Saturday, July 19, 2008
The Dark Knight kicks ass
The Dark Knight sticks a bat hook in the problem of evil. Then it pulls. Meaty question rip out: What is the nature of evil? To fight evil, do you have to become evil? Not bad for a comic book movie. I guess that makes it a philosophical comic book movie.
It gets off to a slow start. Act I has some clunky dialog and force-fed exposition. Or maybe it just seemed that way. The trailer may have distorted my perception. The good guys are winning — then the Joker shows up. Surprise! But I knew the little creep was coming.
Not to spoil the surprise, but the movie kicks into overdrive and takes you on a hellish ride into dark psychological territory. The Joker’s territory. Then it keeps getting darker.
Heath Ledger’s Joker makes Jack Nicholson’s Joker look like Mr. Rogers. He is one mean mofo, the king of cinema's insane clown posse and very, very smart.
As are the co-screenwriters: Christopher Nolan (also the director) and Joseph Nolan, his brother.
The character details are spot-on. This Joker doesn’t have bleached skin. He wears pancake makeup over his scarred face. The Nolans dispensed with the vat of acid backstory. The Joker's mouth has been knifed wider into a permanent smile, like that poor bastard in The Crays. Why? The Joker’s story keeps changing. His father did it. He did it to himself. Exactly what a crazy clown would say.
The Joker starts out wanting to get rid of Batman. Then he changes his mind.
He takes a ton of money, makes a pyramid of it, puts a witness on top of it, and
sets it on fire. He’s a nihilist. He's not in it for the money. Like Alex before him, he hurts people because he likes it.
Clowns just want to have fun.