Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Dark Knight

WARNING! Her in lie spoilers!

I thought I should start out with one of the most critically acclaimed movies of 2008. Starring Christian bale in the title role, and Heath Ledger as a supporting actor, this movie has been talked about ever since it came out. Even more so with the untimely demise of Ledger, a tragedy in my mind.

So, a recently seen film is entitled Dark Knight. Many of you know of this, hopefully many of you have seen it.

I loved Dark Knight. I have heard mixed reviews, some good, some bad, but this is by far one of the best movies I have ever seen. A bit long, (running roughly 2:30) it nontheless kept me on the edge of my seat at all times. Thrilling action, startling sequences, superb acting, and larger than life characters.

First of all, let us go with the plot. Brilliant. Some may say that a good guy turned bad is overly done in Hollywood. Maybe so, but the writers of this film seem to have put a new spin on it. Batman is a selfmade hero. What do you do when the people you swore to protect, to risk your life for, demand you be pulled off the streets? As the mind of young Bruce Wayne is turned toward exposure, evil ravages the city. What can he do? In his heart of hearts, he feels he must protect the people, but what good will it do when for every one person he saves, ten are killed by enemies?

As the movie goes on, Batman finds it harder to justify his actions. Is he fighting and killing to save the people, or to save himself? His friends get caught up in the action and he endangers their lives because of who he is. The writing of the movie was very good. They kept toying with the prospect that maybe a superhero isn't what the city needs. Maybe an ordinary guy can do the job better? And Batman may agree. As one good character in the movie puts it, "You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain." I believe the film makers wanted us to wonder if Batman is all he's cracked up to be.

One fine moment happened during my watching of this film. I jumped. At one integral part of the movie, the movie makers made me almost jump out of my skin. I rarely do that! Good job.

But on to the best part of the entire film. The Joker.

My one regret for this movie is that it drove one of the best actors ever born to kill himself. Heath Ledger was an icon, and could have someday been awarded the status of legend.

"Why so serious?" The moment the painted face flashed across the screen, chills went up and down my spine. I thought to myself, "This is going to be good!" White, pale face, red grin splashed across an evil mug. The scars of who knew where blared loudly, "This is a troubled man!" The Joker paints a stark reality. "Is that me?" everyone must ask. "Am I the face hiding behind the fake smile?" Tongue snakes out, licking chapped lips. The voice high, whiny. Hands groping all about, yet sure of their destination.

The Joker kills without thought. Not even with malice. He inflicts pain with the same morals as any one of us driving a car, going to work, eating a meal. Like it's nothing to sneeze at. Only speculation can reveal the Joker's dark history. I don't want to see it.

But all in all, an extremely well made movie. Do not take your children to see it, but it may teach you a few things. I'm giving it a good 5 out of 5 stars.



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