Monday, July 21, 2008

After The Movie - The Dark Knight

Why So Seriously do you hate Alfonso Soriano?There's so much talk about "The Dark Knight" re-defining the comic book movie genre. It did not re-define it so much as it charted a completely new path.

Most comic book films simply try to translate the comic book to the screen. They incorporate all the physical impossibilities of those stories into the movie. Dark Knight builds on what they did in Batman Begins: The Batman of these films lives in the real world.

And this is perfect. Batman always was a regular person in a mask. Christopher Nolan has taken that concept and extended it to all the characters in this movie. There's nothing super about the Joker. He's brilliant and evil, but he's just a man. Even Gotham City is a regular city. Nolan even toned down the look of Chicago. The CGI Narrows are gone and just the city shows through.

(And boy, does the city shine through. It seemed like every scene had floor to ceiling windows so you could see the city clearly. They went out of their way to make this world as real and familiar as possible. And when the opening shot is of a building you used to work in, the movie is very real.)

For as good as Heath Ledger was in the film, it's really an ensemble picture. Everyone gets screen time and gets to do something in the time they are given. Alfred gets to make a huge choice that could affect the rest of Bruce Wayne's life. Lt. Gordon makes a choice to save his family. Lucious Fox makes a choice about who he really works for. And Harvey Dent isn't just some crazed lunatic who became that way because of how he was scarred. Dent becomes evil because someone else was scarred.

Ironically, the one who seemed to get the least screen time is Christian Bale. And his best moment is setup by the final scene. And it sets up Batman 3 in a way you could never imagine when you walked into the theater.

The movie is tremendously complex, layered with commentary on current society, incorporates some excellent action set pieces, and is filled with outstanding acting performances. Well worth the wait for it to be made and for the wait in line to see it.

Nolan continues to show that he is one of the best, young directors working today.

Ivy Chat Rating: Home run way up Kenmore

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