The Dark Knight

13 out of 13 nots
for being everything I wanted and more

When Chris Nolan relaunched Batman with Batman Begins, I immediately knew that the right team had been put in place.  While that film has some issues, the overall impact of it was fantastic.  With Nolan behind the camera and Christian Bale in front of it, they were creating something truly magic.

On the strength of that film I was excited when I heard about The Dark Knight.  Well, until they announced that Heath Ledger was going to be the Joker.  While I liked Ledger well enough, I hadn’t seen him do anything previously that lead me to believe that he could pull off the Joker.  This worry was allayed when early word started to leak out about his performance.  Then he died.

Having seen the film now, one element of the true tragedy of his death is that there will be many people who write off praise for his performance as sympathy for his having passed on.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  All of my early fears were put to rest and now I honestly feel that no one was more meant for this role than Heath, and now I am worried about what they will do with the franchise going forward.  Heath has left some enormously large shoes to fill in regards to this role.

Outside of Heath’s performance, every other actor also pulls off some fantastic work here.  I found every character to be fully believable in the world that Nolan has crafted.  And the story is no weak link either.  I literally spent a full third of the movie with my hand to my mouth in a futile attempt to prevent my breath from being taken away.  The most important aspect that this film holds is that it is not “Batman Begins 2”.  You do not need to have seen the first to understand the second.  Rather than being a sequel, The Dark Knight stands as a whole and complete story set within the same world as Batman Begins.

After leaving the theater and walking out to car, I said to the group I was with, “If there had previously existed only nine kinds of awesome in the world, this movie would be the tenth.”  Two days later, I still feel that and I am certain I will feel that way for some time to come.

If you have not already, see this film.

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