Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Knight, A Card, and A Coin

The Dark Knight
Directed by Chris Nolan(2008)

Best Bat-Man movie, and perhaps best super-hero film, thus far. The reason for this is that director Chris Nolan (Following, Memento, Batman Begins, The Prestige) Because it understands Bat-man, The Joker, Two-Face, are symbols, not people, and that Bat-Man himself is the least interesting character in the Bat-Man story (he's a character defined by his villains and this movie get's that).
Also script-writers with Nolan have either been doing their homework with some of Bat-Man's best stories, or else just got impossibly coincidental with how similar this is to a few comics. Alan Moore's "The Killing Joke" for Joker's explanations of his origins(a joke in and of itself), Frank Miller's "Dark Knight" for the fake average Joe Bat-Men imitators, a few traces of madness from Grant Morisson's "Arkahm Asylumn", etc.
Anyway you really could go on and on about talking about how great ALL of the actors are, how Heath Ledger's cackle sounds like the 60's TV show and Jack Nicholson and something else, all at once, but you can see that much more clearly for yourselves.

A morally complex super-hero movie? Bat-Man with allegorical symbolism (Batman sitting on one shoulder, Joker the other, Harvey Dent as the middle-man) and political commentary (from Joker's dead soldiers remarks to Morgan Freeman's "privacy" outrage)? Who knows, but I liked that for all the "blockbusters' this summer, this is the only one I can more about than just "awesome special effects". I love Tim Burton's films and they did a great job, capturing a particular style of the Batman world (especially aesthetically; costumes, buildings, cars, villains), but if Bat-Man can be useful, at all in saying anything relevant, other than justice is good and evil bad, than this is his finest hour, and most entertaining to and a half to watch. A Bat-Man for all seasons.

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