Dark. Realistic. Created an unrelenting sense of dread, and a drink from the firehose type pace. Leaves you feeling gut punched; however, it is a very satisfying movie as well. The quality of this movie transcends that which would normally be associated with the superhero movie genre; it simply is a great movie.
The Dark Knight: A++
Unfortunately, not a lot a coherent thoughts about this movie are coming to me at the present moment. This movie is incredibly dark and creepy; indeed this is the first adult superhero movie. It may be the best of breed for Batman movies, as it finally gets the darkness, the villainy, and the tension between law and chaos right.
I was impressed with this Batman, as it is clear that the creators of this movie understand that he has no superpowers. He must use his intellect and tech to keep the city safe. He walks that thin line where his actions to defeat evil, are arguably an ethical stretch even if the greater good is served. He faces a villain with no motives other than anarchy, a total sociopathic loon. He must come to terms with the mirror, that he may not be so far from being that as well. How he first proposes to solve this problem, and where that road ends up, is one of the interesting upshots of the movie.
It is rare to come across a movie that is mostly seamless. That is, everything seems right and blends into the environment. There is no performance that is greater than another, they all seem to fit together very well to raise the movie to a very high level.
That said, there is a complexity to the lay of the land that is tremendous for a superhero movie. With all the efforts of the Batman and the police, the criminal element is still able to maintain an arbitrage of profit in the background. The equilibrium that emerges sets forth a dark implication, there is no way to control it other than to seek out the sources of the problem, even if they transboundary in nature. It is endless, and even the major crusaders in the city whether vigilante or law and order are subject to being turned. Then, when you add a catalyzing factor like the Joker, the whole thing can be blown wide open. The Joker promises free reign to the criminal elements, but his true aim is an unexpected deathblow to the entire system that threatens to wipe the board clean and leave chaos behind in its wake.
The aspect of the film that really got to me was the ascent and fall of Harvey Dent. To watch the well executed rise and fall of a great man was amazing and perhaps the most gut wrenching. To digress, if only the SW prequels got it right about Vader … The portrayal of this character is superb, beyond the foreshadowing dreadful physical scarring is a psychological nightmare which goes from predictable law and order to terrifying random evil, from a person who could love to one who no longer had the capacity. Amazing.
You get this great sense of attrition in this movie. Similar to the Bane storyline in the comics, one is left to wonder how long can Batman hold it together, both physically and emotionally. It’s not really a question of whether he disappoints in the end. It seems to be one of, when will he finally fall off, since the task in front of him is endless. The movie leaves him in a place where all that is left to him is to be the Batman, there is no exit, there is no stopping. That said, I don’t know where this movie can go from here in terms of a sequel. All that may be left may seem minor in comparison.
Excellent movie, highly recommended. Definitely one of the best movies we saw this year.