Reviews of movies, music, books and more by David Goody.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

DVD: The Dark Knight

Imagine sitting down in a stylish restaurant with an erudite friend to a nice meal. Before the menus have arrived they try to make some grand point about the world. Then before you've ordered something you said leads them to make the same point in a different way. Then as the starters arrive it sparks something that leads to another mini-lecture on the same subject. That is basically how The Dark Knight feels.

There is no knocking the credentials of this film which is well cast, looks great and has some memerable characters. However all of the set pieces return to the same question of "when is it justifiable to take a life or take liberties". Initially this looks like an interesting idea but after the third time it deadens the effect. An argument is always best made succinctly and eloquently. The more you go on about something the more people drift off. 

Think of the final scene in Seven with Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey and the box. The reason it works so well is that the film spent 2 hours getting you to the right place and then asking the question. The Dark Knight lacks this restraint and discipline.

The other problem the film has is that it's characters are now so well established that even someone who hasn't read a comic book knows exactly what is going to happen with the Joker and Harvey "two face" Dent. This rather wrecks any dramatic tension.

The performances of the cast can't be knocked, with Heath Ledger's dry mouthed turn as the Joker likely to become iconic, and deservedly so. However despite some well executed action scenes I had ceased caring quite a while before the end.


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