As I've said many times before, I don't miss having a car. I really can get to almost everything I need on the bus with advanced planning. Or even spur of the moment. After reading several enthusiastic reviews last night, I immediately wanted to see The Dark Knight. One series-of-tubes search later and I had a ticket to the Angelika downtown. After one bus and a few minutes walk, I was ensconced in a nice seat in an only half-full theater. Hooray for working nights and therefore seeing movies at 9:15 on a Sunday when few jerkwads clog the theater with talking or rampant cell phone use!
Anyway, the movie was great, really pushes out the boundaries of superhero movies. I recommend it. Be prepared though, it's long (2.5 hours) and densely plotted. There's enough plot for two films really, which actually detracts from the last 30 minutes as it introduces a new element, though anyone with a basic knowledge of Batman lore will see it coming. Let me also jump on the pile-on of praise for Heath Ledger's performance. Astoundingly, creepily awesome. I went in with high expectations and he blew me out of the water. Multiple times I audibly, involuntarily horror-giggled.
Though I was prepared for this via a review, it was still remarkable how much of an ensemble film The Dark Knight is. Bruce Wayne/Batman is decidedly *not* foregrounded in either plot mechanics or screen time. I won't take away from the story by explaining further, you'll know what I mean when you see it. Also great is the degree to which the citizens of Gotham are involved in the story. Multiple, nameless Gothamites are essential to the theme of ordinary people taking responsibility for creating civility.
Some elements that distracted me:
- That goofy, scary-voice Bale employs as Batman.
- Why is Nestor Carbonell (the Mayor) wearing so much mascara and eyeliner? (Also, is
his casting a fun nod to him playing Bat Manuel on The Tick?)
- A certain medical aspect of the last bit drove me up the wall. Can't say what it is without spoiling, but argh! No.
- Is the minor character Berg Ramirez (or as his nametag says, Ramirez, Berg) an
obscure shout-out to UT Austin Film/Latin American Studies professor Charles Ramirez-Berg? Cause Berg is not really a first name.
So go see it and then we can talk about it.