July 29, 2012

The Dark Knight (2008)

"When Batman, Gordon and Harvey Dent launch an assault on the mob, they let the clown out of the box, the Joker, bent on turning Gotham on itself and bringing any heroes down to his level."

I've heard a lot of people say that "The Dark Knight" is one of the must-have Blu-rays should you ever upgrade to the format. I haven't got a Blu-ray player, probably won't buy one either, and my copy of "The Dark Knight" is the 2-disc "Special Edition" which I bought from the pawn shop along with "Batman Begins". Obviously, someone else upgraded or they didn't think much of these movies either.

Yes, you've guessed it, I didn't like "The Dark Knight". In fact, I didn't even like "The Dark Knight" as much as "Batman Begins". Out of the two of them, I'd say that "Batman Begins" was a lot better and, mercifully, it was also 12 minutes shorter.

Turning a comic book into live action with a more realistic setting is Christopher Nolan's thing, but it just doesn't work for me. "The Dark Knight" felt like yet another contrived cops and robbers drama but with Batman in it.

I know everybody raved about Heath Ledger as The Joker, and, while I can admit that he was the most entertaining part of "The Dark Knight", he wasn't as good as Jack Nicholson or even Cesar Romero. He just came across as a nutter who kept licking his lips. I didn't get any sense of menace from him, and, basically, if it came to a fight, I could take him.

The other big thing in "The Dark Knight" was the entire career of Harvey Dent. I didn't like the character, the prosthetic/CGI half of his face looked too fake and was completely unrealistic as far as the facial movements were concerned, and, well, that whole part of the story sucked. The last time I tried to watch "The Dark Knight", I didn't make it to the end so I had no idea what happened to Two-Face or Batman.

All the usual Christopher Nolan excesses were in this again. There were way too many shots of high-rise buildings which made me feel giddy, there was some pretty awful acting here and there especially from Maggie Gyllenhaal and Gary Oldman, and, the music was only slightly less annoying. I suppose Michael Caine was okay, but he was Cockneying-up his part too unintelligibly. I'm British and I almost had to turn the subtitles on!

One thing which really infuriated me was when Batman didn't kill The Joker. Is this a thing in the Batman universe which I'm supposed to know about? In "Batman" (1989), Michael Keaton's Batman couldn't kill him from 100 feet away with a load of rockets but destroyed the Batplane in the process. In "The Dark Knight", Batman couldn't run the same character over with the Batbike, but managed to destroy that and injure himself too.

I'll definitely never watch "The Dark Knight" again.

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