I went to the midnight showing last night and so here is my review.
Let me start by saying that I can’t really talk about specific parts of the film because so many things happen that are unexpected and would spoil the movie. Instead, I want to mention the themes and the performances.
Whoever cast both "Batman Begins" and now “The Dark Knight” should be given a lot of credit. When I heard about a new Batman film starring Christian Bale as the caped crusader I thought it was a horrible choice. I liked Bale but I was sure that the role wouldn’t fit him. –wrong! He is perfect for the new direction of Batman.
And then when I heard that Heath Ledger was being dubbed to play the role of the Joker in "Dark Knight" I was pretty upset. I thought it was just a studio move to try to add the teen girl audience. –Really wrong! His performance as the Joker is truly legendary. He is what the Joker should have always been. And like many great artists, he died from his art and for it. He will win the Oscar.
Now to the film itself: The Dark Knight is more than just a movie… it really is. It is a great commentary on present day, Good vs. Evil. By “present day” I mean about terrorism, domestic spying, oversees rendition, and good men doing what is necessary to protect their citizens. The comparisons were plain as day.
In the film, Batman makes the choice to use domestic surveillance on every cell phone in Gotham in order to triangulate the whereabouts of the Joker (after the Joker starts killing off high ranking officials). And out of protest, Batman’s trusted friend Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) threatens to resign for the use of such surveillance. I was surprised because what the film expressed was the true moral dilemma of our time. And believe it or not, the film compared Batman to George W. Bush and his leadership after September 11th.
Either you die a hero, or you live long enough to become the villain. That quote is one of the main themes of the film and when you see it, you will understand how it plays to the Bush Administration and its efforts to protect this nation. The movie is not political in tone but it is a moral observation on both our enemies and our policies. But don’t see the film just because of the refreshing moral compass.
The Dark Knight is very entertaining on all fronts. If anything, see the movie for Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker. Because it does not get better than that.