Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Movie Review: The Dark Knight

This isn't going to be a real detailed review - Lord knows there's plenty of those out there, and I've been on vacation for a week since I've seen this, so details are starting to drift away.

Short summary: I'm not sure I've seen a 2.5 hour film that was so packed full of stuff. There were so many little sub-plots and schemes going on that there really weren't many catch-your-breath moments, leaving you feeling exhilarated and exhausted at the same time as the movie ended. Even the three-hour-plus Lord of the Rings films gave viewers a little time to relax now and then. But here - we had the fake Batmen, the whole Reese-exposes-Batman plot, the cell-phone-radar, the two ferries, etc. etc. And those were really just attachments to the main Batman-Joker-Dent relationships. This film just started strong and kept building.

Yeah, there's lots of things to nitpick. I didn't really like the cell-phone radar thing towards the end - I felt it was a bit confusingly realized on screen, although it is a nice callout to the comic book Batman who employed a giant spy satellite at one time. And I'm not really sure how or why the whole "Gordon-is-dead" subplot was supposed to work - seems like a lot of work when the whole time the Joker wanted to be captured. And the entire Hong Kong sequence, while cool to watch, was completely superfluous.

But there was so many good things going on, and the positives far outweigh the negatives. I'm not going to list it as the best film ever (it was briefly listed ahead of Shawshank and The Godfather), but it's clearly the best new film of the year for me. I was going to rate it four stars, but you know, it's just a better film than the other four-star films I've seen this year (The Forbidden Kingdom, The Departed, The Prestige, etc.). So I've got to bump it up to five stars.

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