Thursday, August 21, 2008

It Was A Dark And Stormy Knight

Al Qaeda spent over two years and half a million dollars to train and prepare at least 19 guys to hijack 4 planes to crash into 4 targets on one day.


In the new Batman movie, called The Dark Knight, the Joker strings together plots at least as elaborate as 9-11 two, three times a day, single-handedly terrorizing an entire city with one scheme after another. Now he's robbing a bank! Now he's assassinating the mayor! Now he's kidnapping the district attorney! Now he's blowing up a judge! The police chief! Another guy I can't remember! Now he's hijacking a SWAT convoy! Now he's bombing a hospital! Did I miss any? I think I missed a few. Mr. Joker, sir -- it's time for your three o'clock detonation.

At about the two hour mark of this movie, I was exhausted, and I started to go numb from all the mayhem. It was just one set piece after another, with no rhyme or reason other than to serve as a grim march to an inevitable one-on-one showdown between (go figure) Batman and the Joker.

Of course, this is what I paid my nine bucks for. You go to a Batman movie to see Batman matching up with the villain -- and is there any more classic protagonist-antagonist matchup in pop culture than Batman and the Joker? They didn't share nearly enough screen time together. They had one good scene in the police station, but their first meeting, at Bruce Wayne's party, just kind of...ended, and the final showdown was a huge disappointment, with the bat flapping off to attend to some crisis the Joker had manufactured, leaving him (literally) just hanging around.

There was far too much extraneous stuff about Harvey Dent. It reminded me of Peter Jackson's King Kong movie -- put the monkey on top of the building already!

Here's another thing. OK, it's based on a comic book. But it's based on a comic book; it's not an actual comic book. In a movie, you've got to occasionally have some explanation of how a character arrived at a particular location. Practically every scene in this movie, at least after the first 30 minutes, depended on one character or another literally stepping out of the shadows and BAM! into the action. It's OK once or twice, but after a while it begins to call attention to itself. It's just tiresome.

Yeah, yeah, Heath Ledger was pretty good. Christian Bale was good, Maggie Gyllenhaal was an improvement over Katie Holmes, etc. It wasn't enough.

For a while right after it came out, The Dark Knight was ranked Teh Greatestest Movie Of All Time!! on imdb. It has now slipped to number 3, between The Godfather and The Godfather II. Ha! It might not even rate ahead of The Godfather III. I mean, it was OK, but just glancing down the list, Seven Samurai is number 13. GoodFellas is 15. Citizen Freaking Kane is 29! C'mon! Number 100 is Jaws. Is this movie better than Jaws? I don't think so. A year from now, neither will anyone else.


movie junkie said...

i still wish Katie Holmes had stayed on board as Rachel Dawes in the Dark Knight...

D.B. Echo said...

So did the Joker convince Gotham City to spend itself into bankruptcy in response to his attacks? This was once know as the "Ronald Reagan Star Wars Feint", and was credited with bringing down the old Soviet Union. Then some other folks got ahold of the idea and used it on the U.S.

This may also explain why Batman's rogues' gallery is so large, yet so many of the enemies he fights seem so ineffective. "Batman, the Joker has attacked again!" "Right on it, Commisioner. I'll go after the Penguin immediately!"