I just got home from seeing The Dark Knight. Holy Carp hype delivered on and then some!
Just to get it out of the way early, yes. Heath Ledger was amazing as the Joker. He completely nailed the character in a way that only Mark Hamill has, and then turned the dark up to about 11. For what it’s worth I’m going to remain fanboy and say that Hamill’s animated Joker is still the tops, but only because the animated version has a better balance of clown and chaos. Ledger’s Joker was total chaos, the Kaufman of crime if you will. The ticks, wierd vocal inflections, it was all dizzying and brilliant and left Nicholson looking like…well Cesar Romaro.
But beyond gushing over Heath Ledger, it was just an awesome movie. The action sequences were tremendous. Everyone in the film got their moment to shine. And there were moments of brilliant dark comedy. Although the bit of Brokeback Mountain meta-humor was a touch forced, it also makes perfect sense in the way it was used, and truly does describe the Joker’s relationship with Batman. I’m glad they handled the boat scene the way they did. For a while I was afraid they were either going to have Batman pull out some sort of Jamming Ex Machina or some other cheat. But instead they left with the more positive message that people aren’t all just a bunch of selfish brutes. Plus, Batmanual was the Mayor of Gotham, total score.
In terms of what I didn’t like. The Batcycle was cheesy, as were the Batvisiion goggles. I’m not sure why they decided to blame Batman for Two-Face’s crimes when everyone would’ve happily believed it was the work of the Joker. I also didn’t think they set-up Harvey’s Two-Faceness as well as they could. The Animated Series really knocked that one out of the park.
However, all those are just tiny little nits against what is one of the better movies I have ever seen. Brilliant work, and it’s such a shame that Ledger had to go and die. I would have loved to see him take another crack at this character. At least we have this film.