‘The Dark Knight’: Best superhero movie ever

Tue, 07/22/2008 - 3:16pm
By: Michael Boylan

By now, you have probably already seen “The Dark Knight” or at least read countless stellar reviews. I will try to talk about all the good things that haven’t been given a tremendous about of buzz and acclaim ( i.e. Heath Ledger’s magnificent turn as “The Joker”).

First, let me praise the acting in all the supporting roles. Aaron Eckhart gets to show off his skills as Gotham’s district attorney Harvey Dent and is terrific, so is Maggie Gyllenhaal, stepping in for Katie Holmes, as Rachel Dawes. Dawes is Bruce Wayne’s ex and Dent’s current girlfriend. I just had a much easier time buying her as an attorney. Both Eckhart and Gyllenhaal have had some excellent performances in films that got nowhere near the audience this film did, so I was very glad to see them shine in a movie this big. As for the seasoned vets, Michael Caine as Alfred, Gary Oldman as Lt. Gordon and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox were every bit as good as you would expect them to be. Caine brings some light to the dark film, Oldman is wonderfully understated as the ultimate good cop and Freeman is yet another suave and self-assured mentor for both Bruce Wayne and Batman.

I also loved the score. It’s not some sweeping number and definitely nothing you will hum to yourself, but it gets under your skin and ratchets up the tension in a number of scenes. The music is very evident in a number of The Joker’s early scenes and I found myself wondering just how long I had been hearing it.

Christopher Nolan’s direction was awesome. Although the film closes in on two and a half hours, the pacing is near perfect. Nolan sets a number of stories in motion and keeps the audience hooked until the very end, giving us some wonderful action sequences and also giving us a breather or a laugh when we need it.

OK, now I’ll heap praise on Ledger’s performance. It is everything you heard it was and a little bit more than you imagined. His Joker is the scariest you have ever seen and yet I found I couldn’t take my eyes off of him and wanted to see more. At one point in the film he proclaims himself an “agent of chaos” and because you don’t know what he’s going to do next, he is fascinating. The Joker is such a good character and Ledger’s performance is so stellar, I fear that the next Batman film couldn’t possibly live up to this one. What villain in the Batman canon could possibly bring as much danger to the table without seeming cartoony and trite?

That being said, I have complete faith in Nolan and his team. He will, after all, have Bale back behind the mask and Bale will have his growling whisper ready to roar at the villains who are ruining his city and continue to haunt his life. Nolan will also have the pleasure of one of the greatest supporting casts in any film series. There will be plenty of time to wonder about the next Batman film later. For now, check out “The Dark Knight.” You won’t be disappointed.


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