Sunday, July 20, 2008

Batman: Dark Knight Movie - Review

Whew! It's been a while since my last post. Sorry bout that. I've been SO busy and this coming week won't be much different. But Craig and I did make time to see the Batman movie tonight. Craig really has to see it since everyone comes into the store wanting to talk about it and if he's not seen it people just leave disappointed.

I'm going to tell you what I thought - I liked it, but didn't love it.

Why? My opinions are below the picture, so don't read on if you don't want to know about the movie. I will mention specific things, so you WILL be spoiled if you have not seen the movie. You have been warned - do not read on if you don't want Batman movie spoilers.

In the mean time check out Jimsmash's recommendations for good Batman stuff. I can't top his post.

What I really did enjoy - Joker. I thought that part was written and acted very well. He was nuts, yet completely rational. He was irrational and reactive while having a plot to make everyone act as evil as he was. He made chaos while keeping control. He needed Batman to make all of his evil plans work. A more frightening Joker was almost impossible! The transformation from Harvey Dent to Two Face was also very good. I could see what happened to him drive him crazy. And the makeup was very well done.

What I didn't like - Batman. I felt like the character was written poorly in this film. He needed advice from everyone. He didn't do much detective work. He did not come off to me as being particularly clever. And Batman's identity was known by too many people. Plenty of fights - but Batman was the looser in too many of them. Lots of flash and bang but not much story. While I really liked Batman in the previous film, I did not like the character this time. In the last film Batman was just getting started, growing and learning and becoming. But in this film it felt like he'd taking a step backward instead of forward.

I also didn't like that by the end just about everyone really WAS bad. No one could trust anyone. Even Batman was made out to be a bad guy by the end.

And WHY was Barbara the commissioner's wife? They had a PERFECT opening for Barbara as the commissioner's daughter. At the end the blond son could have EASILY been a red headed girl. The commissioner's daughter, who almost gets killed by a man driven to evil by the Joker, and then is saved by Batman, but sees him made out to be a criminal anyway. Might that young girl grow up to want to be like Batman or help Batman? Sure! Now that would have been a nod to fans - to have the child be Barbara instead of some unnamed blond boy.

The story seemed weak. There was plenty going on. Lots of bad guys - the mob kings, Joker, Two Face, we even saw Scarecrow. Lots of people died and things blew up. There were fantastic effects and great choreography, but it just felt like the story lacked substance. Either that or it was so deep that I didn't get it on the first viewing.

It was a good film. Fantastic cinematography. Great acting. Freaky Joker and the Two Face makeup was awesome good. Lots of explosions. It topped the Batman films of two decades ago by miles - portraying a dark Gotham with real crime and real fear. But underneath all of the flash and bang I found it missing something that would have sent me home saying I loved it. Instead, I didn't love it. I only liked it.

Oh - a side note - is it just me or is the Spirit film looking more and more like Sin City? We saw a new trailer with Batman and I felt like it was a second Sin City film more than a Spirit film.

How about you? What did you think of the movie?


OlyimpicDreamz said...

Totally agree. Batman was very pathetic in this movie, and not just paled in comparison to Joker.
Batman had no growth or development in this picture. He's stagnant and hardly reacting to the things around him. This movie was about the Joker and it was because Heath stole the show. -DCM

Elf Girl said...

Actually, Barbara is his wife in the comics as well, but it's not the Barbara Gordon you're thinking of. The Barbara Gordon we know as Batgirl and Oracle is his adopted daughter from a dead sibling, I believe. Most of this was told in Batman: Year One and Batgirl: Year One, I believe. You can get a summary here:

So yeah, his daughter and wife have the same name. :) I do agree that they screwed up with focusing on the kid rather than Barbara (the daughter). It would have been better for fans if she was the one who had the interest in Batman.

Elf Girl said...

Kid=son. :P

Lisa said...

elf girl - thanks for the information. I wasn't aware that Barbara was adopted.

DCUBoy said...

Um.....Barbara Gordon the daughter was in the movie or did we not watch the same movie lol. She was the younger sister of James Jr.....she was in the scene being held by her mom and the boy was told to get his sister at one point..

Timewaster said...

I think you're missing the point completely of the Christopher Nolan Batman movies. There is not going to be any Batgirl, nor will there be a Robin, Nightwing, Huntress, Bat-Mite, or Ace the Bat Hound.

I also think it was a great move on Nolan's part not to play Batman as the perfect crime fighter that he eventually becomes. He's still learning his way through being Batman and the Joker was a completely different type of villain for him to face - that's why he needed everyone's help.

Lisa said...

Timewaster - I never said I wanted those characters in the movie. I just thought that lead in would be a nice nod to fans. Never would I want these movies to become what the last series of Batman movies became.

However, I did want a better Batman. I felt like this Batman was less prepared than in the previous movie, and was written, or at least edited, to be a lesser character than Joker. If I wanted a Joker movie then it would have been great. I wanted a Batman movie though.