Sunday, July 20, 2008

Why So Serious?

I saw The Dark Knight on Friday. I'd have posted my review earlier, but I had to spend the past two days taking a cold shower to calm myself down. The movie competes - along with air, water, Mom's cooking, and love - for the title of "best anything ever."

Ok, before I go on, I should say that I'm perhaps a little bit biased. I probably have one of the largest Batman trade and graphic novel collections in New York City. (That's not a challenge, internet dwellers, simply background.) So, it's fair to say that I'll watch just about anything Batman (and I have). I thought Batman Begins was great. When I emerged from the theater after seeing that 3 years ago, I didn't know how a Batman movie could be better. Now I do.

Like so many other people, I went into the screening having heard that the film was incredible, that Heath Ledger was a great, a definitive Joker, and that the movie was one of the best of the year, if not the best. About half an hour in, I reminded myself of all these things, and thought, "I'm liking it, but I don't know if I'd say any of those things yet." Almost immediately after, the movie really hit its stride, and I was mesmerized. The film was incredible; it was thoroughly entertaining and much darker than I had imagined. Heath Ledger was the Joker; I wasn't watching him play the Joker, I was just watching Joker. And, there is no way, in my opinion that DC Comics can publish any other Joker from here on out. Joker will never again be able to poison Gotham's fish. He's no longer that character. He will forever be the Joker from The Dark Knight.

I cannot articulate concisely enough my appreciation for this movie. I loved it 100%. Aside from an annoying SWAT team member who must have been owed a favor and thus was given lines, I had very few problems at all with the film. It not only lived up to its hype, but it surpassed it. My only real issue with it is that, now, I don't know how I can watch Batman Begins again. It made that movie look like child's play. It wass so much darker, so much more chaotic, and Joker is by far the most riveting character to watch in the franchise.

Now off to see it again!