The Dark Walrus

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The Dark Walrus

They weren't kidding about the dark part As we discussed in CT’s Dilemma, I am the first of the crew to see The Dark Knight. As you might have guessed from the (lack of) timeliness of my reviews, I don’t make it out to the theater often. Though for this one I was completely on board and knew I had to go all in. So I headed to my local IMAX theater with high hopes and came home disappointed.

Story

Your own mileage may vary, but the story left me wanting. It was a relatively straightforward plot designed to showcase the morality play and Heath Ledger’s performance. The plot did what was needed to tie into the first film and then got out of the way. All in all, not a bad way to go, but it also didn’t offer much new in the way of storytelling.

Where things went a bit sideways with me was the darkness of the story. I certainly expected a darker version of the Joker, but the story on the whole was the most depressing I’ve seen since Children of Men. Quantitatively speaking, I don’t think The Dark Knight featured any more mayhem than Batman Begins. However, there was a qualitative difference to me. I won’t divulge spoilers here, but by the end of the movie I felt that even a world with Batman is a dismal place. I came out of the theater feeling like I had watched Schindler’s List instead of a comic book/superhero movie.

Presentation

The acting performances were solid all around. Everyone has raved about Heath Ledger and indeed he was as good as advertised. I’ve read that Ledger was inspired by the Alex DeLarge character in A Clockwork Orange and, if that’s true, Ledger succeeded at being equally disturbing. Rather than laughable or just plain weird, Ledger’s version of the Joker was purely sadistic and psychotic.

Aaron Eckhart’s portrayal of Harvey Dent was noteworthy as well. Dent came across as capable, likable, and a worthy counterpart to Batman. I empathized with Dent and that made his part of the story work for me. The rest of the main characters were well done, though there was less of Bruce Wayne, Alfred, Jim Gordon, and Rachel Dawes this time around.

The special effects were top notch and the IMAX specific scenes were impressive. Nolan chose some odd shots for a few scenes including an overuse of the single take (or appearing that way) shot which revolves around the performers during dialogue. Once per two hours is probably enough of that, Christopher. The Foley art sounded especially good over the IMAX sound system, but none of the score stood out to me.

Story score–

Presentation score–

I can’t hand out the rewatchable walrus for this one. My feeling is probably best encapsulated by the following gem that Shamus from 20 Sided Blog let loose in a video game review a few months back.

"How do you rate a restaurant that serves mouth-watering steaks for $5 and a punch in the face before the meal?"

I did enjoy the steak, but the punch in the face left me feeling bad enough that I’ll pass on seconds.

By | 2017-03-17T02:55:18+00:00 July 28th, 2008|Categories: Article|Tags: , , , , , , |4 Comments

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4 Comments

  1. Anonymous February 23, 2017 at 4:00 am - Reply

    Thanks for the review!

    I viewed it for a second time over the weekend at an IMAX and enjoyed it even more than the first time.

    I understood the story and the characters motivations better, I caught some funny lines I'd missed the first time around, and the movie actually seemed more optimistic. There are several genuinely heart-warming moments in the movie.
    I think I was so concerned with how everyone was going to be portrayed – and so blown away by how dangerous the Joker was – these things slipped past me.

    My second viewing is leading me to think this could become my favorite Batman film. And if it becomes my favorite Batman film then it would become . . .

    …wait for it …

    …MY FAVORITE SUPERHERO FILM OF ALL TIME!!!
    (well, depending on my mood)

    Oh, and the IMAX audience was superior to the plain ol theater audience.

  2. Jeeg February 23, 2017 at 4:00 am - Reply

    As well you should. Chalk up some of my reservations to my mood as of late.

    I haven't had the chance to talk with many people about the movie, but those I have spoken with seem less struck by the darkness than I was. Peeg and Mrs. Peeg, for example, both give a thumbs up.

  3. Carlin February 23, 2017 at 4:00 am - Reply

    I still look forward to seeing this movie in a few months.

    Had my first spoiler today while I was reading up on Dr. Horrible. Some bozo slipped a little tidbit I would have preferred not to know about. I guess I'm going to give up the internet for the next few months, too.

    Sigh…

  4. Wrestlecrap Radio Crickets February 23, 2017 at 4:00 am - Reply

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