Andy Buening, author of the now infamous The Simpsons Movie review, returns with a review of the summer sensation The Dark Knight. No spoilers included…
Two words: WOW!
Now, if you have been reading my movie reviews on a regular basis you know I’ve been dropping hints at my eager anticipation for this film. Let me say this, it did not disappoint. The Dark Knight opened everywhere July 18th, so this is a late review. Sorry, my press pass never showed up. Damn Joker.
Like a modern rollercoaster The Dark Knight does not need time to go up a hill before it starts to move fast. The film makers shoot you off right from the start. When the ride does slows down you check your pockets to make sure your keys and loose change have not fallen out just as the well-orchestrated ride suddenly pulls you back in the air and you forget about anything in your pocket just to hold on. There was a point at which I thought the movie was ending, thankfully it kept going. The film did not feel nearly as long as its almost 3 hour run time.
This movie joins the likes of The Godfather: Part II, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, or Toy Story 2 as sequels that have raised the bar that was already set so high from the first film. Even if you’re not a fan of superhero comic book movies, this is one of the finest crime action thrillers you will ever come across. On par with Michael Mann’s Heat or Martin Scorsese’s The Departed. This film will please these fans along with those who follow the Batman lore.
The Dark Knight works so well because the script is so solid. The film was not rushed into the theater just because the producers knew they would make a fortune like the disappointing Pirates of the Caribbean sequels. This is because the visionary director, Christopher Nolan, is a story teller. Unlike M. Night Shyamalan who is a good story teller, but terrible director. In the case of Michael Bay, he is a terrible story teller and well a terrible director too, but you get the idea.
The late Heath Ledger was outstanding in making the Joker fresh and more terrifying then every before. Nicholson’s Joker in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman is cartoonish and timid compared to Ledger’s performance as a creepy and psychopathic clown. From the Joker’s first magic trick to his…we’ll just leave it at that.
Now if you just skipped down here for the bottom line and did not want to read the whole review. Here it is: Go see this film. I don’t use the term Masterpiece very often, but this is definitely that. We now have our second film of the year to be in the Best Picture category. And this looks like the odds on favorite.
As you know, My rating scale is a little different. Listed from appalling to the crème de la crème:
– I’m glad I had nothing to do with this movie.
– Stagehand – my name may come up in the credits, but well after everyone left.
– Actor – I’m just told what to do, If I had a say, I would have changed some things.
– Producer – great movie, oversaw production and had my hand in the mix.
– Director – excellent in every way, would not change a thing.
This movie gets a ‘Director’ score. I wish I was as smart and brilliant as Christopher Nolan. For those Ned Flanders out there, this film got an A-III from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. This means the film is not considered morally offensive.