Batman: The Dark Knight (2008)

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I’ve never really been into watching blockbuster movies on opening day or for that matter going to late night showings.  But, yesterday, proved an exception as some friends and I drove an hour to the nearest decent theater to take in the 12:02 showing of The Dark Knight.

A couple of non-movie observations:

*It felt like I had walked into a high school assembly — as it took me 5 minutes to spot someone in line older than me.   (There were only 2 and only about 5 within 10 years of my age).  That said, the high schoolers were very well behaved during the movie.

*Yes, there were costumes — just a few.  And, the Joker was much more widely represented than his heroic counterpart.  The saddest one of all was the poor kid who showed up in a suit.  Yep, he came not as Batman but as Bruce Wayne.  Although, to be honest, I first thought he had came as Alfred.  There was also the young guy with the SKIN tight white shirt upon which — in magic marker — he had written “Heath Ledger Lives 4-Ever” — what made it complete was, of course, the pack of Marlboro’s stuffed under his sleeve.  Honestly, doesn’t Ledger deserve a better tribute

*If you are curious about any movie opening in the next two years, it is worth going to The Dark Knight so you can see its trailer.  Now, clearly, I am an old man but 18 minutes worth of previews is excessive.  Watchmen looks fantastic (no surprise there) and someone in Hollywood is still bent and determined to make Shia LeBouf an action movie hero of some sort.  I just don’t get it.

OK, now for the actual movie.  Honestly, I felt it was a little too long but mostly because I was in a very uncomfortable seat WAY past my bedtime.  Anything beyond this line will actually contain spoilers so know that you were warned.

Perhaps this is unfair but it is still worth noting.  The Joker plot ends up in the air.  Now granted, I understand that they cannot show the third movie teaser featuring a character played by a deceased actor.  I get that.  I thought Nolan would have found a better solution than to just leave it hanging.

What did seem much more forced was the emergence of Two Face.  I initially thought – “Wow, cool, we’ve defeated the Joker and Two Face will be the next villain” — this moment in the movie SEEMS like an ending.  It however, is an hour short.  Two Face gets to be a villain in THIS movie and thus gets to have the final battle.  I can see reasons to keep it contained within this plot — since Two Face becomes the Joker’s final triumph.  But, there is SUCH a disparity between the two villains in terms of quality.  Not because of Aaron Eckhart, who does a admirable job with a crappy crappy villain.  Ledger and the role of the Joke is as good as it was billed.

All in all, a great summer movie.  Definitely a must see.  I would just sit somewhere you could stretch your legs a bit and avoid the soda.

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