In time for Chris Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises” I want to go back and review the four great Batman films. Tim Burton’s two an Nolan’s first two. So let’s get started. (there will be spoilers)
I really don’t know what else I can say that hasn’t already been said about this film. It to me was the best film of the decade. The second best Batman film, and has one the greatest performances in the history of movies. That of course being Heath Ledger’s unbelievable turn as the Joker. While I love Jack Nicholson’s Joker performance, Ledger was uncanny in his portrayal. Funny, yet scary. Evil, yet sympathetic. A psycho yet crafty and smart. While combing not only Nicholson’s Joker, but also Ceaser Romero and Mark Hamill, (For any whom may not know Hamill did the voice work for the animated Joker. And freaking brilliantly I may add) Ledger also added his modernized twist too. I mean from the very beginning we see that the Joker is cagey and evil during the bank robbery. He takes down everyone of his cronies and even has a school bus waiting for him. Not only that but just for giggles he is robbing one of Gotham cities main crime bosses money. Now as far as our hero is concerned I really enjoyed Bale’s performance much more in this film. While he still goes over the top as the Batman at times, he does great in the scenes as Wayne. The rest of the cast is good and I love that Eric Roberts is the mob boss Sal Maroni. Roberts has always been a very underrated actor and I loved seeing him in the film. Aaron Eckhart is pretty good as Harvey Dent. He has a likeable charisma but I sometimes couldn’t buy his portrayal of Two Face. I enjoyed the clever way he becomes the character with the burning during the kidnapped/ death of Rachael scene. I also like the way Nolan used Two Face as a metaphor for the duality of human nature. As one of the themes of the film was if anyone is truly good or evil. If pushed so far even the best person can go wrong. But I’d like to see the Two Face character really be delved into more one day and not the way Tommy Lee Jones did. Speaking of Rachael Dawes, the love of Dent and Wayne, I really can’t stand her in this movie. Not the actress Maggie Gyllenhaal. She was fine but I wished Katie Holmes could have finished the role. I mean the character Rachael. She turned into the biggest b**ch in this movie. She was supposed to be Bruce’s childhood friend and possible girlfriend. She has known him for their whole lives and he saved her ass and trusted her with a huge secrete. The moment she finds her a new pretty boy blonde stud muffin she treats Bruce like dirt. Tells him he is making fun of Harvey when he throws Harvey a fund-raiser, after Batman dives out a freaking window to save her the first thing she asks is if Harvey is ok. Tells Alfred that Bruce is acting like a coward when Harvey takes the rap for being Batman, and Batman still saves Harvey. After all that she has the nerve to look disappointed when she hears Harvey getting saved from the bomb over the radio. (even though Joker tricked Batman) Was I the only one sort of glad to see her die? Rachael and Harvey’s insistent whining after he flips his coin in his head too hard about her were the only real weak spots for me. There are three moments that are truly amazing in TDK. One the Hong Kong skyhook scene. When Batman breaks into the skyscraper and flys off via the airplane yanking him and Lau out of the building … WOW! One of the most awesome moments in movie history. Second was the convoy chase scene. The whole thing keeps me on the edge of my seat. Third is the interrogation scene with Batman and Joker. The dialogue in this scene and Ledger’s performance is chilling and riveting at the same time. I like that the film went for a much darker tone this time which suits the three main characters. The look even has a more Gothic and brooding look which I liked.
To sum up TDK is a brilliant film. Not just a Batman film but in general. The cinematography is beautiful and dark. The acting is great, the story is smart. The direction, pace and editing are superb. While I do say it’s the second best Bat – film I rank it a very close second. I do enjoy the feel, look, and over all quality of the 1989 Batman, as well as Keaton still being the greatest Batman, this film as with the 89 version are two of my top 10 favorite movies ever.
So I give this film a 7 out of 7 stars.
BEST LINES FROM THE FILM :
Some men just want to watch the world burn. (Alfred)
I believe whatever doesn’t kill you, simply makes you… Stranger (Joker)
I took Gotham’s white knight and I brought him down to our level. It wasn’t hard. You see, madness, as you know, is like gravity. All it takes is a little push! (Joker)
Why so serious? (Joker)
you either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain. (Harvey Dent)