The Dark Knight (Non-Spoiler Review)

HOW do I accurately describe THE DARK KNIGHT? Tis labeled a "comicbook movie" primarily because of the characters adapted from said genre. But as a motion picture? It transcends that boundary that separates fiction from our pop-culture saturated world, divided by the cinema screens and of our collective imaginations. And in this day and age, if you cannot "imagine", one will be choking from the dust left behind by the concept trail-blazers. And from the get-go, an flashback expositions to Batman Begins is either so subtle, or practically non-existent ... I just sat in silence and let myself be sucked into the void of the Dark Knight.

TDK does not reinvent, it turns everything we might think we know, and expect, on it's heads, grenade in one hand, trigger-pin clenched tight in teeth. Or perhaps that was what I'd felt throughout the two and a half-hour film ... this ain't no feel-good dramedy, and this sure as hells ain't your garden variety superhero-chop-socky popcorn flick either. This could be a serious social movie, dressed up in a bat-suit, a purple coat with smudged theatre make-up, and burnt crisp from the tragedy that drenches the movie in pathos ... but no one has claimed it to be. And perhaps I'm taking this flick way too seriously for what it is supposed to be ... or not.

Whether this impedes an individual's enjoyment and understanding of the film, well, depends on the individual. Convoluted plot to some, direct slice to the jugular for others, and I'm left bleeding. Batman Begins was a Sunday matinee jaunt compared to it's sequel.

A feeling of abject dread & dire hung heavily throughout the film, buoyed no doubt by the numerous hype and built-up sneaks and leaks during the journey from the first press quote to the final walk thru the doorways out from the cinema halls, light flooding thy path and senses ... and yes, I would be the first to admit here - that perhaps the sneaks along the way may not have helped me in enjoying the film in it's sum total. Sure, there are surprises and twisty-knots galore peppered throughout, but by itself, the film didn't just rawk my world, it pulled the rug from underneath me.

I "hate" Chris Nolan and crew now ... becoz now, all other genre flicks may pale in comparison. Good luck to any and all comicbook movies who tries to thread this path in the future, sincerely. Even to Nolan himself, who would be hard-pressed to top this, methinks.

Bale was subtly effective but forgettable. Ledger was brill - tho not as genius as the hype puts him (which is not a bad thing). Eckhart performed his function admirably. There will never be another Gordon other than Oldman. And Caine has the BEST lines of the movie - besides being the moral guide, as well. Gyllenhaal probably affected the principal characters more than anyone would care to admit, the catalyst, if you will...

And really, you can hardly fault the bat-vehicles ... and the suit makes sense, for which they admitted it as much in the film. cool.

Other than that, I am finding it hard pressed to knock the flick off it's by-now-legendary pedestal of public revelry, and I feel I do not need to. To say the movie was breathless, would be a gross understatement. Riding the razor-edge of reality and public expectation (the most dangerous weapon in the Modern Media World, IMHO) - this fictional tale of a caped crusader of the night will echo for quite a while more down the hollowed halls of filmmaking, I reckon. And the bat-ears weren't that obvious after a fashion...

The only moment of falter (for me personally) was the end sequence and words uttered, that reminds everyone (or at least me) that tis a "comicbook-movie" I am and have been watching. Neither good nor bad, tho a tad cliched.

Watch it for what it is, not for what it can be or will be. I have not rated anything on this blog of mine ever for a long while now, but I would bestow a hearty 8 upon 10 for The Dark Knight, only becoz I feel this would and should be the end of this franchise ... anymore and it may not measure up ... I hope I am proven wrong too tho ... heh.

- all images via myspace
- credits on IMDB

[First Reviewed on TOYSREVIL on July 17th 2008]