Disclaimer: I have not seen The Dark Knight. I have not read any reviews of The Dark Knight, not even the one here on Culture Catch. (Sorry, Brandon.) I heard about it from one friend, who said he liked it, but was more interested in describing the big fight that took place in the row behind him at the Loew's theater over saving a seat. But, since it's impossible getting tickets, I'm not letting that stop me from reviewing this major motion picture release.
The Dark Knight, the latest installment in the Batman saga, starts not with the expected bang, but with an eerie whimper.Under the expert hands of Christopher Nolan, director of Memento, here making his sophomore turn with Gotham's big bad bat, as you sink into your sticky seat, you know you are in for more than just the run-of-the-mill buff man in tights fare.
Then, the creepiness emerges, as if an ooze. This is not your father's Gotham City, no no no. Bruce Wayne's Alfred can't remember if the martinis should be shaken, stirred, or if the whole kit 'n' caboodle should just go on the wagon. Because the Joker, in the eerie guise of an actor named Heath Ledger (you may not have heard of him, but he tragically died -- for real -- after the movie was made!) is preparing to terrorize the town, and I don't mean with explosions, although, I have to tell you there are a whole bunch of them and they are really cool, but I mean, terrorize in a deeper, more Mephistophilean manner.
Christian Bale, as the Dark Knight, shows welcome restraint within the confines of the director's frenetic vision of a world gone terribly, terribly wrong. He holds onto the twisted humanity that lurks within a reluctant superhero, and in so doing, reaches out to the everyman -- both good and evil -- lurking within us. Does he push himself too far in fighting the malignancy put forth by Joker? You be the judge of that. As a reflection of our times, I cannot think of a finer example than The Dark Knight. I can't wait to actually see the film and witness all of this for myself. But, having said that, I echo the buzz. This is, without question, the greatest motion picture of all times!
PS -- Is it just me, or was that a cameo by a very pissed off Jack Nicholson in the scene where the Joker disrupts the fancy society party? - Ken Krimstein
Mr. Krimstein is a writer, cartoonist, father, and grump who lives in New York City. So there.