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GRITZ Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rocks, The Joker Rules

Posted: Jul 19, 2008


Well, the wait is over, and yes, The Dark Knight lives up to its hype - tenfold. And before you start speculating, allow me to say that the tragic death of Heath Ledger plays absolutely no role in my opinions or my review. Except for the sad knowledge that we can never see him reprise the role in future bat films.

The Dark Knight
is without a doubt the finest film ever made based on a comic book. Hell, it’s one of the finest films ever, period. The human element is what drives the movie, not the special effects and explosions, although there are plenty of those, including one doozey at Gothom General Hospital.

The script is great, with so many great quotable one liners I’ll have to see it again with a notebook in hand, even though I have already seen it twice. I saw it Friday, and then today went to see Meryl Streep in Mama Mia. After seeing a film as grand as the Batman flick, I could not take the lame ass musical no matter how much I love Meryl, so I walked out of the  possible two-star flick after 30 minutes and back into the Bat Cave for another viewing.

Christian Bale returns as the Dark Knight, and he is in butt-kicking top form, but it is the late Heath Ledger’s movie from start to finish, and everyone must know that, even Bale. Ledger played the Joker better than anyone ever, including Nicholson, and it is obvious he threw himself into the role, with greasy green hair, smeared pancake makeup, and the perfect smacking of the lips, licking and running the tongue inside the mouth over his deep scars. Those bits of business make the Joker come to life, along with facial expressions that run from laugh out loud hilarious to some of the most ominous and downright creepy ever. Take the scene when Joker is talking to all the mob bosses, and one of them says “You’re crazy!” Then to a tight close up on Joker’s face as he get’s serious, “No - I am not.” But yes, he is. Crazy as a bed bug.

The movie is what I have wanted to see for years. The “Dark” vision of the characters. Similar to the portrayal in the graphic novels Arkham Asylum and The Killing Joke. Real insanity, made believable.

The supporting cast are all top drawer, as is  the production, and script, and everything works together for the finest thrill ride of the summer.  At two and a half hours, I still wanted more, and judging from the sold out theatre’s in town and the audience reactions (including several impromptu applause sessions) I am not alone. They’ve changed things. We can never go back to Clooney’s Batman again.


-Review by Michael Buffalo Smith

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Benjamin1966 says...

It was like The Sopranos heing taken over by the Joker. It worked on all levels. Really lived up to its hype.

Ironman says...

Brilliant Buff. We went Saturday and it is an amazing movie. I do believe Mr. Ledger deserves an Oscar. I agree with you, it is hard to see someone so brilliant and know he can never play the Joker again. This is such a good film. Wasn't Heath scary as hell?

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