Saturday, August 23, 2008

Batman: The Dark Knight

Grade: A

Just brilliant!

The action was great, the acting superb, and the story compelling. Christian Bale turned in another great performance. Heath Ledger as the Joker knocked it out of the park. Aaron Eckhart, although overshadowed by the untimely death of ledger, was equally brilliant in his role as Harvey Dent / Two-Face. the story was definitely dark (as all Batman stories are), but they seemed to balance it out with having more of the events take place during daylight.

It is a year after the events from Batman Begins and Gotham City is again in trouble. The efforts of the vigilante Batman from outside the system, and Lt. Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent from within the system have made great strides in reducing the city's crime and corruption. The Joker emerges as the city's "new class of criminal," one that is not interested in personal gain but only in spreading chaos and terror. He holds the city in his grips as a homegrown, psychopathic terrorist with no agenda but destruction. The Joker represents all that is evil, Gordon represents all that is good and both the Bruce Wayne/Batman and Harvey Dent/Two-Face are in the middle. Harvey Dent, the "White Knight" who begins by giving the people hope then falls to his demons after personal tragedy in contrast to Bruce Wayne who begins in darkness (see Batman Begins) and rises above his demons to become the Dark Knight. The two characters are like mirror images, identical in every way except exact opposites, or like opposite sides of the same coin. Who will prevail, the ever good Lt. Gordon, the ever evil Joker, the White Knight turned villain Two-Face, or the Dark Knight turned hero Batman?

If you are a fan of the Batman franchise, you will LOVE this film. In fact, I am loving this new direction the Batman movies are being taken. The older generation of these movies were fun at the time, but these new ones are better in every way. It is rated PG-13 for very scary images and intense action. (Definitely not a movie for the light-hearted, or for children).