The Dark Knight

Dir. Christopher Nolan; Writ. Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan; Starring Heath Ledger, Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Maggie Gyllenhall, Michael Caine, Aaron Eckhart

Yes, I got to it first. It may be a little unfair, but I feel a bit entitled. I’m the one who put it on the marquee; I’m the one who tries to con people into 45oz of more popcorn for 50 cents; and I’ll be the one paying for taxi cabs after missed, last buses. It’s all worth it for an early screening of Batman.

Coming out of the Dark Knight, I have to say I was a little sad. I wasn’t disappointed, and I wasn’t mourning Ledger’s death (not at that particular moment anyway). I was a little sad because I doubt I will ever see a better comic book movie.

Let me say, every good remark or hope you’ve heard or had is true.

Ledger’s Joker is infallible. Never is there a moment where you see the actor behind the villain. There was only the slightest of seconds when I was able to pull down my awe and terror of the Joker to contemplate Ledger, and without the bathroom break I took I doubt it would have happened at all(I wouldn’t recommend drinking much soda during this film. At two and a half hours, your bladder is liable to explode and it’s impossible to find a scene you’re worth risking). In that moment, my only thought was, “Hit me with brick! If that’s Heath Ledger, who in this galaxy was in First Knight?” Don’t get me wrong. Everyone knew he was great after Brokeback, but that gay cowboy is peanuts next to the Joker.

The Dark Knight is a Batman movie. Heath Ledger makes it a Joker movie. Bruce Wayne is Batman and we all get to watch him evolve in a deteriorating world. He confides in Alfred; loves Rachel, and trusts in Harvey Dent. Yet, the Joker’s transformation is so much more sensual and pronounced. The script does provide insight into the Joker’s maniacal philosophy, but, through madly visual and vicious acts of violence alone, Ledger’s subtle and impeccable acting creates a vivid evolution that passionately shanghais the film.

Gosh, from his beginnings in Gotham as criminally-insane mastermind with a couple of great magic tricks, to his climb to being an impassioned psychopath on a big playground with a casual stroll to a school bus, Ledger as the Joker is a powerhouse. He so dwarfs everyone else, you wouldn’t give a horse’s patoot about Bale, Freemen, Caine, or Gyllenhall if they were sitting right next to you at the theater.

The special effects, the acting, the story they’re all great, but a review of the Dark Knight had to be a review of the Joker.


If you’re on this site and have read this review, it probably means to at least some extent you appreciate movies (or if not, art). So, I feel safe saying, you’re an idiot if you don’t see this movie, and you’re probably a loser if you don’t see it soon.


20 responses to “The Dark Knight

  • mcdufrechou

    I wanted to say, but, not in the review, that Two-Face is fricken awesome. I thought he was kind of a cheesy bad guy in the past. Not only is his story fantastic, the effects for two-face are stellar.

    Also, I don’t know if anyone else is into this, but there is trailer for Watchmen before the Dark Knight. How cool is that?

    P.S. Robert, could you properly resize the film poster image for me? Ever since the change with uploading photos I can never figure it out.

    P.P.S. As there are no owl pellets forums or email, I’d like to say hello to mescalitodreams. Maybe you’re someone I already now. Maybe you’re not.

  • evan

    oh man i so can’t wait until midnight tonight!

  • robfunk

    First, it’s great to have a “Max post.” Second, I fucking hate you (for having laredy seen this). I refuse to read the review, or any review for that matter, until I see it myself (15 hours and counting). I did, however, read the last paragraph of your review. It made me laugh.

  • evan

    holy fuck. 10/10

  • robfunk

    So, Max, I finally read your review and it is spot on. This film (and yes, it’s a FILM not a movie) is nothing short of amazing and brilliant. Wow. Wow. I’m seeing it again in about 2 hrs and 45 mins.

  • Korn

    I’m jealous of whatever version you West Coasters were able to see… Not for the film – I can say with the utmost certainty, it was the same – but for the trailer. We didn’t have a Watchmen trailer here, and what a bummer such a noninclusion was. But the movie was wonderful. I suppose it also helps having strangers fly around the theater in Batman (and other) costumes before and after the show. I’m going again this week.

    Great review, Max.

  • Korn

    A little factoid, too, which I’m sure some of you out there probably already know…

    (SPOILER, kind of… Just a scene reference.)

    The chase scene, where a semi is flipped onto its back…? Remember that incredibly mind-blowing scene (but weren’t they all?) ? The semi was actually flipped. No special effects were used to put the monster on its back. Crazy, yeah?

  • BobFunk

    Seriously? That is 100% certified kick ass.

    I went and saw it for a third night in a row last night – can’t wait to see it again.

  • evan

    that’s pretty amazing lauren, now i really can’t wait to watch that scene again.

    so bob, will this maybe surpass return of the king for most trips to the theater?

    i’ll be seeing it for the third time pretty shortly.

    also, i’m sure you’ve heard, but it broke the opening day and opening weekend box office records, pretty cool stuff.

  • mcdufrechou

    I have to wait till this tues or wednes before I can get my second viewing.

    This guy came out of the movie today to tell me it was too long. I gave him his free refill, coke-zero when he asked for diet.

    BTW, w00t, last saturday is officially owlpellets most successful day so far. hooray to us!

  • Korn

    Second viewing last night. Third, on it’s way.

    This second viewing proved a first for me, though; I arrived to the theater late, so I had to sit in the second row — Waaaay to close to the screen. The film: still incredible. My neck: hurting.

    And another “Hooray!” to OwlPellets.

  • BobFunk

    I was in the second row for my second viewing, as well, even though I was half an hour early. I made the most of it. The scenes with heights looked pretty cool.

    More times than ROTK? I doubt it just because it’s not Christmas break and I have less time to be spending in movie theaters. I will be seeing it for a fourth time this week when Mr. Jacob rolls into town.

    Max, good on you for the coke zero thing. What an idiot. pff.

    Thanks to Max’s early Dark Knight reviews (I’m pretty sure) we got a crap load of hits. WOOT WOOT HOOT HOOT. I could hardly believe it.

  • Tony

    I gotta say,

    Having hated “Begins” so much I really wasn’t expecting much… But g-damn this movie blew me out of the frickin water. This is how batman begins should of been handled and really brings the batman story back to it’s detective story roots. Loved it, and Ledger’s performance as the Joker was amazing.

  • robfunk

    You hated Batman Begins? We have to have had a conversation about this. I was underwhelmed by Batman Begins after all the hype, but I’ve never heard of someone hating it. But TDK was totally, 100% righteous.

  • Korn

    Thanks for the semi-flipping footage, Robert.

    I’ve never heard of anyone hating Begins, either…

  • Korn

    P.S. The real owl that has replaced our black and white, cuddly version kind of freaks me out.

  • patrick

    kudos to the makers Dark Knight for their record breaking opening weekend… it’s no wonder there’s talk of another one coming out ASAP

  • BobFunk

    I saw it for a fourth time last night. The one thing I can say is that Ledger’s performance just gets better and better with each viewing.

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