Sunday, July 20, 2008

Dark Knight

Rating : 6/10
Running Time : 152 Minutes
Release Date : 18th July ‘08
Director & Co-Writer : Christopher Nolan; Writer : Jonathan Nolan;
Starring : Christian Bale, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman

Its complicated, too many sub-plots, too long with ‘interval’ coming when you’re actually expecting it to end but all that is compensated for by some funny one-liners (mostly by the Joker), good acting overall, especially by Christian Bale who’s made the part his own and finally some sensational stunts…two in particular were simply awe-inspiring !

The plot is the biggest let-down. Batman is after the mob, for a kind of final clean-up and somehow the Joker gets involved to try and finish Batman / save their money etc. I wish they had kept it that simple but then there is a young, upcoming D.A. who’s trying to clean up the mob through the legal channels, there’s Maggie Gyllenhaal, who was previously with Batman and is now with the D.A, there’s the public who is now split between supporting Batman and being against him for using ‘illegal’ methods to nab the criminals, there’s a Chinese mafia/ lawyer guy who’s in charge of the mob’s books and keeps their money. And there is another guy who thinks he’s discovered the identity of Batman. With inspiration from Chandler Bing, could it be more complicated ?

The Joker is played well by Heath Ledger – not as over the top as Jack Nicholson’s number a few years ago but with the right shade of madness…Maggie is good in a very small side-part but seriously lacking in sex-appeal. After the likes of Kim Basinger, Alicia Silverstone, Michelle Pfeiffer, Uma Thurman or even Katie Holmes in the previous episodes, she is (not literally but otherwise),a distinct light-weight.

The stunts are what really saves it though – there were two or three (can’t reveal more for fear of spoiling it for to-be watchers) which had me nodding my head in admiration and high-fiving with my son. And Christian Bale is now Batman…cant think of anyone else for this part.

Worth a watch, once, if cool stunts and things like the Batmobile or the bike above turn you on.


Anonymous said...

I used to follow your reviews with quite some interest ... unfortunately .. rating Hancock on par with Dark Knight has left things in a poor taste.

Dark Knight transcends over any other super-hero movie made till date, the complexity is what makes it the best of them all. Please watch it for a second time, may be you would give it a 10/10 then !!!

Apurv Nagpal said...

hi ! Ghurs
i genuinely didnt like it so much...i loved Batman Begins with the whole journey of how Christian Bale finds his feet and creates its not that i'm against the intellectualisation of super hero movies

here the whole Harvey Dent ending was too long and too unneccessary
as was the batman being reviled ending - there could be at least 3 alternate explanations (with no blame on harvey or batman) but didnt want to mention this in my main review as would've given too much away

hence the low rating


Rohit Deep said...

Hmm.. Blockbuster movie. Breaking all records. Still can't get a ticket. Gets a low rating. :)

I guess Titanic was a blockbuster and still was barely watchable.

Still trying to get a ticket. Will watch when these lines go away (on iMax). From all the trailers i don't think I will agree with the rating.

Will update after watching the movie.

Anonymous said...

Hmm... Firstly, I have to start off by admitting that I am yet to see the second installation of the Christian Bale Batman reboot.

But I certainly hope you are wrong about the rating given. I remember the character from his late 60s incarnation, which I read from my uncle's collection. The character had a brooding dark quality you don't normally associate with superheroes.

And then with Frank Miller's "Batman - Year One", Batman entered the graphic novel genre, which suited him so well. Though I haven't read Year One completely, it is that atmosphere that Christopher Nolan brings into the franchise.

And the plot is MEANT to be intense. It is MEANT to be complex. Of course, if you are saying they overkilled that part of it, I can't argue over that yet, cos like I said, I haven't seen it yet.

Hope you're wrong, cos The Dark Knight is the movie I've been waiting for for a long while now.

Unknown said...

Batmobile. We like.

Anonymous said...

Well, I finally saw the movie. And I think you are wrong, Apurv. The movie rocks like very few movies have rocked before!


The plot's so called complexity is just an extension of the promise from Batman Begins - "Things will get worse before they get better"

It is a time of chaos. Order is still not restored yet. In any case, here's MY two cents - "Why So Serious?"

Rohit Deep said...

Ok, I saw the movie finally on iMax. This is a phenomenal movie. I agree that whole Harvey Dent think was a distraction and we could have done without it. In addition I don't understand this whole thing with Hollywood about superheroes getting average looking babes for their girl friends. (Do I miss the old Bond era or what.)

The photography, the effects, the direction, the acting are all top notch.
The action sequences, the bat mobile, the whole hong kong scene is phenomenal. What can be said about the Joker? Acting , transitioning from one scene to another is amazing.

I loved every second of it. I have already watched it twice and I can watch it again.

All time #3 and climbing

aroop said...

Am i missing something here, or nobody really understood the reason behind Harvey Dents purpose in the second half of the film..he is the guy who completes the arch since he was the White Knight as opposed to Batman being the Dark Night..a pseudo alter ego to Batman as he is cleaning up the city without putting on a cape and he is doing it legally..the lines said by Dent "either you die a Hero or you live long enough to see you become a villein" is explained explicitly through Batman's arch and more philosophically through Harvey Dents fall and the rise of the Two Face ..its been long that i have seen a film with such well written 3 dimensional characters..and justice done to all of them (and there are quite a few)..

Anonymous said...

a 6..doesnt feel right..

i thought the harvey dent turning into two-face was an important sequence. and i felt the aaron guy did a good job..but yea, they cud have saved all the 'two-face going around killing people' for the next movie..

heath ledger did a great job, and i will probably remember this movie for his role. i read some articles saying that , its just mob momentum thats tricking people into believing his acting was spectacular...i dont think so..he was pretty good...thats what i felt..

8/10 i think.

aroop said...

@ Abhijit ..i think this is what that happened,When Filming the Dark Knight , Nolan must have planned the third Batman in the series,with Joker returning, but as we all know Heath Ledger died just after filming his part, Nolan was left with no choice but to set groundwork for another batman nemesis , so maybe the Harvey transforming into Two-Face was originally written for Dark Knight..the script with Harvey must have been re-written to accommodate the rise of another villein , otherwise i think..once Harvey leaves the Hospital, his part in this film was over..only to appear in the third part, Nolan did realize that Heath Ledger has put up such a visceral act of joker that people would be upset if the film ends on him (as the audience will realize that he is not going to come back ever) so to end the film with a little happier note (which is still bleak) they chose to end it with two face..that cushions the feeling that you will never see Heath Ledger again.

Sorry Apurav.. i turning your comment section into a forum but i cant help it .. :D

Deepesh Yadav said...

I guess most of the commentors have already said what I intend to. I think I liked it a lot. Even for a non superhero movie fan, this shouldnt be a dampner. As such Batman doesn't have real superpowers, but in any case remove them and then you are left with pure story/complexity of characters which is good enough to stand on its own. As rightly pointed by some commentors earlier, Dent is essential, because this time the crimes were not about money. Joker had a point to prove, and he half proved it. As he said - "when the chips are down, these civilized people will eat each other"