Hyperbole prevents most people from taking opinions on films seriously. Especially with a film such as this, where most reviews heralded it as a masterpiece. I went into this film expecting it to be good, possibly great. To be honest, I did not want to raise the hopes any higher, this has been a three year wait in the making and most films cannot meet such expectations.
The Dark Knight surpassed all of them. As a comic book movie goes, it is the greatest the genre has put forth. As pure cinema, it is masterstroke from Nolan. There was nothing I could pick apart, nothing to criticize, nothing that prevented the movie from reaching the status of an all time great. There are many aspects I could praise, but no review of this film should go without talk of Heath Ledger. This is a depiction of evil that will stand the test of time, and is a benchmark that other roles and actors will be compared to. To see a man so completely immersed in such a role is terrifying in multiple ways, and Ledger's unfortunate demise makes it all the more fascinating. I was speechless upon leaving the theater last night, and I could not reach a level of calm for the next few hours. The movie was that exhilarating, that suspenseful, that dramatic, and that brutal. This is a mainstream, summer action movie that has managed to reach a level of quality that has not been seen since Raiders of the Lost Ark.
A second viewing will cement my opinions on the movie, but after seeing it last night, KOTCS was an Indian Jones movie. It is much more comparable to the sequels (Nothing can touch Raiders), but the fans should not be disappointed. There was a little too much CGI for my tastes, but not enough to ruin things ala the Star Wars prequels. The story has been described as "weird" , but let's be frank, all of the Indiana Jones movies feature weird happenings. A golden box from God that melts the wicked who intended to use it? How is that any more ridiculous than the MacGuffin to KOTCS? Harrison Ford left no doubt he was once again Jones, this is a character he knows too well. And, to my immense surprise, Shia LaBeouf was not a weak aspect of the film. Not a single cringe-worthy line to his name. Spielberg demonstrates his understanding of how to craft action very well; the jeep sequence in the middle of the film easily stands alongside similar events from the previous three films.
Are there some problems? Yes. The films drags at certain points, mostly during the exposition points. But again, that was the case with TOD and The last Crusade. Those are the films one should compare KOTCS to, because that makes the most sense. The science fiction aspect of the plot did not bother me apparently as much as it did others; considering these films were inspired by pulp serials and 50s B movies, made perfect sense to me. It is not a perfect film by any stretch, and I won't label it as great either, at least after one viewing. What it is is another entry in the Indiana Jones series; and it's more than up to meeting the challenge that entails.
You know, the Matrix was a great movie. V For Vendetta? Great movie. Yet in Speed Racer, the Bros. fail to meet that high quality. Speed Racer is a pretty movie that has ZERO soul and depth. After you get used to the unique style of the film, you begin to see there is nothing else there. This isn't a campy movie; it's a bad one.