I got a chance to see The Dark Knight Saturday night with a couple of friends. Here’s my quick take: go see it in the theater, now. While it’s 2:20 long and has enough plot lines for 2-2.5 movies (so much so that it makes it difficult to explain the overarching plot to family members…), the time practically flies by. It is, in many respects, the single best villain-driven comic book-based movie yet produced. (I am undecided as to whether Iron Man is the better overall comic book movie; it certainly was a better hero-driven effort.)
Christian Bale is merely “meh” in his portrayal of Bruce Wayne/Batman, as the scriptwriters, unaware of just how annoying Bale’s Batman growl is, give the star long soliloquies to deliver in said annoying undertones.
Heath Ledger, however, is transcendent in his portrayal of the Joker. With the exception of Gary Oldman’s Lieutenant Gordon, the underlying actors are visible in all roles (including Michael Caine’s Alfred and Morgan Freeman’s Lucius Fox), by which I simply mean that I found myself looking at the screen and thinking “Oh, Michael Caine makes an excellent Alfred. Well chosen, lads, but I can still see Caine peeking through.” There is almost no Ledger allowed to peek through, so completely does (did, I guess?) he own the role. The psychoses, the bouts of extreme violence, the depravity and, yes, even the humor inherent in the Joker’s character are all portrayed stunningly by Ledger. I do not think the whispers of a posthumous Oscar nomination for Ledger are completely unfounded.
So run, do not walk, to your local cinema and check out The Dark Knight.