R.P. McMurphy Reviews: 'The Dark Knight'!

by Billy Fisher


There is so much to say.  First off, let me tell you that I loved this film.  It had everything that I wanted and more.  Like all great films there are the ups and the downs.  So, I am going to give you what I thought of both.  There will be spoilers in this so if that offends you, then stop reading.  But for those of you interested, here you go.  

This film had a lot of the elements you would expect from a Batman film.  Then there were a lot of unexpected twists.  I think that the biggest one for me was that the character of Bruce Wayne/Batman was the least interesting to me.  I will explain as I go.

We will start with the directing.  Chris Nolan knows what he is doing with this world.  I thought that Gotham took on a whole new feel with The Dark Knight.  With Batman Begins, Gotham felt claustrophobic.  You felt like it was on a sound stage.  But the Gotham in this film felt like the city it is suppose to be.  I guess part of that goes with it being shot in Chicago.  This being said, the film felt bigger, more open, more real.  

As far as his choice of actors, there are none better.  He knows how to get the most out of those he is around.  For some directors that is a task too far above their heads, but Mister Nolan has the knack. 

Now lets talk about some of these performances.  I can see why there was such a need for outstanding actors to fill these roles.  I found almost all of the characters intriguing and real.  I feel that if The Bat didn't show up once in this film, it would still be a great movie.  I found the characters of Lt. Gordon, Harvey Dent and The Joker to be the most attractive and true.  Each one of them seemed like they could fit into this world just as easily as that one.



We will start with Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent/Two Face.  When Dr. Venkman, Mazer and I were speculating on who would make the perfect Two Face, Mr. Eckhart's name did not even come up.  However, when it was announced that he was chosen, I could think of no one better.  

In his ever present search for normalcy, Bruce Wayne is looking for that shining hope.  That one person that can take his place as defender of the weak.  After "accidently" running into Harvey and secretly quizzing him.  Bruce knows that with Harvey Dent as District Attorney, he might have a shot of putting up the bat-suit and persuing a life with his love Rachel Dawes.  The problem is, his new companion in crime fighting, Mr. Dent, is currently dating and in love with Rachel.  We all can see the problem in that.  

An accident befalls Harvey, thanks to The Joker, and his face is grossly disfigured.  The joker uses this to his advantage and convinces Harvey not to take revenge on him but to take revenge on the city that let such horrible things happen to him.  Two Face is born and helps The Joker achive his ulitmate goal; total anarchy of the the city of Gotham.

The transition from good to bad was flawless for Eckhart.  When he thought all hope was lost, you could see it, even in his eyes.  You were convinced that these emotions were truly effecting him.  I wasn't sure if he could pull off going from the best of the best to the worst of the worst.  He did it perfectly and that is a tribute not only to him as an actor, but to Nolan as a director.

 

I don't know about you but when I hear the name Gary Oldman, I think psycho bad guy.  This has changed for me.  His performance as James Gordon in this flim blew me away.  In the first one he was too busy being amazed by The Bat, that his character didn't really develop.  In this one you see who James Gordon is.  Oldman doesn't hold back in this role.  You can tell that he was Lt. Gordon, he was vunerable and was truly adjusting to his role as the only trust worthy police officer in the city.  In this capacity Oldman is at the top of his game.  I think that if this were any other film, his would be considered the best performance of the film.  In the end when Two Face has Gordon's family hostage and is threatening to kill them, Oldman brings you to his place.  You experience his pain and fear.  You wish that that situation never happens to you.  I could keep going, but we have to get to the best part of the film.

Heath Ledger was untouchable in the role of The Joker.  Personally, I wish this was a Joker film.  His rendition of this character is the scariest and most real Joker I have ever seen.  Before this The Joker always seemed like Batman's least threatening opposition.  Ledger turned him into a incurable psychotic with a blood lust that rivals no one.  The thing is that it wasn't overdone.  He isn't in the crime business for the money, he just wants to see people suffer.  His biggest pleasure is to see those who fight for good suffer the most.

The presence that Heath brings to this role is awe inspiring.  You believe that he is the guy that is going to do what he says he is going to, and you don't want to know how he is going to do it.  The mannerismshe gives The Joker are second to none creepy.  When he speaks you want to believe what he is saying.  Until you realize what he is saying to you.  He captures everything scary about a crazy person.  I loved it!

In my opinion, the biggest downfall of this film is that we don't get to see The Joker enough.  Granted he is in majority of the film, but the audiance is so pulled to his character that it just wasn't enough.  

I have a lot of things that I would change if given the chance.  For one I felt like the begining shot with the Scarecrow in it was so short it was unnecessary.  If you are going to bring back a villian like that, you can't give the two minutes and call it good.  I also feel like Christian Bale was just a background presence in the film.  Of course he was in it, but he felt out of place to me.  When you see the film you will understand what I mean.

All in all it was an enjoyable experiance.  It fully met my Batman needs.  I just feel bad for Nolan, because with the loss of Heath Ledger, I don't feel that they will be able to find a villian that can meet the bar that he set.  If this were the last Batman film I would be satisfied.  Because of this film, I would hate it if they tried another one and failed.  

Well surfers, I hope this was insiteful to you and I want to hear what you think after you see this film.  So, until then.

McMurphy Out!

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