The Dark Knight : defining a hero

(tl;dr? Very watchable.)

After I watched Jumper a while back, I said that I don’t give my thoughts on decent films because no matter what I say it’s either going to be accentuating the positive or picking out the negative. Which is why I’ll be keeping this short.

So, in short. The Dark Knight already had a very good head-start in the way of Batman Begins, a successful film that reinstated Batman’s anti-hero status. As expected, Christopher Nolan’s series did not attract Sequelitis just yet, as The Dark Knight is very, very good.

The audio side is decent, and the soundtrack is just about the same as the first film. Visually, some of the scenes are a bit too dark and muddled, but you can generally just follow the big black moving blob and it’ll be fine.

(See, this is why I don’t talk about above-decent films. I don’t have enough words for good things.)

The plot is, of course, the main attraction. The dialogue is well-written and appropriately (mostly) dry, without too many bad comedic moments, though some parts are rather forced – as in a sudden explosion of exposition or wordiness – especially near the end. The story is compact and well presented; it’s there enough to know why everyone’s running around, but it doesn’t get in the way of the action or the drama. Joker’s jaunt through the film is exceptional and full of twists, worthy of his Magnificent Bastard title – never a scene where he doesn’t mindscrew someone. There is simply nothing sympathetic about him; he is insidious, cruel, insane, and so utterly screams “VILLAINY” that he fits perfectly into the dark end of Batman‘s traditional grey-vs-black.

Most of the film’s focus is on the contrast between the brands of justice by Batman and Dent, continuing on the ambiguous morality of the original, and what exactly constitutes a ‘hero’. Surprisingly, the biggest push the film makes towards this direction is not through “White Knight” Dent’s fall and becoming Two-Face, but in a Prisoner’s-Dilemma-like situation created by Joker – both sides refuse to play along, following the judgment that their morals dictate rather than the logical decision to safeguard their own lives; a dark and effective example of choosing to ‘do the right thing’ instead of what’s easy.

Overall, the film is rather long, but should definitely be watched, presenting some very clear messages without too much clutter. Seeing Joker in action is morbidly hilarious and by itself worthy of the price of admission.

PS: I just noticed just how random the entries that constitute my top page are.

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