On the Dark Knight

Was it worth the wait? Does it justify the hype?

 Hell yes! I loved Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight (which as well as directing, he co-wrote with his brother Jonathan).  It’s exciting, exhilarating, it’s richly written, it’s a class act all round. And Heath Ledger’s Joker (apparently modelled on Sid Vicious – how come all the best characters in movies are based on music biz stars? think of Captain Jack Sparrow, based on Keith Richards) is (I’m putting in another section in brackets here, for no good reason, I just love ‘em!) utterly brilliant and compelling.

It’s a weirdly structured movie though.  The genius idea is that the Joker brings anarchy to the city – this isn’t an old-style Batman villain dastardly plan, it’s a subtle strategy to shatter the very fabric of goodness in society.  (I’m not giving any specifics here, and I don’t think that counts as a spoiler.) Harvey Dent, the DA, has a role to play in the Joker’s evil thing; and it’s wonderful stuff.

But before we get to this, the meat and blood of the story, there’s an awful lot of other stuff to get to, involving the Far East and Mob money.  And I have to say, it does make the movie very long.  I loved the whole thing; but my adrenalin would have raced faster if it had been shorter. 

Morgan Freeman is eerily superb in his role as the gadget guy, Lucius Fox.  And Michael Caine clearly had a clause inserted in his contract that this time he would have to have a couple of major scenes and great speeches, to make his role more than incidental.  He does have those scenes, and those speeches; and boy, he’s stunning.  Caine has such composure and stillness, and Christian Bale has the charisma sucked out of him ever time he’s fool enough to stand next to our East End boy. 

Next year’s comic book blockbusters are The Watchmen, and Wolverine: Origins.   Can’t wait…

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