REVIEW: The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008)

I finally saw last year's alleged holy grail. I don't think Nolan's usual tricks (that he used SO well in The Prestige) worked very well. There were only an itty bitty handful of moments that had me intrigued (that truck flip I'd heard so much about WAS pretty darn cool but the rest of the action was... well, I'll just say that I don't think Nolan has any clue how to direct a hand-to-hand combat scene).

I was not surprised to learn that David S. Goyer had a hand in the writing because a lot of it reminded me of how Blade: Trinity unfolded. Very different films, obviously... but the treatment of Batman in this one reminded me a lot of the treatment of Blade in Trinity. I won't go into detail on the much discussed bat-voice.

So what did I like about it? Dent. Eckhart was great in the role and the handling of his character throughout was well done. His makeup/CGI worked seamlessly, although I'm not sure why he didn't have a speech impediment.

The whole final act was really weak for me, though... it didn't make the boring, why-the-hell-are-people-comparing-this-to-the-Godfather opening act worth it... and the sonar vision was just plain stupid. Oh, and they gave the two-bit extras actors center stage for the ferry boat thing. They were awful throughout and then they were given their own big-budget soap opera to "act" out.

I was holding out hope for a decent final scene but that Oldman monologue was pretty much the opposite of what I felt the rest of the film was going for. They're turning Batman into Blandman by making him realistic but they had the film end on an incredibly cheesy, melodramatic note that ties all the themes (which seemed less like themes and more like afterthoughts) together like an episode of Grey's Anatomy with the lackluster score playing us out. This whole superhero deconstruction might work better if it didn't demand to be taken more seriously than a cancer-ridden Holocaust survivor with AIDS.

I realize I haven't mentioned the Joker. Well, I don't blame Ledger for the fact that he made no impact on me. The film should have either been about Dent or Joker... not both. I cared so little about the Joker storyline that... that... well, that I can't think of anything to compare it to because I'll so quickly forget it tomorrow when I become more intrigued with the bubbles that form near the drain of my tub while I shower.

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