Unsolicited Dark Knight Review
The Dark Knight
Starring: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Maggie Gyllenhaal
Directed by Christopher Nolan
WARNING: The following article contains a handful of spoilers so potent and explosive they will not only ruin The Dark Knight if you haven’t seen it, they will also completely destroy the fabric of your reality. I’m not even kidding. Do not read the following review if you currently enjoy life on any level at all. Titanic pain awaits. You have been warned.
So Bruce Wayne is Batman. OMG, WTF. Also, there’s no goddamn surfing anywhere in this fuckin’ movie.
Before I say anything else regarding this film, I’d like to brag about the fact I saw The Dark Knight on opening night in Union Square in NEW YORK CITY. In order to accomplish this Herculean feat, I had to purchase tickets immediately upon leaving the theater after viewing Batman Begins in 2005.
“We’re not even sure they’re making a sequel yet,” the elderly usher told me that night. “But you’d better buy these anyway, just in case.”
It should also be noted that I saw exactly one person “in costume” for this premiere. A chubby kid in o-fficial Heath Ledger Joker make-up and an o-fficial Heath Ledger Joker t-shirt was milling about, looking a little too Marilyn Manson fan circa 1996. This kid’s ghoulish visage was almost as frightening as the time I walked by my local cineplex the night Austin Powers 3 came out and spotted three underfed dweebs in ruffled shirts, nerd glasses, and false teeth gesticulating wildly for local news cameras. Needless to say, I fled for my life that evening and took several cold showers when I got home.
Back to the movie. The Dark Knight is just as good as everyone says it is. Thrills, chills, spills, pills, kills, drills, hills, frills, bills, and grills—this movie’s got it all, plus Anthony Michael Hall. The most entertaining and exciting Batman flick since Keaton first donned the suit in ’89. The only thing keeping TDK from exceeding that landmark film is ol’ Bats himself. Same issues I had with Batman Begins: the suit looks like a pile of misshapen clay, Christian Bale insists on growling like Joe Cancer while he’s in it, and the Batmobile is that all-terrain redneck nightmare I’d rather see crushing cars at a monster truck rally. Thankfully Bale was likable enough outside the cowl to make me root for his funky alter ego.
The story was nice and believable, too, grounded in some kind of normal crime reality. No wacky mind-altering gas, no penguins with missiles strapped to their backs, no dehydrating world leaders—just robbing, stealing, shooting, stabbing, beating, and a handful of bombs for good measure. Batman has some pretty silly high-tech crap (the tool he uses near the end of the film is some straight-up Metal Gear Solid video game-type wizardry), but as Homer Simpson once cheerfully pointed out to his wife, the Caped Crusader is a scientist. If he’s clever enough to keep that stupid car hidden, I’ll believe he can (SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER OH GOD SPOILERS ARE REAL FTW!) manipulate every cell phone in Gotham City.
And now I must address Heath Ledger. Does the late Aussie’s turn in The Dark Knight make every other performance in the entire history of acting look like a festering pile of diseased whale cock or merely the filthy, worm-ridden butt of a three-legged junkyard dog? I don’t know. All I can tell you for sure is the Ledge does a winning job bringing the Joker to life, transforming the beloved comic villain into the psychotic demon we always knew he could be. The Joker’s first major scene in Dark Knight will probably go down as one of cinema’s most awesome moments, right up there with Robert Shaw’s grizzly death in Jaws and that totally bad-ass part in The Untouchables where Andy Garcia shoots all those dudes while sliding down the staircase on his back (Andy Garcia, you just pwnd Capone! LOL).
Final grade for The Dark Knight? Four super-rich, strep throat-afflicted superheroes out of four. This movie is textured, satisfying cool, the kind that doesn’t come along too often. It’s worth the price of admission and then some.
Now, as is tradition once a new Batman film has been released, let us begin speculating / postulating / spreading crazy, crazy lies about who or what will appear in the sequel. I officially put forth the following theories for Batman 3, Gotham 0:
– Damon Wayans as the Riddler, a collegiate Kaczynski-type who terrorizes the citizens of Gotham while retaining the ability to walk among them (of course, the studio would probably save a lot of money if they just hired this guy to play the Riddler)
– Christopher Lloyd as Mr. Freeze, a global warming watchdog who takes things just a bit too far
– Cee-Lo from Gnarls Barkley as the Penguin, suave affluent hipster who seduces high society socialites with his soulful singing and then beats them to death with his umbrella
– Jack Black as King Tut, the bipolar Professor who wants to kidnap Batman and take him back to ancient Egypt for the ultimate paaaaar-TAAAAAYY!!!
– The Jonas Brothers as all three Robins, simultaneously helping Batman solve crime while making pre-teen Gotham hearts swoon with their popular brand of faith-based pop rock
– CGI Ace the Bat-Hound voiced by a very bitter and sarcastic Norm MacDonald
– Yakoff Smirnoff as the weird Russian Batman who resides on Earth-30 in the alternate DC comics universe
– Verne Troyer as Bat-Mite (you saw it coming and there was nothing you could do)
None of this, I repeat, none of this is more insane or stupid than anything that was in Batman and Robin.