Monday, July 28, 2008

Batman: the Dark Knight

I wondered if Heath Ledger's turn as the Joker could live up to the hype. It did. I also wondered if the movie could live up to the hype. Not quite.

That's not to say it's not fun and that things don't blow up. They blow up all over the place. The performances are fine, and Ledger's the definitive Joker, very disturbed and disturbing. I also think Michael Caine's the definitive Alfred, sort of the opposite of the Joker. Christian Bale is fine, too, but you put someone else in the bat suit, and he might do as well.

I've read that the movie is full of references to current events and to terrorism, especially in the Joker's motiveless malignity, and I can see that. (But maybe not this.) What really matters is the story, though, and that's where things get a little messy. There's almost too much plot for a 2-1/2 hour movie, and a few too many things were left unresolved. And there were a lot of things that bothered me. Okay, it's a comic book, so I guess logic pretty much goes out the window, but it seemed to me that too many things just didn't make sense. Probably that's because I'm old and dense and not part of the movie's target audience. I was able to ignore most of those things and just go along for the ride. It's quite a ride, and I'm glad I didn't miss it.


Richard said...

I agree, Bill. There were a good many things to enjoy. But too, there were a good many story problems. I've been surprised by the near unanimous ignorance of those problems by critics. Taking the narrative alone, I'd have to rank it lower than "Batman Begins" --maybe lower than the Burton films.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I guess I can never take seriously a movie where the hero wears a Batman suit, so the more serious or dark they try to make it, the more I disconnect. It should be for kids if he's gonna wear that suit. Maybe if they found a metaphor for the suit I could buy into it.

Anonymous said...

Wall-E! Go see Wall-E. Go see Wall-E now!

Nag, nag, nag.


norby said...

I think it's one of those situations where an actor did a great job, then he died and his work in a film became legendary before anyone ever saw it.

Ledger is fantastic as the Joker, no question, but the film does have its weak spots as you say. In the end though, it's an enjoyable summer flick which usually we are lacking.

And Michael Caine really does make a great Alfred.

Howard said...

I think I liked it a bit more than everyone here...though I agree that it's not a true masterpiece. I do think it's the best Bat movie, and I'm a fan of the Burton work.

Mainly, I felt it was a little too long, and thought that they should have left the Two Face issue open (seems like he would have made a good villian for the next movie)

Bill Crider said...

That was part of my "too much plot" problem.