Alli and I just got back from seeing The Dark Knight with Tyson and Ashley. It’s 4:00 AM.
I’m still processing since it’s early (or late) and all, but my first thought is: Heath Freaking Ledger.
Honestly, I don’t know if the movie itself is better than its predecessor. I may have to watch it once more in order to make a proper judgment. At first glance, though, The Dark Knight should probably just be called Joker!Â because it truly is the Heath Ledger show.
Christian Bale takes somewhat of a backseat to Ledger and Aaron Eckhart’s Harvey Dent (perfect casting). I love Bale as Batman and I love Nolan’s interpretation of the story, but Ledger’s performance in this movie is so massive that everyone else just kind of fades into the background. This is an impressive feat considering the cinematic heavyweights surrounding him during the movie – Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Bale and Eckhart.
Ledger is undeniably awesome. In contrast to the original Tim-Burton-directed Batman where you could see shades of Jack Nicholson in his version of the Joker, in The Dark Knight Ledger literally disappears behind the makeup and scars and turns in a performance that really does deserve consideration from the Academy.
If he manages to get the nomination, it will be the first time since 1995 that someone has been posthumously nominated for a Oscar (only one ever to win was Peter Finch for Network in 1976). An even more stunning accomplishment would be for him to bring accolades to the genre of comic book and superhero movies, which – let’s be honest – is here to stay.
Ledger’s death is sad, but I applaud Christopher Nolan and the producers of The Dark Knight for not changing the story or trying to somehow soften the viciousness of The Joker. It’s a true testament to Ledger’s ability as an actor to showcase the full range of his talent – a guy who broke out as Patrick Verona in 10 Things I Hate About You and played Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain.
The Dark KnightÂ is long, but it’s an amazing accomplishment. I felt like the story itself could have been tightened up in a couple places, but overall, I’d go see it again in the theater. Maybe not at one in the morning, but it’s worth multiple viewings.
If you liked Batman Begins, you’ll like this. A lot.
Now, I shall stop rambling because I have to get up for work in a couple hours.
Author’s Note: I realize upon waking up that this may or may not be coherent. The thing about going to a midnight showing of a movie is that every single person in the theater wants to be there and is very likely to love the movie no matter what. Last night was no exception. People rarely clap after movies anymore. However, at midnight showings (and particularly last night’s), they do.