SHORT REVIEW: On The Dark Knight

Chris Nolan (Memento, Batman Begins, The Prestige) made a good movie with The Dark Knight, but I found it flawed, out-of-balance. As typical of films of this type, I cannot remember chair-grabbing moments, since I was too busy processing information, and wasn’t provided enough space and time for that. Sure there were impressive ka-boom scenes, motor vehicles thrown inventively whirring along Gotham’s streets and tunnels, and all that unpredictable psycho-play with the Joker as architect, but who the hell was the audience rooting for to save the day? Sure it wasn’t The Dark Knight: his character development in the story was slim, shoddy, forced-to-impress, and he was too busy being bitter over Rachel Dawes, who in this offering, was only a story-peg to lead to a point. Jim Gordon? The story twist involving him was expected, and everything else comic fodder. Maybe it was Harvey Dent, because it was established well that he was indeed the White Knight of Hope Gotham needed via the caped, oddly hoarse-voiced vigilante.

But I was rooting for the Joker, the scene-stealer, to save my time and moviepass money. I wanted him to be the force that skews the storytelling, the contraption to bend the pounded nail (nail = Batman and his now-tired drama). The viewer is provided with an overplayed and menacing comic villain, gloriously underplayed and easily scary. This was no page off of Tim Burton’s gothic reference manual: this was an amazing movie-persona we are sadly now grieving over because Heath Ledger is dead.

What was good about it all was that Nolan didn’t exactly hold our hand and scared the shit out of us through his horror house, like any other Hollywood director that winks at us before a climactic scene ufnolds. What was bad was that throughout the 152 minutes, we easily got tired of Batman and everyone else, but was easily charmed by a man wearing make-up. Oh, and a nurse’s dress.

UPDATE: Read a real movie review from Noel Vera here:

10 thoughts on “SHORT REVIEW: On The Dark Knight”

  1. too busy for my eyes. too chaotic. hindi ko talaga gusto si Christian Bale para sa role ni Batman. 3 hours ba yung film? sumakit ang katawan ko sa ngalay sa upo.

    gaya ng reply ko sa multiply, Heath Ledger gave justice to the character of Joker.

  2. @trina I still don’t have a solid opinion as to Christian Bale as Batman; maybe the impression was good with Batman Begins. As for the Joker role, its obviously a redefinition by both actor and director, but still loyal to the original idea of a deranged criminal.

  3. Hello. Got here from the links in our plurk convo. The search through your flickr sets did nothing to curb my stalk FAIL, and my attention deficit disorder didn’t help either.

    I, however, agree with a lot of points in your reaction to TDK. I personally don’t get what the fuss is about it. I thought my lack of grasp for the flow of the story would last only for 10 minutes, but after an hour I knew I was gonna get dragged by the fast-paced confusion throughout this film. The plot is not entirely all over the place, but it is not the academic model for unity in composition either. Heath Ledger was fine, and all I really remember from Jack Nicholson’s joker are snippets from my blurry childhood memory, but I can safely say Nicholson is a better Joker than Ledger by a mile.

    Oh, and yeah, nurse’s dress. Golden cinematic moment.

  4. @CM LOL. Insert dancing banana here.

    Nicholson’s Joker was highly comical, strongly-developed, and had that familiar Burton signature. Ledger’s Joker, as is, didn’t merit a lot of who-is questions. Different Joker’s, different movies.

    @Jehzeel. Nice to meet you and the rest of the bloggers as well. I’m actually retrograding to personal blogging, so thats why I was just all ears and no talk with the blogger speak most of you guys were passionately into LOL

  5. i did enjoy the movie, and i saw the bright side in that Dark Knight movie.

    nice meeting you Rain, the Baguio tour was kinda memorable–a time to meet new friends…and relax!

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