Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Dark Knight. Best Superhero Movie Ever?

I saw The Dark Knight today with my mom and daughters. I was speechless when it was over.

This is not just a comic-book movie. Oh, sure it is rooted in familiar comic tropes, but they are just a stepping stone for a tale that transcends its origin to become a great movie period. The movie has garnered rave reviews and I'll add my voice to the chorus. Chris Nolan has assembled a brilliant film with the help of an excellent script and incredible acting.

Not enough praise can be heaped on Heath Ledger for his acting as the Joker. He doesn't go over the top as Nicholson did in 1989's Batman, but so thoroughly inhabits the role and makes the psychotic killer leap off the screen and grab you by the throat. This Joker is not just crazy, but an inhuman force of nature which is enhanced by Nolan's wise decision not to give details on Joker's origin. Doing so would have humanized him and dramatically decreased his impact.

Dark is certainly an apt description of this movie. It goes places that even "serious" movies dare to tread. Much of the film is a psychological examination of the type of person who would be Batman, but also the people who fight him, and the normal citizens around them. It's chilling watching Joker tell Batman that they are not that far apart and Batman realizes how true that is. The Joker also manages to pull off a clever twist on the prisoner's dilemma and the bleakness of the whole movie truly leaves the viewer in doubt as to the outcome.

I feel that The Dark Knight is easily the best superhero movie made to date. Christopher Nolan is proving himself to be one of the most talented filmmakers around and I can't wait to see what he comes up with next.

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