How does the sequel stack up against Batman Begins? Ed let’s us know.
At a runtime of 152 minutes this movie is definitely on the long side, fortunately, this does nothing but add to the enjoyment. During the whole screening I was thinking “It could end here, but I sure hope it doesn’t!” Surprisingly, the trailers were a little misleading. The Joker doesn’t get nearly as much screen time as I hoped, ruled the screen when he was.
The story was something to marvel at. Bruce Wayne (AKA Batman) is one busy person. If he’s not fighting criminals he’s trying to persuade Rachel Dawes to leave Dent and get back together with him. Personally, I would have liked to see a little bit more of the playboy Bruce Wayne, and a little less Batman, but the way it ended up was exactly like I expected. There were a few lulls, but thankfully, they were few and short lived.
The acting was, as rumored, top notch. Bale completely encapsulated the Batman character as a whole. He might have embellished Batman a little bit, and to a die-hard fan he might not have seemed right for the role, but to the general masses he’s perfect.
Maggie Gyllenhaal takes the Rachel Dawes character to a different level than the last film with her strong performance. She comes off as more intelligent and less irritating that the last actress to have filled the role.
Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent did what he does best. He played a character with a huge, sometimes irritating, ego. But toward the end of the movie he broke out of that stereotypical shell and became a completely different person. It was very impressive acting on his part. Michael Caine resumed his role as Alfred Pennyworth, Wayne’s upright British Butler. It didn’t seem like Caine had to do much acting, I can only assume he is that way naturally.
Of course, I can’t avoid talking about Heath Ledger’s role as The Joker. Simply put, it’s absolutely amazing. It’s very sad to think that this actor has passed away, and we will never get to experience his abilities again. The Joker was, by far, his best role to date. And I mean this in no offense to the other actors in The Dark Knight, but he was so good he blew them out of the water. At one point, I totally forgot an actor was playing the Joker and thought he truly was a sadistic killer. It would’ve been amazing to see what this young actor was capable of.
The Dark Knight features 20 minutes of footage that was filmed using IMAX’s proprietary camera. If you have an opportunity to see this in IMAX, take it, you will be in for a special treat. All of the big action scenes, and city flyovers filled the huge screen top to bottom, and side to side. It actually feels like you’re sitting in the movie. Even the scenes that aren’t in the IMAX resolution are upgraded to the IMAX film size, which means it still fills the screen side to side, but not top to bottom. Also, the transition between the IMAX sequences and the non-IMAX sequences was seamless. This was absolutely, hands down, the most immersive cinematic viewing environment I’ve ever been in.
There are a few subtle things that I didn’t like about the movie, but they won’t affect the experience unless you’re a hardcore Batman fan. First, it’s blatantly obvious that the whole movie was filmed in Chicago. There were Illinois license plates, a scene where Batman is standing on the Sears Tower, and the very distinct bridges that span the Chicago River, just to name a few. Last time I checked, Batman didn’t live in Chicago, he lives in the fictional city of Gotham. For the general audiences it won’t detract from the movie, and if you’re a citizen of Chicago it might even add to the experience. Unfortunately, if you’re a Batfan like myself, it never truly feels like Gotham City.
There’s no doubt in my mind that the Dark Knight will be the highest grossing movie of the year, and will garner a few Oscars along the way. It’s exactly as I expected, and there was no expectation that it didn’t meet, well, except for one, the IMAX was much cooler then I ever expected. Unfortunately, as I stated above there are a few things that die-hard Batman fans will find irritating, but it could’ve been much worse. That’s why I’ve decided to give this movie two ratings; one for the general viewing audience, and another for the die-hard Batman fans. Regardless, you should go see this movie, it’s sure to be a blast for everyone.