Why So Serious? - The Dark Knight - A Movie Review

Keep an eye out for revisions inspired by a second viewing of this film.

Luckily my new hometown of Virginia's Hampton Roads area has two Imax theatres, so I was lucky enough to see The Dark Knight in this terrific format. The midnight showing for Thursday was sold out, but I made the first showing the next day, arriving over an hour before the movie began with my copy of Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus Volume 2 in order to secure the best seat. I am a serious Batman fan and moviegoer. Seriously.

This is a very dense movie with a lot going on in regard to plots. I was surprised by a lot of the content of this movie, such as some of the characters who appeared, some of the deaths, but I don’t want to spoil potent these surprises. Director Christopher Nolan has made an incredibly intense film.

Whose movie is this? Heath Ledger’s Joker is absolutely amazing, and he’s not crazy. At least that’s what he tells people. His actions are over the top gruesome and often funny in that it’s so fucked up you might have to laugh way. The Joker really steals the movie from Batman, as did Jack Nicholson’s Joker, but in a completely, less whimsical, less Burtonesque way. This is a Joker of Alan Moore's Batman: The Killing Joke and Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Retuns. This is a Joker who challenges Batman and Gotham City psychologically, making the man and this city's citizens question their morals. This Joker makes the audience wonder what they themselves are capable if order dissolves and chaos reigns.

A bit of the old ultraviolence Nolan pulls no punches characters are shot, blown up, beaten, battered and broken in so many ways. This is not a movie for small children, although, as anxious as I was to hear it, no little kids were crying during this screening as I expected they might. Maybe next time.

Morality Is Harvey Dent the white knight to Batman’s dark knight? What does it mean to be Batman? These are the questions the film concludes with. I’m not sure this movie even really has a conclusion as it sets the tone for further films. It took me some time to digest this long movie, but I think I really like it. It was a shocking and I'll have to see it a few more times. I can only wonder at what Nolan plans for the next film in this terrific franchise. I also feel a sadness that this is the best performance I've seen by Ledger and the fact that there will be no more Ledger Joker or Ledger himself.

Then again you might disagree, so see what my fellow ArmzRace members Mark! and Cej have to say about the movie.

Additional materials of interest Check out my review of Six Flags Great Adventure and the new Dark Knight Coaster here.

Check out a review of all of the Batman films since the 1940s at Cinemassacre.

Bum Reviews provides a pretty in-depth look at The Dark Knight, if you can stand the bum.

Finally, The History Channel is currently showing some really cool specials about the technology and psychology of Batman. Click here for the scheduling page.

Now let's all put on a smile.