The Dark Knight

So we just got back from the Dark Knight, and I’m sort of mixed feelings on it. First of all, they tried to pack waaaaaay too much into one movie, as you essentially have dual stories playing out, one involving the Joker, the other involving Harvey Dent. The result is a continually moving focus that leaves you wanting a break to think over what’s gone on so far.

I’m also wrestling with my take on Heath Ledger. In essence, I thought he was good, but not great. The character is extremely well written and the whole production gives a much needed makeover to the Joker character itself, but Ledger doesn’t really seem to do anything for it the character itself doesn’t already have. Saying that almost comes off as speaking ill of the dead, but I feel ok with that because, if nothing else, it’s no worse than the way Ledger has been used to sell tickets. And that’s doubly true because he is not a major player in the movie. At best, he’s the top of the mid-card, while Batman, Lt./Commissioner Gordon, and Harvey Dent (the real focus of the film) take top billing. In fact, the penultimate scene doesn’t even involve the Joker.  So while he’s undeniably entertaining and lends himself to great questions of moral quandry, his ultimate role becomes his effect on “Harvey Two-Face.”

All in all, I think, it’s the ending that makes it a bit hard to swallow. While it invariably is denied to set up the next movie, it really doesn’t make any sense to an observant viewer. No less than 20 minutes are devoted to an arching set of circumstances designed to prove how incorruptable Batman is (punctuated by a defeated Joker explicitly lamenting it), only to culminate in *spoiler alert* Batman insisting on being blamed for Dent’s crimes so that the “White Light of Gotham” wouldn’t be tarnished in the public’s eyes.

Anyone want to guess what the theme of the next movie will be?