Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Review: The Dark Knight (2008)

Feelings require some distance in order to ignore them. I can have clearer thoughts about The Dark Knight now that I have given it the proper pause, especially now that the world has remembered that anybody can play The Joker. Anyhow, in some ways a color negative to Batman Begins, some mischievous scamp took Nolan's usual stylistic clarity and sliced them to ribbons, scattering them in a high wind caused by a hospital explosion. The film is a fucking mess. There are some incomprehensible action scenes and the usual Three Things Going On at Once shit, and now there are baffling non-conclusions to major set pieces (What happened after Joker pushed Rachel out the penthouse window and Batman jumped out after her? Did he... slaughter everyone up there? I guess he just left...). The Dark Knight undeniably aims very high and every once in awhile, it hits the bulls-eye. Unfortunately, it is so reliant on the momentum it creates that when it is gone, during the dreaded re-watch, the strings are visible and a great many of them aren't attached to anything. A whole sequence where Bruce gives up being Batman lasts minutes but seems much longer, is quickly discarded, could ultimately be cut from the film with no impact. Rachel Dawes is still here and that's a bummer given that she has no function other than to show up in dangerous situations.  A courtship of Gotham between three characters is muddled by a literal romance and eventually, a plot for revenge. Harvey Dent doesn't need justification to lose his mind if Gotham won't let him be sane. Nolan might think we're smart enough to handle all the simultaneous Stuff but too stupid to take two steps into the unraveling of a character's mind. We need a sexual crutch, do we? Harvey is fucking her -- he clearly loves her. Bruce is no longer fucking her -- he's clearly jealous. Listen: I don't think I should be rooting for the villain here... perhaps tells these other guys to fucking cool it a little. The Joker may kill people but at least he doesn't WHINE.
[This review is a rewrite.]

1 comment:

  1. Any time a mixed-to-negative review of "The Dark Knight" goes up somewhere, I feel vindicated in never liking it.