Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dark Knight - Aftermath

I recently read an article that claimed that The Dark Knight “has become one of the most mistake-ridden films of the year so far” with movie-goers catching 16 mistakes in it. Granted, some of these film flubs are minor, such as hair being out of place from one shot to the next. Some, such as an extra S.W.A.T. truck appearing during a chase scene, are more major. All that said, the cold showers I took after seeing the movie are kicking in. I still love the movie, but I’m starting to view it in another light.

Essentially, after all is said and done, I still prefer TDK over Batman Begins. However, that is for one major reason – The Joker. Had The Joker not been so devilishly fun to watch, had Heath Ledger not been so completely immersed in the character, I am not sure I would have enjoyed the film as much as the one that preceded it. The biggest difference to me between the films is that, in Begins, I felt as though Christopher Nolan was really targeting a few key themes, which were explored in depth. In Dark Knight, there was so much going on that a lot of potentially interesting themes were lost or superficially explored at best. For example, when Bruce Wayne says that he’s “seen the man [he] would have to become” to defeat the Joker, I recall thinking that I’d not seen it. Had that line been absent, I’m not sure I would have come away with a feeling of Batman’s internal struggle. Sure, he was torn by what ramifications Batman’s existence has had on Gotham (criminals, copy cat vigilantes), but the darkness he felt growing inside him eluded me.

Another point that snagged me *SPOILER ALERT* was the Gordon “death”. There’s really little way that Gordon, the police, Batman, or The Joker could have planned that incident. More so than anything in Begins, this beat seemed something thrown in purely for the audience, something that did not further the plot in any particular (or plausible) way. *END SPOLIER*

What I’m getting at – and it’s odd, because Onyx, who can barley name a bat-gadget to save his life – was defending the film against me – the Dark Knight of Queens, NY – is that, overall, I think the movie had more poorly explained plot gimmicks and superficial thematic explorations than Batman Begins did. However, Joker reigned supreme in The Dark Knight, and, due in no small part to Heath Ledger’s performance, the movie was much more exhilarating and entertaining than Begins. Of course, I’ll still see it again in theatres and buy it as soon as it comes out (not to mention the poster and t-shirt I’ll probably pick out online this weekend). I’m just being a knit-picky fan (and former film student).

But *FINAL SPOLIER* how the hell was Eric Roberts standing in the hospital scene, when his character was dropped four stories just nights before?

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