, and Alfred burning the card. I could go into depth on those, but they all speak for themselves.
And this film had a perfect title. They did a great job of showing that Batman ISN'T a hero: he is, as Gordon says, whatever Gotham needs him to be. Dent's death was the perfect end to the film. I don't know how they can possibly top TDK with the next film - I really can't - but they need to keep Nolan, first off, and they need to make sure the core cast reprises their roles, especially now that Ledger won't be able to for obvious reasons. I don't now what villain they might do for the next one, although I think they said they'd like someone that's not been in the films yet, but we'll see. If the next film is anywhere near as good as this one, then I'll be happy."