‘Dark Knight’ sucked!

Thought that would get attention to the old blog….I’m just shittin’ you, for I too am drunk on that ‘Dark Knight’ Kool-Aid everyone else has been sippin’. Read on….

I am really struggling here.

I really don’t feel like cracking open the thesaurus to out-hyperbolize what’s already been said about “The Dark Knight” a dozen times over.

Simply put: A) It lives up to the hype, and B) Yes, Heath Ledger as The Joker is that good.

The only way to tackle this review and add anything new to what’s already been said is by addressing your concerns as a moviegoer.

That’s right, you.

Why do I do this? Well, I’m just a giver, I suppose.

So herein are ten reasons why you should either jump aboard the “Dark Knight” Love Train with the rest of us, or whether you should draw the blinds when you see that Bat Signal appear in the sky.

See it:

  1. If you enjoy crime drama: The film begins with a crackerjack heist by Joker and his crew that not only ticks along like a timed explosive, it sets the stage for just how morally bankrupt the film’s chief villain truly is. He is a character whose sole purpose is not singularly driven, but rather one who likes to conduct social experiments, regardless of their outcome. For Batman, who is considered a champion of justice, the Joker represents his ultimate foe.

  2. If you balk at seeing a “superhero” movie: Too often dismissed by stuffier film-goers as guys running around in silly spandex pajamas, “Knight” sets its story in a very real world environment that echoes many fears and concerns where chaos reigns. Sure, there are acts of superhuman strength, but there are equal parts of superhuman suffering, as leads are forced to make choices in which one life’s value possibly outweighs another.

  3. If you eschew CGI for more tangible effects: Digital trickery has become a staple to the genre, especially those released in the heady days of summer blockbusters, but there are no wholly rendered CGI beasties on Batman’s fight card here, and when it is used, like the charred, rotting side of the face on Batman’s other nemesis Two-Face, it’s both subtle and disturbing.

  4. If you are a fan of iconic screen villainy: Confession time: When it comes to listing the top actors of this generation, Heath Ledger would probably not even make my long list. His turn in “Brokeback Mountain” was undoubtedly poignant, but the whole film’s over-rated melodrama possibly kept it from making any impact on me. I found him decent, but rather nondescript. Until now. His role as a psychotic harbinger of destruction is seminal, plain and simple. And for those of you who showered Javier Bardem and Daniel Day Lewis with praise last year in “No Country for Old Men” and “There Will Be Blood,” respecticely, you owe it to yourself to witness this performance.

  5. If you enjoy epic films: While staying primarily focused in Gotham City (after taking a brief detour to Hong Kong to round up some baddies), the story feels oceanic in its sprawl. “Dark Knight” analyzes a society ruled by fear and governed by disorder. It demonstrates not only how officials and denizens react in times of crisis, but takes the time to detail these reactions, as well as their repercussions, giving them motivation and purpose. It’s a sizeable task in any film, but it builds to a crescendo that feels purposefully messy and frustrating. You know, kind of like life.

  6. If you’d rather get drawn into a story than manipulated by a rousing score: Too often, we find ourselves moved because some guys in the string section of an orchestra tell us to. Not here. Never obtrusive, always lurking in the shadows (like its lead), the score (by James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer) is as subtle as Danny Elfman’s (between the Prince ditties) was bombastic in the 1989 version. Instead. “Knight” is propelled by such intrinsic theoretical absolutes as “good” and “evil” (Sometimes by the same character, sometimes by our hero), providing each member of its stellar cast – Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon, Morgan Freeman as inventor Lucious Fox, Michael Caine as heroic manservant Alfred, Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes, Aaron Eckhart as politician Harvey Dent – an opportunity to decide where his or her moral line in the sand is drawn. Which leads us to…

  7. If you prefer your characters with moral ambiguity: There is not a second of flab in the film’s 2.5-hours, and in that time each of its characters are tested. Similar to that memorable coin toss by Bardem’s Anton Chigurh in “No Country” (and Harvey Dent here), the results are sometimes left to chance and the consequences are not pretty.

  8. If you enjoy horror films: The discomforting truisms of human nature are the root of all classic horror films — our primal urges, our basic instincts, those gravitational draws to the dark side that have yet to evolve from that primordial muck – are the foundation of scary stories, and have a home in “Dark Knight.” These are not perhaps the “gotcha!” scares that one closely associates with modern horror, but they are the nightmares that can keep one up at night when alone.

  9. If you appreciate ensemble acting: I have already mentioned a number of the actors involved, but have yet to speak about Christian Bale, who plays Batman and his alter ego billionaire Bruce Wayne (sorry for the spoiler). It is perhaps because he is a cog in this machine. It is by no means a slight to his ability, for he once again demonstrates just why he is one of the finest actors working today. But he is only one “Knight” in this chess game.

  10. If you enjoy sequels with more narrative meat on their bones: As opposed to taking the “Bigger! Stronger! Faster!” approach to sequels, writer/director Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” is much more interested in inhabiting and studying the world in which our heroes dwell. It could have been easily called “Gotham” and have been completely accurate. The last bit of praise that I can pile onto this film is by giving it the cinematic equivalent to “The Empire Strikes Back,” (considered by many, myself included, to be the best of the “Star Wars” franchise), in which storylines weave without a knot at its end. It can be disconcerting, but in the end, it feels more organic than any other film released so far this year.

 

And yes, it is based on a “comic book.”

~ by usesoapfilm on July 21, 2008.

One Response to “‘Dark Knight’ sucked!”

  1. at times the Joker seemed almost too smart, borderline clairvoyant, but i guess that what makes him a good foe for the Batman…

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