The Dark Knight

My husband, my son and I went to the midnight showing of The Dark Knight in Augusta. As much as I love to write and as much as I love movies, I suck at writing movie reviews, so I won’t attempt it. I’ll just tell you why you should go see this movie.

1. Heath Ledger’s performance.

Yes, I know I’m biased and, yes, I know it’s what everyone is saying. But everyone is saying it because it’s true. I expected to watch the movie with a tinge of sadness, knowing that it’s the last role he completed; but from the first moment he came onscreen I actually forgot that it was Heath Ledger up there. I forgot that he’s gone. He really was the Joker, in all his creepy, sadistic, hilarious glory. Simply put, he was brilliant.

2. Everyone else’s performances.

The returning cast–Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Gary Oldman–were superb; Aaron Eckhart was amazing, as usual; and Maggie Gyllenhaal was a welcome relief from Katie Holmes’ yawn-inspiring turn as Rachel Dawes. Even the minor roles were cast well.

3. Awesome special effects.

I usually blank out during car chase scenes, and big explosions don’t do much for me (I know I’m in the minority here), but Christopher Nolan knows what he’s doing. Even if you’ve seen the Eighteen Wheeler Flip Over in the trailer, you’re gonna be amazed by it on the big screen. And when buildings blow up…damn it, you feel it.

4. Oh yeah…and it’s a great story with lots of depth. More than the typical good vs. evil. More, even, than the now common blurring-the-lines-between-good-and-evil. And it’s entertaining, too.

As I said, we saw TDK at midnight in Augusta, Maine. Not a big city as cities go, and yet the two theaters showing it were chuckerblock full. (Apparently not an uncommon phenomenon.) When the credits rolled, there was thunderous applause. And when Heath Ledger’s name flashed before us, a group of comic book nerds (I use this term with honest affection) literally stood up and cheered, and the rest of us joined them. I’ll admit it: I cried right then. Partly because there were so many comic book nerds who originally balked (very frequently and very loudly) at Mr. Ledger’s being cast as the Joker, and this was a huge vindication for him. But mostly because that was the moment I remembered–again–that he’s gone.

9 thoughts on “The Dark Knight

  1. Excellent work, dear Kel. You captured the spirit and scope of the film perfectly. But I must disagree loudly and wholeheartedly with one thing you said: You do NOT suck at writing movie reviews. You’re damn good.

  2. I have to agree with the poster above me – you’re quite good at this movie review thing. Even if I hadn’t intended on seeing the film (which I do) I’d probably be going now. I was one of those who was unsure about the casting choice but, when I saw the trailers, especially that leaked bankrobbery thing online – I changed my mind immediately. I was looking forward to seeing it – now I’m antsy.


  3. I am astonished at the longevity of the Batman story, although like shade53, I was a little unsure about The Dark Knight, in my case whether the story had the durability to go through one more reprise.

    However, like your other readers, I know about your ability and reliability as a movie reviewer, so I’m headed for the theater.

    In the end, I guess, it all comes down not to the story but to the talent of the storyteller. Which is why I like both your weblog and your novel Waiting for Spring.

  4. Thanks so much, Sid.

    And Christopher Nolan knows how to tell a story. You will not be disappointed.

  5. Right on! I loved this movie so much, I can hardly contain myself. It is impossible to oversell it, too. It is scarcely possible to praise it enough, let alone too much.

    Good points. I hope I can come up with some others to praise it on my blog… 🙂

  6. Kel, Everyone’s right. You convinced me to go see TDK. Although, I’ll wait till the crowds thin out a little. Give it a week or two.

    I like that you didn’t get into the artsy, fartsy, type of review like so many so called professional reviewers do as they dissect every tiny bit of the story. I basically want to know, am I going to enjoy the movie overall.

    Thanks for your common man(woman) perspective.

  7. Hey Mars! I’ll head over to your blog and check out your thoughts about it right now. 🙂

    Welcome, and thanks for your kind words! I hope you come back and let us know what you thought about it once you’ve had a chance to see it. I was very fortunate not to have to deal with long lines, because we bought our tickets a week in advance.

  8. Great film review!

    I am excited about the cast too, I really like all of them.

    You are fortunate to have audience participation and spirit. I love that. It so rarely happens.

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